Pumpkins on a farm

Preserve your perfect pumpkin from pests

One of the things that you might enjoy about the fall season is a pumpkin on the front porch and the fond memories of carving your favorite jack o’ lantern. There are other things that like your pumpkins too, such as rats, squirrels and a variety of insects. Now that you have handpicked the perfect pumpkin, how do you protect it?  Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can keep these pests and others away from your pumpkins so that you can enjoy them longer than a few days.

One way to keep pests from gnawing on your pumpkins and to keep them from rotting as quickly is to coat the outside with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. Hairspray or acrylic finish spray also works to keep pests from biting the outside of the pumpkin. Keep your pumpkin in a dry shaded area as sun and rain exposure will speed the decaying process. Before carving your jack o’ lantern, clean the interior and exterior with a bleach solution using one tablespoon bleach per quart of water. After drying about 20 minutes you are ready to carve your favorite spooky face. Remember, once your pumpkin does start to cross over to the other side, dispose of it right away as the next best place for a pest to infest is your home.