If you grow pumpkins or simply use the fruit as a holiday decoration, remember to check for pests. Numerous insects and rodents like to feed on these delicious gourds as well as their leaves and vines.
Slugs usually attack pumpkins before the plant has fully matured. The same goes for snails. When you try to protect the fruit, keep in mind that these slimy pests won't travel through sandy areas.
Aphids damage a wide range of plants. A heavy infestation can cause the leaves to turn yellow. These parasites also transmit diseases from one plant to another and leave sticky droppings behind. Ladybugs eat aphids, but ants may protect them.
Although they won't attack jack-o'-lanterns, vine borers can have a major impact on any pumpkin patch. These insects tunnel into vines before consuming the plant's juices. This causes the vines to dry out and prevents your pumpkins from growing.
Squash bugs primarily target green parts of the plant. They lay eggs that stick to the leaves. You might see this pest crawl across the underside of a leaf. It's difficult to catch a squash bug because the insect will swiftly escape to a new hiding place.
Various beetles infest pumpkins; they normally target the vines. One common species is known as the red pumpkin beetle. Its larvae attack this plant and continue to do so after they mature.
Not only would you not want pests in your pumpkins, but you're going to want to keep pests like rodents out of your home.
Rodents are pests you must watch out for when harvesting or using pumpkins as a decoration. Groundhogs eat ripe or nearly ripe fruit. This animal is also called a woodchuck. It can climb over or burrow under most barriers. A groundhog will chew through almost any material to reach food.
If a jack-o'-lantern sits on your porch too long and starts to decompose, a rat may crawl inside of it. Mice, squirrels and chipmunks often engage in similar behavior. All of these rodents want to devour the seeds.
Moles also enjoy eating pumpkin seeds, but they use a different technique to reach this tasty meal. A mole will dig a tunnel under the plant and burrow into the gourd from below. Sadly, this behavior destroys the roots as well.
If harmful creatures have invaded your Jacksonville-area home or farm, B&B Exterminating can help. Our pest control business has reliably served Florida residents for more than 75 years. Please contact us for a free quote.