How To Use Beer To Keep Flying Pests From Bothering You While Outdoors

Picture it. You're serving up the backyard cookout of your dreams with great music and delicious food, when thwap! The sound of your guests slapping away flies and mosquitoes steals the limelight from your hard work and preparation. Well wouldn't you know that an unlikely guest at your party holds the secret to deterring those bothersome bugs — that 30-rack of beer.

Though it will be difficult to sacrifice a can for some undeserving insects, your beer holds the power to ward off a number of bugs from bothering you while lounging outside. From slugs in your garden to fruit flies around your trash can, even a stale, warm beer can eliminate the annoyance that insects inflict upon you and your guests. Set a few easy DIY traps or mix up a beer-repellent cocktail to spray your yard, and your pest problem will be a thing of the past.

How to use beer to repel pests

Depending on your pest issue, there are a few ways to use beer to repel bugs from you and your yard. Like many of your guests, wasps and flies enjoy a brewski now and again. Set a few shallow bowls along the perimeter of your gathering area and fill them with beer, either fresh or flat. Rather than buzzing around you and your hors d'oeuvres, these flying pests will relax by the frothy beer ponds you've laid out.

Another innovative way to use beer to deter pests in your yard is to create your own insect repellent to spray around the yard before you plan to lounge there. You'll need a flat beer, Epsom salt, mouthwash, and dry yeast. In a spray bottle, add 1 cup of each of the first three ingredients and shake to mix. Then add half a packet of dry yeast and shake the bottle until the salt and yeast dissolve. Spray the contents along the perimeter of your yard or gathering place as needed to keep pests at bay.

Why these ingredients work

The initial beer in the bowl trap works simply because beer has sugar in it as part of the fermenting process. As many insects — including wasps and flies — are attracted to sugar, an easy-to-access bowl of bubbly sugar is a great way to distract these pests from you and lure them to a trap. Once they land in the bowl and drink the beer, the wasps and flies become intoxicated by the alcohol content and ultimately drown in the bowl of beer. Check these traps throughout your gathering and refresh them as needed. Be sure to discard the liquid and carcasses at the end of the night to avoid luring more bugs or pests to your yard.

The DIY insect repellent spray is successful because mouthwash contains the natural oil eucalyptol, a common ingredient in many insect repellents. Though the percentage of eucalyptol in this insect repellent is significantly lower than standard commercial repellents and will likely require frequent applications to be effective in deterring flying pests like mosquitoes, the DIY repellent is much safer for you and your guests. Notably, many commercial alternatives contain harmful chemicals like permethrin. Permethrin is a neurotoxin that is highly toxic to animals, insects, and even humans. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also considers it to be a carcinogen. Therefore, your natural homemade beer and mouthwash concoction is healthier for you and the ecosystem in your yard.