With Halloween just a week away, pumpkins are cropping up on every doorstep. Carved or uncarved, they make a festive decoration throughout the entire fall season.
Pumpkins and gourds, along with being a great way to add a bit of fall cheer to your house and yard, are also a source of food for a number of common animals. Deer, chipmunks, mice, rabbits, moles, woodchucks and squirrels. While many of these animals and critters live outdoors, mice are driven inside by falling temperatures this time of year in some parts of the country.
Even on an enclosed porch, mice can make a quick meal out of pumpkins, especially if they have any sort of soft bruises or blemishes. Mice will generally eat a pumpkin from the bottom in, so unless you are checking your pumpkins every day, there is a good chance you won’t notice the damage until it’s too late.
If you insist on having pumpkins inside your house, or on an enclosed porch, here are some signs that will indicate you have mice interested in your pumpkins: scratch marks on the top of the pumpkin, teeth marks on the side or bottom of the pumpkin before any visible holes are seen (they will be small), mice droppings anywhere near the pumpkin or in the area, and if you missed all of the above, a strong odor of rotting pumpkin. By this point your pumpkin will likely have been chewed on to some degree or another and you’ve missed your chance to take preventative measures.
If you notice mice in the area of your pumpkins you can either move them outdoors or set traps for the mice indoors. I tried traps last year and caught thirteen mice before the season was over. We decided that it wasn’t worth the hassle, and all our pumpkins are outdoors this year.
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