With Halloween just around the corner, you may be preparing to take part in an age-old tradition – carving a pumpkin. Pumpkin carving is something that is loved by everyone, young and old. But, someone else that will enjoy your pumpkin is pests. We’re here to help you find out how to protect pumpkins from pests this Halloween.
Most pests won’t be able to resist the inside of a pumpkin once it’s been carved. This is why it’s important to protect pumpkins from pests. After spending time intricately carving the pumpkin, the last thing you want is for it to be attacked by pests. With these tips, you can keep your jack-o-lantern lit all Halloween long.
Understand Your Pumpkin
To protect pumpkins from pests you need to understand what causes the pumpkin to rot. It’s this process of decay that attracts pests. On the outside of the pumpkin is a hard skin that protects the soft fruit inside.
As soon as you start to carve the pumpkin, you are leaving the gourd vulnerable to bacteria, fungi and mould. The presence of any of these will drastically decrease the shelf life of your pumpkin.
Steps To Protect Pumpkins From Pests
Pick Out The Right Pumpkin
When it comes to trying to protect pumpkins from pests, it all starts with the right pick. Leaning on the master of home decoration herself – Martha Stewart – it is suggested that you avoid picking a pumpkin that’s already on its way out.
To protect pumpkins from pests you want to opt for one that is firm and free from blemishes. Any damage and holes are all weak areas for pests to gain entry and infest your pumpkin.
The Right Location
Placing your pumpkin in the wrong location may cause it to be more prone to pest infestations. Leaving it out in the sun will make it rot faster, meaning that more pests like flies will be attracted to it.
Avoid placing your pumpkin directly on the ground as pests like squirrels will have easier access to it this way.
Clean Out The Guts
Now for the messy part. It’s time to get stuck in and remove all the pulp from the pumpkin. The guts of the pumpkin are what pests love to chow down on. Once you’ve cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin and removed the lid, get rid of all the seeds and innards. You can do this using a spatula or a spoon. You’ll need some muscle to get rid of it all. But removing it all properly reduces the chances of pests being attracted to your pumpkin. It also slows down the decaying process.
Put It In The Fridge
You can easily store your pumpkin to protect it from pest attacks. Clearing out a bit of space in the fridge helps keep the gourd fresh.
Also, keeping your pumpkin inside overnight stops nocturnal pests like mice and rats from taking a bite out of it during the wee hours.
Treat The Pumpkin
About a week after you carve your pumpkin it will begin to rot. However, there is a way you can prolong its life. Carve your pumpkin with the spooky face of your choosing. Once you’ve finished, get some lemon juice and rub it on the outside of the pumpkins skin.
Lemon juice contains acid that helps to stop the pumpkin from rotting. The citrus in the lemon will also deter pests. Lemon juice alternatives are vegetable oil and Vaseline, which work in much the same way.
Use Vinegar Water
Now the outside of the pumpkin has been protected, it’s time to focus on the inside. Make up a solution of water and a small amount of vinegar, then spray it inside the pumpkin. This helps to prevent bugs and other pests from crawling inside the gourd. Pests hate the taste and of vinegar. The water will also help the pumpkin insides to stay moist, which delays the decaying process.
Light Citronella Candles Inside
Candles are a common feature for the inside of a pumpkin at Halloween. Light can attract certain insects to your jack-o-lantern. So why not swap your standard tea-light for a citronella one instead? Instead of attracting insects, the lemony scent will repel the bugs.
We wish all our customers, old and new, a very fun and festive time this Halloween.