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Keeping Bugs and Flies Away From Your Picnic

Category Picnics
Eating a meal outside is most enjoyable when insect pests can be deterred from your food. This guide is about keeping bugs and flies away from your picnic.


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August 9, 2010

This time of year we like to be outside camping, picnicking, or just eating outside on our deck. Ants tend to be a problem. To keep them off your camping table or picnic table, clean out four tuna or cat food cans. Next fill the cans about 1/2 full with water and put them under the table legs. The water in the cans will keep the ants from climbing up the table legs to get on the table. Now you can enjoy eating outdoors and not being bothered my pesky ants!

By dorothy wedenoja from New Creek, WV

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March 15, 2011

When going on a picnic, here is a thrifty way to cover food to keep those pesky bugs from enjoying your lunch too. Instead of buying those expensive plastic food covers, purchase shower caps from your local Dollar Tree. They work perfect and are very cheap. You can get 15 shower caps for $1.00.


By Irish from Aurora, CO

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June 23, 20060 found this helpful

When planning an outdoor party, it is always an issue of pests (bugs) flying into beverage pitchers. To control this problem, I hot glued some small metal spoons on two corners of a napkin (on the wrong side of the napkin); hot glue a pretty large button on the other corners of the napkin.


When draped over the pitcher, the spoons lay flat and will not allow pests to get into the pitcher. You can also hot glue pretty buttons on the corners of the napkins or dishtowels to put over platters of food when serving outdoors.

I used a large bandana, a dishtowel and a napkin for this tip!

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By 1 found this helpful
June 20, 2012

Keep those bugs and moths out of your drinks. I have a great can opener that leaves no sharp edges so these lids make great drink covers. If you like to sit outside and have a drink; then you need one of these lids to keep the bugs out. Some of the new cans come with pull-off tops so take the bottoms off of the cans.


By lnygaard from Billings, MT

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 20, 2010

What's the best way to keep bugs and mosquitoes away from the picnic?

By Brenda Walker Hellstrand


June 21, 20100 found this helpful

I stick a few dryer sheets around the picnic table or campsite. At home I soak a rag in vinegar and place it outside for about seven to ten days at a time, this helps repel unwanted pests, mammals as well as insects. :) It is just plain white vinegar soaked onto a rag and placed on my patio.

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June 21, 20100 found this helpful

To keep ants from the picnic table put legs of table in a small saucer of water.

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June 21, 20100 found this helpful

The most effective thing for a picnic is the Off Lamp with the little pads in it, or a butane fired burner with similar pads. The mosquito coils are fairly effective, but you have to have several.


These things are effective for mosquitoes; for other flying insects, wasps, black flies, I don't know. And ants are another thing entirely. I think you have to choose a site where the ants aren't.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 30, 2012

How do you keep bugs away from the picnic table, such as flies?

By Joanna G


June 30, 20120 found this helpful

That has always been the bad part of picnic, if people want to eat outside there is bound to be some kind of bugs around. My biggest complaint would be mosquitoes.

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July 31, 20160 found this helpful

How to keep flies away from picnics

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By 0 found this helpful
June 30, 2012

How do you keep bugs away from the picnic table, such as flies?

By Joanna G


July 1, 20120 found this helpful

If possible, setup a fan on low. It will keep flies and mosquitoes away very well!

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 15, 20110 found this helpful

Put a freshly unwrapped stick of mint flavored gum on the side of your plate at your next picnic. It keeps those pesky flies away from your food.


By truerblue


shoo fly

The best way to keep flies away is if you put cheese at every corner of the blanket. Ants hate cheese, they will go away in no time. (01/01/2006)

By Fly swatter

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August 9, 20100 found this helpful

Ants can totally over take when food is eaten outside. Whether it be my dogs dish or my picnic table, I have found a way to stop them in their tracks

First make sure not one single blade of grass touches the legs of your picnic table, or a small low to the ground dog/cat food table. I have place old carpet under the dog food table. Then place each leg into a coffee can, put oil some the can (any oil should work).

The ants have to walk up the outside, then down the inside of the can, but can't swim through the oil.

By Cat Webber

To keep ants away from your plate on a picnic draw a circle around your plate with chalk. For some reason ants will not cross it.

By Carol Clinton


Keeping Ants Off Your Picnic Table

The ants will also not cross water. I have a miniature moat (uses the same idea as the coffee can on the picnic table where the ants have to walk up the outside and then down the inside of the moat) that I attach to my hummingbird feeders between the hook on the wall and the feeder. Because the ants need to cross the moat (which I fill with water) before they can get to the hanger of the feeder, they will not even try. Before the purchase of the moat, the ants would crawl right into the hummingbird feeder and drown in there, making a mess of the feeder and the hummingbirds didn't even want to feed then. There used to be a steady stream of ants to the feeder. I also used to have to change and fill the sugar water very frequently because of the ants. No more. (04/06/2005)

By brenda newton

Keeping Ants Off Your Picnic Table

I have been using Diatomaceous Earth (D.E) I have cats, dogs, chickens, goats and kids and this stuff is excellent. Make sure you buy the FOOD GRADE version !!! It is a powder and I sprinkle it wherever I dont want ants. I even add it to my pets foods to keep ants out and sprinkle it on their coats to kill fleas and ticks. Check the link (04/26/2005)

By Kay

Keeping Ants Off Your Picnic Table

Any kind of oil will do just fine. (06/17/2006)

By Cat

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