May 25, 2012 09:31 ET

Five Useful Tips To Help You Prepare For Your BBQ Garden Party

WALSALL, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 25, 2012) - The sun is shining and it's time to bring your barbecue out of storage and prepare for summer get-togethers in the garden.

Everyone knows there's no fun in cleaning sticky, messy, burned-on charcoal that collects on your grill each time you use your barbecue - it's a chore that's enough to put a lot of people off. And it's inevitable that ants, wasps and other irritating insects will come out of hiding to disrupt your fun.

So HomeServe have come up with some simple but effective tips on how to keep your barbecue sparkling and a few useful ideas for keeping those unwanted insects out of the way while you're cooking.

1. Preparing for a barbecue

To make cleaning easy, it's best to prevent food from sticking to your grill in the first place. To do this, coat your grill rack with a generous layer of oil before you start to cook. This will prevent food from sticking to the grill.

2. How to clean your barbecue

If you didn't clean your barbecue properly before storing it away last summer, then here's a tip to help you get it back to its sparkling best. Firstly, let the grill rack soak in warm water with some white vinegar and washing detergent - this will help to loosen the dirt. Then scrub with a wire brush.

3. Cleaning your barbecue with a wire brush

A wire brush is essential when it comes to cleaning your grill rack. The best time to do this is when the grill is warm. You'll find that the burned charcoal can be removed much more easily, as opposed to leaving it to cool right down. And remember - never start to clean your barbecue when the grill is still hot!

4. Combat ant problems

Cinnamon is a great natural deterrent to fighting ant invasions. Sprinkle a line of cinnamon wherever you see ants trying to enter your home and they'll turn on their heels and retreat. This won't kill the colony, but it will discourage them from coming into your home again, as well as creating a lovely smell.

5. Make a natural wasp repellent

Wasps can be a real pain when it comes to enjoying the sunshine and chemical based insect repellent doesn't always smell pleasant. Try creating the illusion of the wasp's natural enemy - the hornet. If a wasp spies a hornet nest it will vacate the area, so make your own hornet's nest by taking a brown paper bag and blowing air into it, tie the end with a rubber band, then hang in a conspicuous area in your garden.

About HomeServe

Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household. With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network. HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home.

HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.

HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating.

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