BBQ GRILLS & PESTS
Creepy-Crawlies in your BBQ grill hiding and thriving on old scraps of BBQ chared food isn’t the nicest thing one can think about, but you remember how good the food was, why wouldn’t pest’s agree right? Well if its been more than a couple of months since your last BBQ grill cleaning you have unwelcomed guests!
Of course, these little guys migrate into your grill for their usual BBQ grill festival – one that you surely did not approve at the last insect only HOA meeting! But now what? What are you to do? Even if you get rid of them now, they will be BACK! Or maybe not. That’s what this article is all about; how to deal with and be rid of these uninvited party crashers.
The following article especially applies to BBQ grills in Palm Beach county, because South Florida is definitely one of the world’s insect mechas. It’s that time of the season, THE LOVE BUGS, MOSQUITOS, AND NATS ARE COMING!
COMMON BBQ GRILL PESTS IN SOUTH FLORIDA
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, we’re going to give you a bit more here. Rodents make the top spot on the list for a reason; they wreak the most havoc and are the most threatening health-wise. No, it’s not like the bubonic plague, but we all know it is true these guys are carriers of disease and ferociously eat anything; including the very wires that power your grill.
Now, this issue is much more common in outdoor kitchen islands, than it is in stand-alone BBQ grills, but we have seen both before; especially on the bigger 6 burner grills. On these grills its a simple matter of being sure to remove doors and drawers and cleaning the inside cabinet. On islands, it’s a bit more involved. There are often entry points creepy-crawlies like to use and these can be covered by a mesh such as the one shown below.
Have a look around your island for any entry points. Outdoor Kitchen Islands, if installed by people that know what their doing, have numerous vents placed strategically based on the kind of gas your grill uses. If you do not find any vents, that’s a bigger issue than this article’s point; ticking time bomb anyone? Get that fixed ASAP! What we’re looking for though is damaged vents where the mesh or vent rods have broken therefore opening the doors of the kingdom for any creepy-crawly that might wander on in.
Also, have a look at the inside of the island where gas plumbing and or electrical comes in. These entry points, once tighter fitting, may have crumbled bigger and or, our little clever and persistent not friends may have bored the hole out themselves; again it becomes like leaving your home’s door wide open, and on in they come marching.
Now, there are other points of entry to keep in mind; these a bit more difficult to deal with. U-Burners, typically make great homes for insects. They find their way in through the burner end openings. Have a look at the image below. Weber Grills solves this issue by default with what they call spider screens, but this isn’t always the case in other grills. Still, this image shows the fix perfectly. Though it may be tricky to access and install, this is highly recommended.
COMMON INSECTS IN YOUR BBQ GRILL
Though unlikely, contracting a life-threatening illness from your barbecue is possible. Far more likely, however, is something like being food poisoned. Cockroaches, for instance, are known carriers of cholera, salmonella, E.coli, typhoid, and dysentery. One way they spread such disease is from the way they scavenge for food. Along their journey they are defecating and vomiting all over the place; something like flies – when they land, there is regurgitation that is used to pre-digest food it may find.
Be sure to properly and regularly clean your grill, and don’t forget to pull out everything so that you can access the deepest regions of your grill head where these vermin are likely to be hiding or laying in their grave.
SPIDERS, ANTS, FLIES & MOSQUITOES
The below image is one of our recent grill cleanings in Boca Raton FL. This is not an uncommon sight, and more the result of abandoning the required maintenance. We know we see fie’s, but the rest we can’t even identify. Truthfully, this isn’t so much a health hazard as it is simply disgusting. Though, a graveyard of insects cant be considered kosher, right?
Sorry Steven, your turn. 🙂
So, it’s an issue that needs addressing and in this case that meant a deep bbq grill cleaning. There isn’t much you can do to the grill, aside from applying mesh if possible to a few key spots depending on your grills anatomy, but mostly preventative measures can help this situation to not get out of hand like this. Regular cleaning and there are numerous ways to reduce the insect population around your house.
Now, before we leave you lets get to the solutions!
PROPANE – INSECTS LOVE IT
We’ve seen it often enough, bee’s and fly’s swarming around a Propane tank. This is an instant indicator that there is a leak. Insects love propane though the reasons are yet unclear as to why. In theory however it’s easy to see the correlation. Insects like bees thrive on plant life as they are attracted to pollen, but what more comes from that plant life? A whole lot of Co2. When a grills propane system is firing correctly you get a blue flame. This indicates the propane to air mixture is right; in this very little Carbon Monoxide is being produced. However, if the flames are more yellow, there’s a gas to air ratio issue and this burn is creating a lot of Carbon Monoxide. This can serve as a beacon for insects in the area. If you notice any of these issues you should call your local propane delivery supplier and have the propane system inspected by a pro.
BBQ GRILL CLEANING
This is obviously the #1 solution. Keeping the grill on a regularly scheduled grill cleaning cycle will do wonders for your grills’ sanitation. In this, all that would attract our unwanted guests would be no more, but we’re not talking about a quick brushup. It’s crucial that you get inside the cook box to get all the scraps and grease out, and that’s where professional grill cleaning companies step in to help. It’s not an easy job by no means.
• Outdoor Kitchens – find entry points that rodents might use to infiltrate your outdoor kitchen island.
• Apply mesh or replace broken vents to any of the ventilation spots.
• Don’t forget to also check your gas, plumbing, and electrical entries and fill in any gaps so that the conduit perimeter is sealed tight.
• When done using the grill, be sure to run a burn-off cycle for about 15 minutes to eliminate any food leftover in the grill head.
• Be sure to wipe the grill down and get it professionally cleaned, depending on how often you use it, but no less than once a year.
Now for preventative measures.
• Mow the grass the day before your cookout. This will help reduce harborage for bugs such as ticks that could be hanging out in tall grass or weeds.
• Pests love gardens and fruit trees. Pick up fallen fruit and remove it from the yard.
• Drain any stagnant or standing water and get rid of any other.
• Have an EPA-approved insect repellent with DEET on hand to ward off mosquitoes.
• Have paper towels and napkins at the ready, and make sure the food prep area is clean of crumbs by wiping down surfaces and cleaning up spills as they happen.
• Cover food until it’s ready to be served to keep from attracting pests. Immediately re-cover food after serving.
• Keep trashcans on the outside perimeter and downwind of your food area.
• Use containers that have a tightly sealed lid to keep ants, stinging insects and flies away from food and drinks after they’ve been discarded.
• Keep the lids on all beverage containers and store drinks in a cooler until they’re needed. Stinging insects are attracted to sweet drinks such as soda and juice.
• Use a small box fan to create a breeze over the food and dining tables to deter flies from sticking around.
• A bit of garlic in water applied to light bulb heads will create yet another repellent.
• Moth-baals soaked in peppermint is yet another deterrent.
• Citronella candles, of course, work well too!
Well, that will do it. Yes, there is much here to do and think about. For us, it’s an everyday thing so if you want the pros at Grill Tanks Plus to handle it give us a call and we’ll be there ASAP!