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Protect Your Tailgate Party from Pests

07/05/2016 03:36AM ● Published by Family Features

(Family Features) Whether it’s before a football or baseball game, most sports fans share one thing in common: tailgating. No matter the event or the teams playing in the big game, few things create as strong a sense of camaraderie and community as tailgating. While most fans prepare for the food, drinks, music and games, many overlook or ignore an ever-present threat of the great outdoors: flies and other pests crashing the party.

When you prepare that mouthwatering tailgate menu of burgers, wings and dips, remember your guests aren’t the only ones craving the snacks. Flies are attracted to food left out in the open, and they are more than just a nuisance. Many people underestimate the health threat they pose. Research shows flies are twice as filthy as cockroaches. Each time a fly lands on food or utensils, it can leave behind thousands of germs that can cause illnesses such as diarrhea or food poisoning.

Despite the contamination risk, most people simply wave flies away and continue eating what they’ve touched. In a recent Orkin survey, 61 percent of respondents said that they would still eat their meal after a fly touched it, but only 3 percent said they would continue eating after a cockroach came in contact with the food.

To help protect tailgate guests from flies, follow these tips from Dr. Ron Harrison, entomologist and technical services director for Orkin, a leader in the pest-control industry.

  • Cover food that isn’t being eaten in tightly-sealed containers, keep dishes as cool as possible and dispose of uneaten items immediately.
  • Flies are also attracted to odors other than food. Certain fly species can move easily from rotting, disease-laden garbage to exposed food and serving surfaces. To help avoid a fly frenzy, choose a parking space away from trash cans and portable restrooms, empty trash cans near the tailgate regularly, and keep trash can lids tightly closed.
  • Creating an air flow around food at the tailgate may also help prevent invading flies. Like mosquitoes, most flies are not strong fliers and a fan blowing near food may help keep them away.

Enjoying outdoor events with friends and family requires planning. By taking a few simple steps to avoid conditions that help pests thrive, sports fans can enjoy themselves and be free of pest problems. Find more tips to keep your parties pest-free at

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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