With the Southeast region’s hot, humid summers, many of its residents look forward to the cooler temperatures the fall season brings. As soon as the weather turns cool and the leaves begin to change, many of us eagerly begin decorating our homes with our favorite fall decor, from pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns to hay bales and Halloween decorations.
If you love celebrating the spirit of the season as much as we do, you probably don’t want your festive decor to attract real spooky pests! Keep reading to see our recommendations on how to avoid a pest scare this season!
Scare Away This Season With Quality Pest Control Solutions
Decorating your porch with pumpkins provides the perfect cozy, autumn feel. However, pumpkins, like other fall decorations, can serve as a tasty treat for various pests. If you want to give your home a spooky flair with seasonal decor minus the pests, make sure to follow these tips and tricks:
Prepare Your Home For Fall Props
Before setting up your seasonal knickknacks, make sure to address any potential problem areas around your home. Keep pests away by cleaning up piles of debris, clutter, and fallen leaves. Trim any overgrown shrubs or bushes and remove debris from your gutters. If you have a bird feeder, make sure there are no fallen seeds on the ground, as this could attract pests. Remove any sources of standing water, too. If you plan on decorating your home’s interior, make sure to close off any open food containers or garbage and recycling bins.
Inspect All Fresh Produce
If you are on the hunt for produce to include in your fall display, whether it be pumpkins, gourds, stalks of corn, floral arrangements, or hay, always make sure to inspect it for pests! Some telltale signs of potential pests include, but are not limited to, chew and bite marks, holes in the product’s leaves, and mold growth. Try picking up straw bales rather than hay bales for your scarecrows and other decor pieces, as it tends to be less attractive to pests.
Protect Your Pumpkins
If you want to preserve your fall decor, try to hold off on carving your pumpkins until later in the season. Carving a pumpkin is essentially a Thanksgiving feast for hungry rodents and other fall critters. Waiting until the week of Halloween can keep your pumpkins fresh longer in addition to being a fun family tradition. When you are carving pumpkins, make sure to remove as much of the “guts” as possible, setting the seeds aside for a tasty treat later (we recommend these pumpkin seed recipes).
Once the pumpkin is cleaned out, make up a solution of diluted bleach solution with one teaspoon of bleach and one gallon of lukewarm water. Then spray the pumpkin with the mix inside and out every few days to deter potential pests, making sure to flip it upside down to dry. Avoid getting the solution on your clothes or porch, as it is known to cause discoloration. Painting the outside of your porch pumpkins is another way to discourage pests from snacking on them.
After designing and carving your jack-o-lantern, try lighting it up with a pest-repelling citronella candle or artificial candle that won’t produce heat to preserve your pumpkin. Placing your pumpkin in a spot away from direct sunlight will also help it last longer. Better yet, consider placing your carved pumpkin inside your home next to a window!
Maintain Your Seasonal Display
The key to keeping your beautiful fall display fresh is doing routine checks. With the fall season comes heavier rainfall, so keep your decor dry by placing it under a covered porch or moving it into the garage or refrigerator temporarily. Be sure to triple check for pests before bringing your decor inside.
It’s best to incorporate artificial decorations whenever possible. Not only will imitations help you avoid a pest infestation, but they can also be used for years to come. If you feel like you need fresh produce for the full fall effect, try decorating from the inside of your home. Using colorful window decor, spooky spider webs, and other festive touches can help you achieve the same look. Consider adding an extra level of spookiness to your home’s exterior with fun colored lighting. Keep in mind that yellow, pink, and orange are the least attractive to pests and are perfect for the season.
Keep Pests From Fall-Ing In Your Home
Fall is in the air and so are seasonal pests! Even when following all of these preventative steps, spooky critters may still find their way inside your home. If you want the peace-of-mind knowing that you can decorate any time of year without the headache of pests, give us a call.
For more than 58 years, Palmetto Exterminators has provided high-quality service to stop pests from invading your property. Be sure to contact us today if you have any questions about our quality pest control solutions, or see how you can get a free pest inspection for your property. We can help you eliminate an infestation and keep your fall decor pest-free this season.