Keeping Your Grilled Food Safe From Bugs, Birds, And Other Pests

Summer's out, autumn's in, and winter's just a few short months away. That's not exactly music to the ears of those who like to grill outdoors in summer, but it's not the end of the grill's days in use, either. Nor is it the end of the bug and bird cycle that annoys so much of the grilling and picnicking population during summer. Birds are still around, and bugs and other pests can even increase, depending on the species. If you plan to continue grilling now that the weather is cooling off, don't get complacent about protecting your food and your grill.

Covers for Everything

Continue using netted covers over dishes, especially those that hold food. An empty container can still attract an errant fly, and you really don't want one of those landing on something that you were planning to use. You can find these netted covers online and in big box stores; they form stiff domes that rest over the top of the food.

Also, inspect the fabric cover for your grill. When your grill isn't in use and has cooled off, it should be covered to protect it from dirt, and pests can sometimes crawl up into the lining of the cover or along the underside of the material. This can occur randomly, simply because the bugs like the dark, protected space provided by the cover. When you remove the cover to start up the grill next, inspect the cover to ensure there are no loosened seams and no traces of potential pests.

Yard Maintenance

The leaf drop associated with autumn looks nice, but it creates hiding places for pests. Before you invite everyone over for a grilling session, clean up the dropped leaves. Not only does that look better, but you won't have to worry about something sneaking out of a leaf pile and sniffing around your food when no one's looking. When pests get hungry, they get brave, so merely having people around might not be enough to ward them off.

Decoy Bird Food

You can't stop pests from entering the outdoor space in your yard, and you certainly don't want to provide food for bugs or rodents. Birds, though, are different because they aren't really likely to try to enter your house if they come into your yard -- in fall, they just want some food and water, not a nesting place. Ensure you've got a couple of full bird feeders placed in the yard away from the human food and the general crowd of people. The idea is that, if the birds see that the humans won't let them near some food, but birdseed is readily available, the birds may stick to the bird feeders.

Protecting your grill and the food is generally easier in autumn but still requires vigilance. Keep everything in order so that your grill continues to be a source of culinary happiness.