As Halloween inches closer, many people around the Twin Tiers are putting out jack-o-lanterns to celebrate. But you may want to be careful when putting out pumpkins this year as there’s a new type of vandal on the loose – squirrels!

As pumpkins are placed out on porches, many are being quickly devoured by squirrels. This is a crime specific to 2020. This is actually thanks to the ongoing drought we are currently under here in central New York and Pennsylvania.

Owner of Chamberlain Acres, Charlie Todd, explained to 18 News why these critters are targeting pumpkins this year. “The majority of it was brought on by drought this year. If you think about it, we have had no real substantial rain. So a lot of the vegetation squirrels usually eat. Have absolutely no moisture in them, ” said Todd.

There are many remedies floating around on the internet on how to protect your pumpkins from these critters such as Vaseline, vinegar, or soap. However, Charlie says nothing really will help this year as they are just so desperate for food and water. He recommends keeping all of the pumpkins inside as unfortunately this looks like it might be a losing battle for pumpkins this year.