TUCSON, Ariz. – With college football season beginning Labor Day weekend and professional football starting one week later, millions of football fans around the United States are once again taking part in the art and spirit of tailgating. As grand picnics outside sports venues, tailgates are a perfect vehicle for unwanted insects to join the party; however, there are ways to keep pests from spoiling the fun.
For starters, it is important to know what type of insects will be on the offensive at a tailgate party before you can prepare a proper defense.
Bob Hartley, tailgating guru and VP of technical services for Truly Nolen of America, said there are three insects to be aware of during your tailgating festivities.
“Crazy ants, mosquitoes and brown recluse spiders all fit the profile of tailgate party crashers,” said Hartley. “Each of these insects has the ability to cause problems for food, guests and pets under the right conditions.”
One proven method of keeping crazy ants away is to make use of properly sealed food containers, because food scent will otherwise attract these uninvited guests.
Meanwhile, with football starting during the warm-weather time of year, the range of impact mosquitoes can have during tailgating season is tremendous. It is important to drain any sources of standing water near your favorite tailgating spot. In addition, applying insect repellent repeatedly to exposed skin and clothing can help keep mosquitoes at bay while outdoors.
Hartley said one of the sneakier pests at a tailgate is likely to be the brown recluse spider. “Because tailgaters often take their shoes off and relax in the hours prior to a football game, these spiders can crawl into shoes without warning,” said Hartley. “I cannot stress enough the importance of shaking out shoes prior to putting them back on in order to minimize the possibility of being bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider, and if you are changing clothes prior to the game, avoid keeping clothing on the floor as well.”
By taking these simple precautions, Hartley said football fans around the country can keep insects from making touchdowns on bodies.