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Don't Let These Pests Ruin Your Backyard BBQ This Summer

Sunny days and warm afternoons - summertime in New England seems made for settling down and enjoying a barbecue outdoors. But when pests try and join in on the fun, things can get a less enjoyable - and, at times, even a bit more dangerous to your health.

When the time comes for you to sit down for a fun summertime grill, there are a few persistent pests you will be most likely to encounter. These are the ones to look out for, and what you can do to keep your outdoor eating as pest-free as possible straight through until fall.

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Ants

Ask someone to paint a picture of a picnic being ruined by bugs and they’ll almost always point to one ever-present summer culprit: ants. Known for finding and grabbing food from right under the noses of so many outdoor eaters every year, ants manage their success mainly because they are able to quickly let others in the area know where the getting is good.

That’s why you’ll often see a line crawling directly from their nest to your barbecue spot - and that can give you a clue as to exactly where they’re coming from.

Ticks

The neighborhood’s best grilling spots are, typically, also the neighborhood’s best kept secrets - and may require a short hike to reach. But whether you’re trekking through the woods or strolling through the grass to reach your destination, ticks pose one of the biggest threats to your health and happiness during the summer.

Smart preparation and the right protection may be able to keep ticks from finding their way to a feast at your expense, but that simply may not be enough depending on the size of the problem. If you’ve noticed high tick activity on your property this year, it might be time to contact a professional tick control expert. That way, you can help protect your pets, your family, your friends, and yourself from the worst effects of a nasty tick bite.

Bees

Although not necessarily out and about looking for food to steal, bees will likely be attracted by sweet drinks and sugary fruits, especially those left out in the open for too long. While a single honey bee may not be too much of an issue, there is also always the threat of an entire swarm coming to crash your outdoor space.

But don’t worry too much - even swarms of honey bees are generally harmless. Just make sure you don’t do anything to harm them - bees are a crucial part of the ecosystem, and a qualified bee removal expert can help safely relocate the swarm somewhere better suited.

Wasps & Hornets

While honey bees attracted to your sugary drinks and fresh fruit might be a minor disturbance at a barbecue, wasps and hornets can quickly become a major one - and painful, at that. Significantly less harmless than your average insect, wasps and hornets can pose a serious (and seriously scary) threat to any outdoor activity over the summer, especially during the later months of July and August. What’s worse is that the presence of a few likely means a nest is hiding somewhere nearby, and that can spell trouble for homeowners.

The best way to manage a wasp or hornet infestation is to keep your distance, and to contact a professional pest management expert as soon as possible. Your wasp and hornet removal professional can safely identify key nesting sites and take action to not only remove the pests that are there, but to prevent them from coming back once the coast is clear.

Squirrels

Whether they’re rummaging around bird feeders, taking their pick from dumpsters, or trying to swipe food from off your picnic table, squirrels make themselves known with little fear during the summer time - meaning they can quickly become one of the most annoyingly persistent pests to have to deal with during a summer barbecue.

In many cases, a professional wildlife management expert can help implement a strategy to effectively repel squirrels and keep them otherwise out of your hair for the duration of the summer season.

Raccoons

Known as some of the most prolific nighttime trash burglars and food thieves, raccoons will often take pretty bold chances when it comes to grabbing a quick snack. That means that outdoor eaters - especially those looking to enjoy a sunset dinner or nighttime snacks around the fire - should be especially conscious of raccoons.

A wildlife control professional can help determine where raccoons may be hiding out around your property, and what you can do to keep them from disturbing your outdoor fun. And, as always, be sure to report any raccoons you see wandering around during the daylight hours - that could be a sign of rabies, which is an immediate cause for concern.

Mice

They may be small, but mice are notoriously crafty. When food is around, mice become downright genius - especially when it comes to sneaking off with bits of food when your back is turned. For outdoor barbecues enjoyed a sunny lawn or field where mice are present, this can make keeping an eye on your provisions (and keeping mice away) particularly difficult.

In most cases, an experienced rodent removal professional can help identify key hiding places where mice are likely to be found, and take steps to mitigate the chances they’ll come around looking to join the feast at your next picnic.

Picnics Are Better When They Are Pest-Free

This summer, don’t let your outdoor eating fall victim to the relentless pestering of flying and crawling summertime pests. Instead, head the problem off before it begins by getting in touch with an experienced pest professional, who can help implement smart strategies to keep your space as free from pests as possible.

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