Carved Pumpkin Pest Defense
Out of all the traditions that stem from the fall season, carving pumpkins right before Halloween is one of our favorites. We love it, and we know that plenty of pests love it as well. Yes, a carved pumpkin makes for a great meal for some critters, but you can stop them from turning your perfect carving into something looking like Swiss cheese with these simple tips that we’ve put together for you!
Pick the Right Pumpkin
First, keeping bugs out of your carved pumpkin starts with picking the right pumpkin in the first place. Ideally, the best pumpkin you can buy will be plump, firm, and have a deep orange color with a bright green stem. Picking a pumpkin that is already going soft means that the pumpkin will decompose at a much faster rate once its carved, meaning that it’ll attract all sorts of pests at a much faster rate.
Clean, and Clean Well
Getting out the guts of the pumpkin is never a fun task (it seems like kids only want to do the “carving” part of pumpkin carving) but it is incredibly important for keeping pests away. We know that it can be a smelly job, but critters love that smell and the leftover guts will attract ants and flies galore—not to mention that the remaining guts will make the pumpkin decompose much faster, leading to more pests coming around.
Bring out the Lemons
By now, we hope you understand that the name of the game when it comes to keeping pests away from your carved pumpkin is to slow down the rate of decay. That being said, lemon juice can really help to protect the outside of the pumpkin, thanks to the naturally occurring acids that it has. Simply spray the juice on the outside of the pumpkin and you’ll keep it protected through the elements—not to mention keep pests away thanks to the smell.
Choose a Citronella Candle
When the time finally comes to light up your creation, make sure that you choose a candle that will do the job and keep pests away at the same time. Opting for a citronella candle over a standard candle will still provide the same light you need, but will have the added benefit of keeping all sorts of bugs away. Just one thing to keep in mind: candles of any type will shorten the lifespan of your pumpkin since it literally heats up the inside, so be sure to use it sparingly—namely on Halloween night itself!
Don’t let bugs get the best of the tradition of pumpkin carving! Stick to these tips, and those critters will have little incentive to alter your masterpiece!