Ants are some of the world’s most social and fascinating insects. Unfortunately, they also routinely turn up uninvited at backyard barbecues. An ant has distinctive features including a tiny thorax between a bulbous head and abdomen. Ants also have bent antennae that resemble elbows.

Most ant species do not produce food within their colonies. Therefore, they have to forage for food. An ant can travel quite far from its colony to find food — and when it finds food, it uses pheromones to signal other ants in the foraging party. If an ant happens to discover the serving table for your Memorial Day barbecue, you will very quickly have to deal with a table full of ants.

If you want to host a barbecue this summer, take some time beforehand to plan a strategy for keeping ants away. These are some of our favorite tips.

Water Barriers

Most ant species either can’t swim or will avoid water whenever possible. Since most ants also cannot fly, submerging the legs of your serving table is an easy way to make sure that you won’t have to deal with ants. Start with four buckets or pie tins. Fill them with water, and then put the legs of the serving table inside them. Since ants avoid water, they’ll have no way to climb the legs of the table.

Other Natural Ant Deterrents

If you don’t have the ability to move your serving table, you can use another natural deterrent to keep ants away. Try spreading baby powder or ground cinnamon around the perimeter of the table. You can also spray your tablecloth with apple cider vinegar or cinnamon oil. Alternatively, rub the tablecloth with a cut onion. Ants avoid walking over powder — and they dislike the smells of onions, cinnamon and vinegar.

Protect Your Food and Drinks

During your Memorial Day barbecue, you can’t expect all of your guests to stay at a single table. To help keep ants away from the party, serve drinks in clear covered cups with straws. You’ll make it difficult for ants to get inside one of the cups — and if one does happen to get inside, at least someone will notice. If you serve fruit at the barbecue, keep it covered until you’re ready to give it to your guests. You can also use fruit rinds as ant decoys; throw them far from where your guests will be.

Call Bug Out for your pest control needs. Do you need help eliminating ants or other pests from your home? Call us now for a free consultation.