Arrow Exterminators Blog

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Don't Let Unwanted Pests Ruin Your Tailgate

With football season in full swing, weekend tailgates are a way of life. Families and friends flock together, decked out in their favorite team’s colors, in a pregame tradition that may be older than the game itself (some say it dates back to similar festivities that took place before Civil War battles). And while there’s nothing better before a big game than a hearty spread and a vicious round of cornhole with fans of the opposing team, there’s nothing worse than having unwanted pests crash the party.

Bugs in the area get just as excited as you about burgers, potato salad, cupcakes and Aunt Jill’s famous lemonade — and they’ll do whatever they can to partake in the feast you’ve laid out. Cooler temperatures may help assuage pests in northern states, but here in the South, unpredictable weather has us avoiding the crawling, flying critters well into the fall.

We despise bugs as much as you do, so we put together a few tips to help you tackle the top pests at your next tailgate and keep you enjoying brats all the way to the Super Bowl, or the College Football Championship.

Wasps & Yellow Jackets

These flying pests have a notorious sweet tooth, and they’ll be attracted to any desserts or sugary drinks you have sitting out. Always store sweets in a sealed container, and put drinks in a lidded pitcher.

It’s easy to forget to replace lids or cover soda bottles, but being diligent about keeping wasps cut off from foods and drinks will help deter them. Setting up a fan to create some wind will also throw wasps off the scent and keep them away from your tailgate.


Mosquitoes are worse in the summer months and tend to taper off when the temperatures drop, but it’s not uncommon in the South to enjoy a few unseasonably warm weekends well into November.

It’s not the food that attracts them though — it’s you and your guests they’re hoping to chow down on. The itchy red welts they leave are enough to want them gone, but the diseases they carry, like West Nile Virus and Chikungunya Fever, are even worse.

Use an insect repellent containing DEET anytime you plan to be outdoors for extended periods of time. Also, be sure to check the area for puddles and standing water before setting up your tents and grills.


Odorous house ants, fire ants and Argentine ants are all attracted to the same delicious foods we are, which means when you set up a great tailgate, they won’t be far behind. Wear covered shoes to protect your toes from angry ant bites, and cover all containers to do the same for your food.

Keep food in sealed containers and cover it immediately after grilling or serving to keep these party crashers from ruining your fun. Try to avoid areas with tall grass and weeds that can hide ant mounds as well — you wouldn’t want one of your guests to step in an anthill.


House flies are one of the most common irritants at pregame get-togethers, and also one of the most annoying. They’ll travel up to 20 miles to join your party, and once they arrive, they aren’t likely to leave. 

Keep your garbage corralled and tied up to prevent flies from taking over your tailgate. When the garbage gets full, take it out immediately. And look out for crumbs lying around and keep foods and drinks covered.

No one wants pests ruining a perfectly good outdoor party, especially before the big game. If you plan to host a tailgate in your backyard this season, a pest professional at Arrow can give you detailed insights specific for your property. Contact us today to set up a free home evaluation.