Why pests are attracted to picnics

May 26, 2023, 15:54 PM by Fred Speer

Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is upon us. Clark, your friendly pest, mosquito, and termite control – and grounds care – expert, will be joining thousands of Californians and Nevadans who celebrate at backyard cookouts, or head to beaches or local parks for picnics and outdoor visits.

There are, however, a slew of uninvited pest guests – flies, cockroaches, stinging insects, and ants – that will be attempting to join your party. Aside from being a royal annoyance and spoiling a perfectly good cookout or picnic, pests can spread harmful pathogens, including Salmonella and E. coli. They accomplish this by landing on food, preparation surfaces, or cooking tools after visiting other less appetizing items such as rotting garbage, feces, or animal carcasses.

Pests are attracted to backyard picnics for a variety of reasons. These can include:

Readily available food: Picnics often feature food and beverages that appeal to pests. The scent and presence of food scraps, crumbs, spilled drinks, and sweet treats can attract such pests as ants, flies, wasps, and bees. These pests have a keen sense of smell and can detect food from a distance.

Easy access: Backyard picnics provide pests with easy access to food sources. The outdoor environment, especially when food is left uncovered or not properly stored, makes it convenient for pests to scavenge and feast on available resources.

Garbage: Pests are attracted to areas where waste and organic matter accumulate. Picnic areas may have trash cans or bins that contain food remnants, which can attract such pests as raccoons, rats, and seagulls. These animals are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of any accessible food source.

Attractive aromas: Many pests are attracted to aromas that are commonly associated with fruits, desserts, and sugary drinks often present at picnics. Bees, wasps, and flies are particularly attracted to these smells and may become a nuisance around picnic areas.

Shelter and hiding spots: Parks and backyards often provide pests with shelter and hiding spots. Bushes, trees, and tall grass can offer ideal habitats for pests, allowing them to move easily between their hiding places and a picnic area.

How to reduce the threat of pests

To minimize the attraction of pests during outdoor outings, Clark Pest Control offers the following tips. By following these recommendations, you can enjoy a backyard picnic or day at the park or beach and reduce the presence of unwanted pests.

  • Store food properly: Keep food and beverages tightly sealed and stored in containers to minimize odors and prevent pests from accessing them.
  • Clean up: Clean up any spills or food debris promptly. Wipe down tables, surfaces, and picnic utensils to remove any lingering food particles that may attract pests.
  • Take out the trash: Use sealed trash cans with lids to prevent pests from accessing waste. Empty the trash regularly, especially after a picnic, to reduce the potential food sources for pests.
  • Outdoor lighting: Consider using outdoor lighting strategically. Lights can attract airborne pests such as flies, so choose lighting that minimizes pest attraction, or use repellents if needed.

Clark Pest Control would like to salute everyone who has served our nation, and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. May we never take them for granted. If you see an active duty member of the military or a veteran this weekend, thanks for their service to our country.

Pest control solutions from Clark Pest Control

Call or text your trusted and friendly pest control experts at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at when pests are spoiling your outdoor activities. We can assess the situation and provide effective pest management solutions tailored to your needs.

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.

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