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Protecting your summer BBQ

It is so much fun getting together with friends and family for a summer BBQ.  You’ve got dad at the grill working on the brawts and burgers.  You’ve got the kids running around chasing each other and you’ve got the ladies sitting around enjoying each other’s company.  But you’ve got a problem!  There are flies all around.  They are getting into the food.  They are interrupting the conversation and thoroughly bugging the grill master.  What can you do?

1. Use citronella candles.  They’ve been around for a long time for a simple reason: they work.  Buy some tiki torches and place smaller candles in spots all around the yard for a great defense against the pesky bugs.

2. Add some breeze.  Flies are pretty small and they really can’t stand up to any kind of wind.  If you can’t position your tables and chairs in a natural breezeway, add a couple fans in a few choice locations.

3. Scare the flies away.  As strange as this idea sounds, it works really well.  Fill a big Ziploc bag half full of water.  Hang it up near the food or near entrance ways. For some reasons, flies really don’t like these bags and will keep away.  Some scientists think that the sight of the water-filled plastic bag scares the flies.

4. Keep trash away from the gathering areas.  We all know flies like the trash and although it can be inconvenient to put your trash away from the food, it really is best.  Create a small trash area away from the food, the grill and the chairs.

5. Add some flypaper strips.  Stick them up pretty high so the kiddos won’t run into them or try to grab at them as part of their play activity.  For a quick little nontoxic do-it yourself flypaper strip, see the instructions below.

6.A dd some clove or citrus decorations.  Flies just don’t like the smell. Make or buy some lemongrass or clove spray and spray all over the chairs and tables for an additional defense barrier.

7. Plant basil around your outdoor table.  This is one of those herbs that people love and bugs don’t.

**Recipe for home-made flypaper strips:  These are super simple easy to make and require no special ingredients.

* Get a brown paper bag and cut into strips about 2 inches wide.  This can be a grocery bag or lunch bag or even strips of newspaper.

* Poke a hole in one end and loop some string, twine or yarn through the hole.  This will be what you use to hang the strip up high.

* Mix together about ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup corn syrup or honey and 2 tablespoons of water.

* Heat over medium heat until the sugar is fully dissolved.

* Dip your paper bag strips into the sugar syrup.

* Hang up to dry making sure to put some old newspaper under the strips as they will drip. Once the dripping stops, they’re ready to use.

Hang up anywhere you want.  These strips are non-toxic and won’t hurt your pets.

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