We all love our barbecues, they're the staple of our backyard and hands down the best way to cook in summer (or any time of year). Do you know who else loves your barbecue? Pests. Of all shapes and sizes, they see a big metal structure that offers shelter from the weather, and they jump on in.
It's common to find spiders, ants, wasps, mice and rats all making themselves at home deep in the crevices of your barbecue. This obviously isn't ideal and you're probably wondering how to get rid of them or keep them away in the first place.
This happened to me personally this winter actually. After uncovering my BBQ after not using it for a few months over winter, I was greeted with the horrible sight of mice droppings. Not the most appetising when you've got several juicy steaks waiting to be seared.
Anyway, here are a few ways to combat this and keep your BBQ pest free.
Keep your barbecue covered
This one is a bit of a double-edged sword. Keeping your BBQ covered when not in use, especially for long periods, is obviously the best thing for the structural care of the barbecue. What you have to hope for is that a cover doesn't make your BBQ even more inviting to pests. All it's doing is providing further shelter for them at the end of the day.
Combat this by purchasing a cover with tie-up straps at the bottom. This allows you to more effectively seal your cover tight around the barbecue. Stopping at least larger pests from entering in through the bottom.
Clean your BBQ
This one should be self-explanatory, but cleaning is the bane of any barbecuer's existence it seems. You don't have to do a thorough deep clean every time, but at least remove food scraps and built-up grease from the plate and fat container. Leaving old food scraps sitting there provides pests with a food source that will keep them coming for more. All you've got to do is a light scrape over your plate, disposing of the scraps in a bin. Heatlie's cleaning kit is a great option for a thorough clean.
Put a lid on it
A great feature of a Heatlie is its lid. A lid is the best way to protect the plate from the elements and pests. The plate is the last place you want an infestation to occur, due to your food being cooked on there and all.
Block up your burners
Burners are a great hiding place for smaller pests like spiders, wasps and ants. They're small, dark and hidden away. Wasp nests are especially painful due to how they block up the burner and prevent gas from entering. Spider webs are a classic cause for blocked up gas lines in a BBQ or a gas bottle as well.
To avoid this happening in the first place you can simply put a physical barrier over the openings at either end of your burner. Just don't forget to remove it when you go to use the BBQ.
If you already have a wasp nest in your BBQ, we can't condone attempting to remove it DIY. Wasps are dangerous and aggressive so it's best to call a professional for this one. Avoid spraying bug spray in your BBQ, its flammable and not at all food safe.
Mouse nests in your BBQ
This is by far the worst form of pest that can invade your BBQ. Mice are small, agile and hard to track. Worst of all they carry disease. Their droppings are poisonous to humans, so the sight of droppings is almost an excuse to completely right off your BBQ and get a new one.
If you do find this in your BBQ, be sure to use protection when removing it. Wear gloves and facemask, and clean your plate THOROUGHLY with disinfectant soap and searing hot water.
To sum up
Your best bet is to make your BBQ as uninhabitable as possible. Use all the deterrents at your disposal. Keep traps nearby if needed and use physical barriers to plug up holes and entry points.
A clean and pest free barbecue is all we could ever ask for, and by taking these steps into consideration, you'll achieve it in no time!