Pumpkin carving is a long standing Halloween tradition, and many of us like to get the most out of our Halloween decor. We’d like to share a few tips to keep pests away from your masterpieces this October.
1. Gut your punkin’
After cutting a good-sized opening at the top of the pumpkin, remove as much of the pulp from inside as possible. Use a spoon, knife, ice scream scoop, or the scooping tool from your carving kit to get all the guts out. By slowing the decomposition process and limiting chance for mold this will deter many insects.
2. Store in cool areas
Any jack-o’-lantern needs a cool, dry place to hang out before Halloween. Begin your pumpkin pest management by storing your gourds in the garage or basement, provided the temperate is accommodating – between 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to display your carved pumpkin before Oct. 31, choose a place with limited exposure to the elements, such as on a covered porch or patio or perched in a window facing north. Avoid warm, humid places like laundry rooms or on top of the radiator.
3. Spray it down!
The key to a longer-lasting carved pumpkin – and hence fruit fly pest management – is finding just the right balance of moisture. A dry pumpkin will shrivel up, deforming your jack-o’-lantern’s grin, while too much wetness will create an afro of moldy fuzz in the belly of the pumpkin. In such cases, the bottom and weak areas will rot, and your pest management scheme will have failed.
A simple mixture of 1 teaspoon of bleach and a gallon of room temperature water when sprayed daily on the inside of the pumpkin works simultaneously as a hydrating and antimicrobial solution. After spraying, turn the carved pumpkin upside down to allow it to drain. This ensures the bleach water doesn’t settle at the bottom and assist with the decaying process. When properly done, this technique can delay the rotting process and help prevent insects from swarming your art