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AFRAID OF PESTS? BEWARE OF HALLOWEEN PUMPKINS!

By Chris Williams on October 28, 2019.

Is there a carved pumpkin, or two, sitting on your front porch right now?

Then you should be afraid…be very afraid! 

We’ve posted blogs before about household pests associated with Christmas and holiday decorations, such as bugs that hitchhike in on Christmas trees and greens, or wood-boring beetles and termites that hide in firewood. We didn’t really think about the fact that certain Halloween decorations can also introduce unwanted bugs and even rodents into a home.

A carved pumpkin is eerily decorative, but it is also garden produce, and will serve as food for the same creatures that would attack other garden vegetables. Your pumpkin will be even more desirable because there are only skeleton food sources available outside. Garden crops and insects are harder to find in late October.

For those who are really spooked by the idea of pests, other options are to use a fake pumpkin on your porch or put your carved and lighted natural pumpkin inside and display it through a window. It may also help to place your carved pumpkin farther from your home and your front door, like at the top of the driveway, where it can still scare the little ghouls and boys.

THINGS CAN GET EVEN SCARIER AFTER HALLOWEEN!

Spiders on a carved pumpkin. Shutterstock.

Now, if you happen to be reading this after Halloween, and that pumpkin is still there on your porch, you have even more reason to be afraid. You probably know that many pests (dare we say most pests) are more attracted to decaying or rotting foods than fresh foods. Things that we generally call “garbage.” As that pumpkin decomposes, it’s apt to attract fruit flies, house flies, fungus beetles, and ants, to name a few. If cobwebs then appear on your porch, it’s because predatory spiders are attracted to any insects that are attracted to the pumpkin.

Fortunately, for those of us in New England, the outside temperatures will be cool enough that there should be fewer active insect pests. (Imagine if your slowly rotting pumpkin is sitting outside in steamy Florida!) Our early November temperatures aren’t going to dissuade zombie rodents, however. This is the time of year when rats and mice are actively looking for food sources and looking for nice warm places (your home?) to spend the winter. So, don’t entice mice to your front door with a pumpkin and fly maggot buffet. When Halloween ends, so should the pumpkin.

If we’ve been too morbid and scared you about impending pest infestations, know that this is supposed to be a fun, seasonal, tongue-in-cheek blog with just a little bit of creepy reality thrown in. You’re no doubt more likely to have pest problems at other times of the year. So we say carve that pumpkin and enjoy! And if you end up with pest problems, call us!

If you’re in the throes of Halloween decorating, or just thinking about it, here are a few Colonial blogs to help put you in the proper mood:

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