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How to Keep Ants off Your Picnic Table

Picnics are a wonderful way to share yummy food in the great outdoors. Ants think so too! You can keep pesky ants away with just a few simple actions.


  • Step 1: Use outdoor insect fogger Set off an outdoor insect fogger in the picnic area. The fogger spreads a preventative into the air and onto the surrounding trees, shrubs, and plants.
  • : Carefully read and follow the instructions on the fogger's label. A fogger should only be used a few times a year in seasons of high use.
  • Step 2: Keep area clean Keep the area clean by wiping the table with a soapy sponge and by keeping the area clear of food debris and litter.
  • Step 3: Empty and wash garbage cans Empty garbage cans often and occasionally wash them with detergent or ammonia to deter ants and insects.
  • TIP: Locate your garbage cans at least 50 feet from your picnic table to reduce the chance of an ant attack.
  • Step 4: Spray around picnic table Spray the area around the picnic table with an ant and flying insect repellent at least 15 minutes before the planned activity.
  • Step 5: Store food in closed containers Store all picnic foods in containers with lids. Keep the food covered when it's not being served. This discourages food smells from attracting pests.
  • Step 6: Clean up spills immediately Clean up food spills as soon as possible – on the table and on the ground.
  • Step 7: Clean area thoroughly after picnic Clean the area thoroughly after your picnic. Wash and rinse the table and dispose of trash appropriately.
  • FACT: Did you know? If not sufficiently controlled, Argentine ants threaten to wipe out native species in California.

You Will Need

  • An outdoor insect fogger
  • Soap and water
  • A sponge
  • Garbage cans
  • Detergent or ammonia
  • An outdoor ant and flying insect repellant
  • Food containers with lids

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