Spooky season is rapidly approaching, which means there are apples to pick, cider to make, and pumpkins to carve. Carving pumpkins and other various gourds is an activity enjoyed by many, but the bugs these jack-o-lanterns attract are not as enjoyable. While partaking in the fun fall festivities, it is important to remain vigilant about not attracting unwanted guests into or near your home. For this reason, our insect experts will give helpful advice on how to keep creepy crawlies away from your gourd-eous masterpieces!
What Bugs Are Attracted to Pumpkins?
One of the most common questions about pumpkin carving is: what kind of bugs are attracted to them? According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, "Pumpkins and other squash fruits emit an odor that attracts several types of insects, including bees, wasps, and flies. These insects are attracted to the fruit because they mistake it for a flower". While some bugs are merely attracted to the pumpkin itself, others are drawn to the candlelight illuminating the jack-o-lanterns.
Fruit flies are especially attracted to the gaping gourd as it is a reliable food source. When the pumpkin begins to break down and decompose, the population of fruit flies will increase. If left to decay for an extended period, fly larvae can start to accumulate, increasing your chance of an infestation.
How to Prevent Insects From Overtaking My Jack-o-Lanterns
First and foremost, it is crucial to choose the right pumpkin. When selecting your pumpkin, ensure that it is free of blemishes, bruises, or any other damage that would make it prematurely rot and attract more bugs. Heat will also accelerate the decomposition process, so it may be time to break tradition and use a glow stick or battery-powered candle instead of a real flame. However, if you're not ready to move away from a real candle consider using a citronella candle. Lastly, use a combination of bleach and water to spritz on your pumpkin every day to help keep the creepy crawlies away. The mixture is one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water. Too high a concentration of bleach can cause the pumpkin to decompose faster.
Once the spooky season is over, we recommend throwing away your pumpkins. Allowing them to rot will bring unwanted visitors and a rancid smell.
Your Trusted Pest Control Partner
At Accel Pest & Termite Control, we have a team of experienced and certified pest control professionals dedicated to providing our customers with the best service possible. If you notice unwanted guests in your home, give us a call! (757) 384-1302