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How to Keep Critters Out of Your Picnic Basket

August 14, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Orlando 0 Comments

How to Keep Critters Out of Your Picnic Basket

A favorite subject at Florida culinary schools, planning a picnic or outdoor dining event is a great way to showcase some of your favorite recipes. You’ve utilized your finest culinary techniques to prepare the salads and sandwiches, rinsed out the basket and folded your blanket, you are now set for a summer picnic but just as you find that perfect patch of grass and lay out your spread here comes an army of ants to invade your little slice of summertime heaven. There is nothing worse than when wild critters show up as uninvited guests to your outdoor dining event. Whether you are throwing a BBQ or taking a basket on the go here are a few ways to keep pests from ruining your meal and driving you crazy.

Keep Food and Garbage Covered
The easiest way to attract a full out invasion of pests is to leave food uncovered or garbage lying around. Animals are very quick to pick up the scents of your lunch so keeping your food sealed is essential for a pest-free- picnic. Pack all of your food in Tupperware containers or Ziploc bags for easy storage. As soon as you are done eating, pack up all leftovers and make sure to keep garbage tied up tight and away from your blanket. If you must leave open food out, there are two things you can do to keep bugs away. First fill low pans or dishes with water and place the serving bowls inside. By creating a moat around your dishes ants will be unable to cross the water and contaminate your food. If its flies that are giving you trouble look for mesh food covers or food umbrellas. You can find these easy-to-use food covers at nearly any large retailer and they make a quick and portable way to cover food between servings. While insects will still be drawn by the scent of your food the mesh tents will make it impossible for them to gain access to your lunch.

Citronella Candles
How many times has a picnic been ruined by the pesky buzzing of mosquitoes? Nothing will have you running back in the house like the nasty, itchy bites of these flying insects. For your next outdoor event stock up on citronella candles or torches and light them at least 30 minutes before the beginning of your event, this will allow the citronella to disperse and help keep bugs at bay. Made from an oil that is extracted from southeast Asian citronella grass, these candles are extremely effective at keeping mosquitoes away. Keep in mind too that mosquitoes prefer dark and damp places so make sure to spread your blanket out in a dry sunny spot this will cut down on these pesky bugs.

Sprigs of Mint
To keep ants and bees away from your summer picnic bring along a Ziploc bag of mint sprigs. Insects hate the smell of mint so if you sprinkle the leaves around your picnic blanket it will ensure that those invading armies of ants will march right past your food and find easier prey to annoy.

This summer, make picnics part of you weekend routine. They are a great way to enjoy time with friends and family while putting to use a variety of culinary techniques. By planning ahead and taking a few precautions you can ensure that your picnic is critter free and the only thing you will have to worry about is the weather. If you would like to learn more about preparing foods to take to an outdoor BBQ or picnic Florida culinary schools offer a variety of interesting courses that you might enjoy.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Orlando, Florida. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Orlando for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  
Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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