It's fall, and Halloween is right around the corner.
You've probably raked the leaves at least once at this point and set up a pumpkin display. And you aren't the only one that's been busy. There are likely a lot of animals out and about in your neighbourhood, gathering food for the winter.
And guess what pumpkins are?
That's right - food.
Animals are "definitely attracted" to Halloween displays, Bill Dowd tells The Weather Network - and he would know. As the founder and CEO of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, he has more than 30 years of experience dealing with wildlife.
He says the three animals most likely to take a bite out of your pumpkins are squirrels, raccoons, and mice, but other creatures have been known to take a swipe at a Jack-o'-lantern.
In the past, The Weather Network has received videos from viewers featuring curious foxes, deer, and even moose stopping to inspect Halloween decorations.
Did somebody say pumpkins? GIF created by Cheryl Santa Maria. Squirrel: Getty Images Pro. Pumpkins: Canva Pro.
TIPS FOR KEEPING ANIMALS AWAY FROM PUMPKINS
So, what's a homeowner to do?
"Be diligent," Bill says.
Monitor your pumpkin display daily, and look for signs of bite marks or droppings - both obvious indicators you've had a visitor or two.
Discard your pumpkins at the first sign of rot, and if you suspect animals have stopped by, try changing up the location of your display.
Just an FYI: Carved pumpkins are more likely to entice an animal, because the edible material is out in the open, for all the critters to see.