Insect & Pest Solutions

5 Ways to Keep Bees Away from Your Patio Picnic — Patio Perfection

Summer is the best time to eat on your patio — it's also peak season for bees. "Late summer and early fall is when stinging insect colonies reach their peak population levels," says Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entymologist for the National Pest Management Association. Across the United States, we get many different species of bees, including carpenter bees, bumble bees, and honey bees, and we tend to think of yellow jackets as bees, even though they are actually wasps. (So many bees!)

While most bees can and will sting humans, their level of aggression can vary, which can make them an unpredictable (and possibly painful) nuisance — or a real health issue. "People with known allergies to insect stings or asthma should be particularly careful, since the stings could trigger a potentially life-threatening reaction," says Dr. Fredericks. (I know this to be true because I'm still recovering from Macauley Caulkin's untimely death in My Girl, circa 1991.)

So we do not want bees, but they're around. Luckily, there are a few solid things you can do to keep them away from your cookout.

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The Best Things You Can Do to Keep Pests and Insects Out of the Kitchen — Tips from The Kitchn

Some people may prefer granite over marble. Some like galley kitchens versus open concepts. If there is one thing we can all agree on when it comes to the kitchen, though, it's that pests and insects do not belong in there. "Eh, I don't mind all those ants in the pantry," said no home cook ever.

That's why we've been working on a bunch of stories to help you trap, outsmart, and even banish these creepy crawlies from the kitchen. And we've put them all in once place. Keep reading to learn how to handle six of the most common — and not fun! — problems.

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5 Ways to Keep Flies Away from Your Patio Picnic — Patio Perfection

Eating outdoors is one of the best parts of summer — but once you get beyond the safety of your screened windows and doors, flies can be a real pain. They're mostly annoying (all that buzzing around and landing on your arms!), but they're also kinda gross considering how much time they spend flying from surface to surface (raw hamburgers to fruit salad ... ), trailing any bacteria they encounter from place to place.

Here's how to minimize outdoor flies so you can enjoy dining al fresco.

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The Creepy Reason Your Gas Grill May Be Getting Hard to Light — The Grill Guide

When my husband and I set up our first gas grill last summer, I had one major fear. I wasn't afraid we'd overcook everything to a crisp or undercook meats at a dangerous level. And I wasn't worried about hooking up the propane tank incorrectly. What had me so nervous? The idea of spiders (and spider webs, more specifically) in the burner tubes.

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5 Things to Know About Ants in the Kitchen — 5 Things to Know

Until recently, I'd had good luck with ants in the kitchen. (Or rather, without ants in the kitchen!) I'd see maybe a few here or there, but we never had an ant problem. Then, literally the day after interviewing our experts for this story, I walked into my kitchen to discover a horde of them marching across my countertop. Ahhh!

Fortunately, I'm not alone. "Ants are the most commonly reported pest in the country," says Dr. Michael Bentley, staff entomologist for the National Pest Management Association. If you encounter one (or many!), here's what you should know.

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5 Easy Steps for Banishing Flies from the Kitchen — Tips from The Kitchn

We hate to be the ones to tell you this, but the kitchen is a prime location for flies. "Flies are attracted to rotting fruit and vegetables, rotting meat, and any other material they can find around your kitchen sink or trash can," says Chelle Hartzer, an entomologist for Orkin. While most houseflies don't bite, they can carry bacteria like E. coli and salmonella from one spot to another, contaminating healthy foods and potentially making you sick. Plus, they're super annoying!

Here's what you can do to keep them from buzzing around your kitchen.

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