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How to Keep Bees, Flies, & Other Pests Away While Eating Outside

How to Keep Bees, Flies, & Other Pests Away While Eating Outside

Have you ever walked outside on a sunny day, taken a deep breath, and felt your stress start to melt away? The power of spending time outdoors is undeniable. In a world where hustle rules and many are suffering from a lack of essential sunshine, a few minutes of enjoying fresh air outdoors can help lower stress hormones and boost endorphins in your body. So, why not take an everyday activity — eating — to the great outdoors?

Benefits of Eating Outside

When you enjoy a meal outside, you’ll enjoy added benefits like:

  • a slower, unrushed meal experience
  • the chance to connect with nature while you eat
  • reenergizing with loved ones while you enjoy the outdoors together
  • boosting your overall mood, thanks to an extra dose of vitamin D
  • reduced stress since a little fresh air and sun can help lower blood pressure

Even with all these perks, eating outdoors can have its drawbacks. A big one? Pests! Not to worry, though — our easy tips can help you keep bees, flies, and other pesky critters away from your food and drinks.

How to Keep Bees Away When Eating Outside

In warm weather, spotting a bee or two is almost unavoidable. Don’t want to share your food and drinks with all the bees in your outdoor space? Follow these tips for keeping bees away while eating outdoors.

1. Use muted colors in your outdoor furnishings.

Bees are attracted to bright colors (think colorful flowers!), so avoid bright hues in your outdoor furniture, napkins, tablecloths, and even clothing. Muted, neutral-toned outdoor furniture can help reduce curious bees around your outdoor eating area—not to mention, neutrals make an excellent backdrop for any backyard party decor!

2. Keep sugary treats inside (or tightly covered).

Besides bright colors, do you know what else attracts bees? Sweet-smelling food and drinks. Whenever possible, put a lid on any sugary drinks so bees don’t mistake them for nectar, and keep dessert inside or in a sealed container until you’re ready to eat it.

3. Use essential oils and other scents that bees don’t like.

Bees don’t like the smell of peppermint, cloves, geranium, or lemongrass. Using essential oils in any of these scents is an easy way to keep bees away. Use the oils on your skin (diluted, of course), or light a candle that contains one or more of those scents.

Don’t have essential oils or candles? A common household object will work just as well: dryer sheets. The scent of fabric softener repels bees, so stashing dryer sheets near your food containers or in your pockets can help keep them at bay.

4. Deter bees with the design of your outdoor space.

You want your outdoor space to be perfect for outdoor parties. And with a little help from Rent-A-Center and some extra touches to keep the bees away, you can do just that. When designing your outdoor space, keep these things in mind:

  • Bees are attracted to puddled water, tall grass, and garbage. Move your outdoor furniture away from overgrown areas or spots that collect water. You’ll want to keep these items even further away from where you keep trash cans.
  • Bees don’t like the scent of marigolds or cucumbers. Have a green thumb? Plant these bee-repellent plants in containers near your outdoor dining area.
  • Bees are territorial. If they think they’re approaching another beehive, they’ll stay away. Make faux bee hives with brown paper bags and hang them around your dining space to trick bees into avoiding the area.

How to Keep Flies Away When Eating Outside

When it comes to uninvited party guests, flies might be the worst. Keep those buzzing pests away from your dinner with these easy tips.

1. Set up fly traps nearby.

Sticky traps designed to attract and trap flies can effectively reduce the number of flies around your outdoor dining area. Cut down on the fly population around you so you can eat in peace!

2. Repel flies with deterring scents.

Much like bees, flies hate certain scents. Cedar oil is a great first choice. Combine it with other scents that deter both bees AND flies, like lemongrass and clove, for a multipurpose pest prevention strategy.

3. Clean up quickly after eating.

Much like bees, flies are attracted to sugar and other food scents or residues. To keep flies away while you relax after your meal, put the dishes away and clean up your outdoor furniture to eliminate any lingering spills or crumbs.

Keeping Other Pests Away from Your Outdoor Dining Space

Most of these tips apply to other pests, too, but there are a few additional steps you can take to keep any kind of bugs away. A ceiling fan or portable fan can create just enough breeze to keep mosquitos, gnats, and flies out of sight. Keeping lights low or off will limit gnats, too. If you have a place for a fire pit, a bonfire is an excellent deterrent for common pests — and a great way to relax in the evenings!

Enjoy the Benefits of Eating Outside… Without the Uninvited Pests!

Go ahead— host that backyard dinner party. You know how to get rid of those pesky bugs. Now you just need the right outdoor dining table and chairs from your local Rent-A-Center. Shop today and start planning your outdoor party for friends and family. We even offer free delivery to make hosting easier!

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The good things in life don’t have to be out of reach. Rent-A-Center is here to make the things you want and need accessible, and Front & Center is your resource for living well on a budget.

Each week, we’ll bring you tips and tricks for infusing simplicity, style—even a little fun—into every aspect of your life and home. From decorating advice to money-saving strategies to opportunities to share with others like you, we’ll give you ideas that inspire. Live well, friends. And send your submissions, suggestions and questions for the blog to blog@rentacenter.com. For all customer service inquiries, please contact our Solution Center team at 1-800-422-8186.