Football’s back. And, at least in the south, that means it’s peak tailgating season. For SEC & ACC fans, it’s the most magical time of the year… until you hear the telltale buzzing of an unwelcome pest.

Rival fans are bad enough, but factor in flying insects trying to land on your food and drinks or biting and stinging your guests, and you’ve got the makings of a spoiled afternoon on your hands. 

When it comes to enjoying the outdoors this fall—be that tailgating, oyster roasting, or one last cookout in the lingering summer heat—pest protection is a crucial part of making sure you and your guests have a good time. 

That’s why we’ve got a few of our favorite pest-free tailgating tips to share with you this month (but you can use them even if you’re roasting oysters or just grilling!). Read on!

Keep Everything Under Wraps

Store all food in airtight containers, especially any meat you intend to throw on the grill. All sugary beverages should be kept in lidded vessels whenever possible, or be ready to double-check your cup before sips!

This will help combat stinging insects, like wasps, which are drawn to the aromas of both sugar and protein.

A ‘Scents’ of Relief

Scented candles are the decor that does more. The usual suspects of citronella candles and torches are still always a good idea, but other, less pungent scented candles like peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus can also help keep pests away. Ambiance, mood, and pest protection all in one… is there anything candles can’t do?

A Fan of Airflow

An oscillating fan is an invaluable asset for combating flying insects at a tailgate. Wasps, flies, and mosquitos all don’t like flying in high winds, so by strategically placing a small fan near your cooking and dining areas, you’ll do a lot to deter them.

A Diverse Defensive Line

When it comes to avoiding mosquitos, there’s never too much protection. A diverse collection of sprays, candles, oscillating fans, and netting work together like a huge wall of linebackers, standing squarely in the way of Team Mosquito’s offense. Use EPA-approved insect repellent on exposed skin to keep the mosquitos at bay. Don’t forget to cover strollers and baby carries with mosquito netting, either!

Settin’ Up Shop

There’s different schools of thought on what makes a perfect tailgate spot. Is it how close you are to the stadium? The exit? The team busses?

A good location can do a whole lot in the way of pest prevention. Strike your tents and grills away from bathrooms and trash cans, which are natural insect hotspots, and be sure to avoid any puddles, standing water, and ponds, when possible.

A Winning Record

Looking for more tips on giving pests the punt? Or need a hand tackling an aggressive pest problem? Call an audible–the knowledgeable, local experts at Terminix are always ready to help solve your pest woes. 

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