Don’t let a swarm of ants or mosquitoes make you say goodnight to your loved ones way too early. Come prepared by implementing a few of our quick and easy tips to finally pest-proof your outdoor kitchen.
Properly Dispose of Food
One of the first things to consider when trying to eliminate the risks of pests in your outdoor kitchen is to always clean up after cooking and eating and place all leftovers in a sealed container. Make sure your family or guests know where the trash is and encourage everyone to get rid of any waste as soon as they’re done.
You’ll also want to remember to take out the trash often, especially after large meals, so pests won’t smell your leftovers and come wandering your way. However, sometimes trash bin lids aren’t enough. In fact, certain animals can easily lift the lid and tip the bin over. If this is a problem for you, it’s time to invest in garbage bin locks. You can even add them to your outdoor fridge for extra protection.
Eliminate Standing Water
Mosquitos are known for laying their eggs in spots with standing water. Common places this occurs are unused bird baths, rain gutters, and divots in your yard. Clean and air out any locations you find that create stagnant water during the year to help prevent a swarm of mosquitos from coming your way.
If fully eliminating the water is a problem, you can also consider encouraging dragonflies in your yard, which are predators against mosquitos. By planting Fanwort, Arrowhead, Wild Celery, or other dragonfly-friendly species, you may get a natural ally around your kitchen this year.
Set Up Bug Lanterns & Zappers
Insect-repellent torches, candles, and zappers not only create an intimate ambiance to your outdoor living space, but they can really help make you and your guests more comfortable during meals.
Candles and torches typically work by releasing citronella oil-laden smoke which hinders mosquitos’ abilities to sense the chemicals that attract them to your skin. They work best when in a close radius, so keep them near the table for the best effect.
Sprinkle Boric Acid
Boric acid is known to be a low-toxic way to remove pests. When used properly, it is considered safe, but pay attention to avoid ingestion and don’t place it in an area that young children or pets may be accidentally exposed to.
Sprinkling a small amount of boric acid around corners and ground crevices can be an effective way of eliminating ants and cockroaches and other potentially annoying insects around your outdoor kitchen. It may take a few days for the acid to be effective. Afterward, clean the areas exposed to boric acid before allowing children or pets near them.
Clean Surfaces with Vinegar
A more natural way to prevent pests is by cleaning your cooking station and dinner table with a mixture of vinegar and water. Vinegar is a cheap, accessible, and generally safe ingredient that is effective at eliminating ants, mosquitos, fruit flies, and other meal intruders who come in contact with the product. Keep a bottle nearby to stay prepared when you see any of these insects coming your way.