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Sunny weekends are heading our way, and there’s nothing better than heading out to your favourite outdoor area and feasting on a freshly made picnic with family and friends. These are the best kinds of days off. A picnic basket should be loaded up with your favourite foods, with wine cooling on ice, paper plates, disposable cutlery and plastic cups. This makes for the perfect picnic.
But what happens when you’ve driven all the way from London, arrive at your picnic destination, and you sit in the shade ready to unpack your food? In the UK, there is a high chance you’ll be invaded by bees and wasps or ants will start to crawl over your feet and your plate. You can avoid these picnic pests with a bit of DIY emergency pest control. We consulted the team over at Catch-it Ltd in London, who told us to start by leaving the following 8 particular picnic items at home.
#1. Brightly Coloured Plates
Serving food on brightly coloured plates immediately will attract insects no matter what food you’ve got. Make sure you take plain white paper plates to stop the bugs being attracted to your plates. You don’t want them to get at your food before you’ve eaten anything.
#2. Hot Dogs and Burgers
Summer wasps love meat – it’s a little-known fact. Any meat that is protein rich and heavy that you serve at a summer picnic will attract wasps, which will ruin the entire day. If you really want these kinds of foods, that’s fine, but guard it carefully. Alternatively, you can swap meat-heavy meals for some lighter, vegetarian food that insects don’t find so attractive.
If it’s a perfect summer’s day, chocolate may be the thing to ruin your picnic. It melts everywhere, turning everything into a sugary, sticky mess before your worse. What’s even worse, this mess then attracts wasps, bees, flies, and ants to anything that the chocolate has touched as well as the chocolate itself.
#4. Fresh Fruit
Having chopped or perfectly ripe fresh fruit at a picnic is delicious and a really healthy summer treat. But if you’re planning a picnic, it’s best to leave the summer fruits at home. The natural sugars that occur in fresh fruit will make insects swarm to you, and they will start feeding on your picnic. You won’t be able to get rid of them for the whole day, so it’s best to leave the strawberries at home.
#5. Fruit Juice
Much like fresh fruit, fruit juice smells just as good to bees and wasps. Leaving a glass or bottle of fruit juice out in the sun while you play some picnic games will soon be covered in insects. They will kidnap your drink and leave you thirsty for the rest of your day out.
Obviously, a pot of honey isn’t the most obvious picnic treat, but if you were considering it, please know that it’s not a good idea. Having honey is just simply asking for bees to swarm in and attack. You should also be putting honey on anything like sandwiches or using it in salad dressings. Bees can sniff it out from miles away, and when they smell it they will become aggressive toward you.
#7. Red Wine
It’s not just sugary drinks that should be avoided because they attract insects. Red wine can also be a culprit for attracting flies to your picnic. If you leave your glass of wine even for just a few minutes, you’ll be welcomed back by the rather unpleasant scene of having a glass covered in, and filled with, drowning fruit flies.
#8. Fizzy Drinks
An ice-cold beverage is just the thing to hit the spot after a long day spent in the sunshine, but it’s exactly what the wasps have been craving as well. If you’re really clever at your picnic, you can use a can of fizzy drink as a sort of trap for bees and wasps. Place an open bottle, can or glass full of the drink at a safe distance away from your picnic, and let insects feed on it for the rest of the day. It’s much better than you spending the day swatting them away from your picnic, and you can enjoy your fizzy drink to yourself.