As Halloween approaches and you being thinking about decorations, you likely face a dilemma: whether to carve real pumpkins for the holiday. On the one hand, when done right, jack-o’-lanterns and other pumpkin products create a distinct Halloween atmosphere that no other item can match. On the other, pumpkins attract insects in large numbers, and once infested, they quickly change in color while giving off a foul smell. To keep pests off your pumpkins and make the most of the next spooky holiday, try:
- Removing All the Guts
The first step to protecting pumpkins from pests comes when you carve them. Once you’ve opened a pumpkin up, immediately remove all of the guts. Don’t stop with just the big pieces, but take a spoon or knife and scrape away the moist parts that stick to the inside of the pumpkin. The more guts you remove and the drier you render the inside, the less attractive the pumpkin will be to insects. Getting rid of moisture also makes it more difficult for bacteria to take root and cause the gourd to rot.
- Placing Pumpkins Strategically
The simplest way to keep pests off your pumpkins is to set them up in a location that is sheltered from the wind. This will stop insects that are flying with the wind from finding your decorations, reducing the chance that an infestation will take root in the first place. You should also use a cover to further shelter your pumpkins, so that a sudden change in the wind does not leave them exposed.
- Layering with Cardboard
As you mount your pumpkins, consider putting a layer of cardboard underneath them. This will make it easier to see bugs that are trying to attack them. Whenever you see a bug on or near the cardboard, pluck it or shake it off and into a bucket filled with soap and water.
- Spraying with Water
To get rid of pests in tight places, fill a spritzer bottle up with simple tap water and spray your pumpkins each day with a heavy current. This will wash away the bugs that you would not have been able to see or reach otherwise.
- Periodic Pumpkin Cleaning
The longer you intend to leave the pumpkin up, the more likely it is that simply keeping bugs off the outside will not be enough. As bacteria begin to grow on the inside, they will attract fruit flies, speeding the decay process. To get rid of this bacteria and hold off the fruit fly hordes, mix a gallon of water with a teaspoon of bleach and use it to spray the inside. Then turn it upside down so the bleach solution drains out, keeping the interior dry and the pumpkin in good condition.
Don’t leave your pumpkins vulnerable to pests. For more information on getting rid of insects and all other threats, contact Clark’s Termite & Pest Control today.