Don’t Let Summer Dining Bug You!
No matter how lovely the idea of outdoor entertaining is the reality can sometimes be a disappointment! There’s nothing worse than sharing your food with the opportunist insect and spending the whole evening scratching as you become the main course.
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Alfresco dining then doesn’t always mean relaxed and intimate but as with anything to do with the home there are plenty of solutions, gadgets and gizmos designed to take the pain out of en plein air.
The Gizmo: one of the most recognisable smells of the summer, aside from BBQs, sun cream and heady floral notes is bug repellant. Available in sprays, lotions and oils it not only smells really bad it has a tendency to sting – ironic given that its purpose is to stop insects from stinging you! However you can supposedly avoid all of this with the latest range of insect repellent candles and burners available on the market. These genius gizmos fill the air with (a somewhat heady) fragrance that insects find repugnant and will move swiftly along without disturbing you or your food – well apart from the obvious smell of citronella or woody smoke. If you shop around you can also find quite stylish designs too so you can add a little glamour whilst keeping your air and mouth bug free. What’s more, most of the scented gizmos available don’t harm the insects so you can keep a clear conscience that the party won’t harm a fly.
The Gadget: From light zappers to vacuum bagged bug suckers the gadgets are a little more high-tech and a whole lot less insect friendly. If you want to be sure you won’t be disturbed by flying marauders then you could invest in some serious artillery to zap and splat your way to pest-free dining. There’s even a watch claiming to repel mosquitos using ultrasonic frequencies. With so much to choose from this is for the seriously gadget-addicted!
The Solution: If you don’t want to waste your time each summer buying candles and zapping flies with ultrasonic waves you could try retractable porch screens. These are mesh-like screens that can be fitted to any porch or sheltered patio that allow you to enjoy the fresh feeling of dining outside without letting a single bug through. The fine mesh doesn’t even spoil your view – and if it isn’t a particularly buzzy day they can be fully retracted. Unlike the other two options this leaves no smelly residue, doesn’t harm the insects and can double up as a way of creating shade and shelter on particularly hot summer days.
Ultimately if you choose to entertain outside you have to be prepared for more visitors than officially on the guest list. It can be part of the charm particularly if it’s a colourful butterfly or beetle, but it can also be a pain in the arm – so perhaps always keep a can of insect bite cream handy and be sure to check your sandwich before you take the first bite!