Keeping Your Memorial Day Activities Pest Free

May 24, 2016, 13:38 PM by Fred Speer

California residents should be seeing increased insect pest activity in and around their homes as we move toward the holiday weekend. This is partly due to the warmer temperatures we’re experiencing. But also, pests are just being pests – they’re more aggressive at seeking alternate sources of food, water, and harborage inside homes.

Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is next Monday, and the Clark Man wants to help you keep your home and holiday activities pest-free and fun!

How can you keep such pests as flies, cockroaches, stinging insects, and ants from becoming a nuisance and potential health threat to you and your picnic basket? Following good food safety practices and a healthy dose of common sense before, during, and after an outdoor meal can protect you, your family, and your guests.

Pests, especially stinging insects and ants, are attracted to food that has a sugar content – for example, soft drinks, cake frosting, barbecue sauces, and marinades. Flies and cockroaches have less-discriminating taste palates, and will feast on crumbs, oils, grease, garbage, and waste; for flies, the smellier the better, as they are attracted to foul odors.

Aside from spoiling a perfectly good burger or bowl of fruit, these pests can spread harmful bacteria, including Salmonella or E. coli, by coming in contact with your food or food preparation surfaces after they have visited such other less-appetizing items as rotting garbage, feces, or animal carcasses.

When planning your Memorial Day picnic or any summer outdoor event that involves food, make sure to follow good sanitation and food preparation practices. Some of the things you can do include:

  • Pick up leftover bottles and wrappers and clean up crumbs and spills
  • Frequently empty garbage or recycle bins to make your picnic or cookout less attractive to these hungry pests
  • Keep food tightly covered in plastic containers or covered with foil or plastic wrap before and after cooking
  • Also, keep soda cans covered after they’ve been opened, as the sugary, sweet ingredients can attract ants or stinging insects

Finally, as we prepare for the long-holiday weekend, Clark Pest Control would like to salute all of those who have served our great nation, and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. May we never take them for granted. And if you see a veteran this weekend, thank them for their service to our country.

If you’re experiencing a pest problem in your home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at

Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.