If i were to leave a watermelon in my backyard for say, 9 hours overnight in western Canada during autumn, would it attract rats or lead to other negative effects? I'm just thinking because it has the rind I don't know that wildlife would be able to smell it. If it would lead to a negative experience in anyway, is there some kind of spray I can smear it with to detract critters?

If a watermelon wouldn't work out my plan would also work with a cantaloupe or really any other melon.

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    Is the watermelon already cut? Aug 28, 2020 at 13:48
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    I'm trying not to sound condescending.. but where do you think they grow?
    – JeffUK
    Aug 28, 2020 at 14:58
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    @JeffUK To be fair, watermelons are attached to the vine when they grow, and it's not necessarily obvious that a watermelon will still remain alive, and resilient to the outdoors, after it's been harvested. Aug 28, 2020 at 16:59
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    "If a watermelon wouldn't work out my plan would also work with a cantaloupe or really any other melon." Thanks, now I'll spend the rest of the week wondering what sort of diabolical plot could possibly involve leaving a melon in your backyard overnight.
    – NobodyNada
    Aug 28, 2020 at 20:43
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    What would be the difference between your cut watermelon and one still growing, as far rats, etc, were concerned? What does "If a watermelon wouldn't work out my plan would also work with a cantaloupe or really any other melon" mean, please? What plan? Aug 28, 2020 at 21:00

2 Answers 2


If it's intact and undamaged it should be fine. After all they're grown outdoors (in your climate and mine related species like pumpkins may do better). Growers do suffer some losses but that's over the whole growing season. If you do attract rodents or similar creatures, they're not coming from far away, so it's not like you'd be bringing them into the neighbourhood with a one-off treat.

If it's cut, it's better to put it in a sealed plastic box. Birds, slugs, and snails are likely to go for cut fruit. If a frost is likely, better leave it indoors.

I would avoid spraying it with anything unpleasant - even if you wash it afterwards there's a chance of being able to taste it, either from transferring it, or a little getting in through the skin

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    Spraying it with Line X might do the trick.
    – TRiG
    Aug 28, 2020 at 17:49
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    @TRiG I’d never heard of Line X but after watching that video I want to get some and see what I can coat with it. What an amazing product.
    – Darren
    Aug 28, 2020 at 20:07
  • fantastic, thank you
    – Spatrico
    Aug 30, 2020 at 8:15
  • I've never actually heard anyone utter "'struth" outside of a Shakespeare reading.
    – shoover
    Aug 30, 2020 at 15:22

I can answer only for northern Virginia, which I suppose is warmer than western Canada. If I left an intact ripe fruit on my patio overnight, it would not be intact by morning. A watermelon might be more intact than a cantaloupe, which, when ripe, has an aroma that says "Eat Me" even to creatures with a poor sense of smell, such as humans.

But I have raccoons, foxes, and the occasional coyote in addition to many small nibblers. No rats. And no bears, which would make quick work of fruit left outdoors.

Point of curiosity -- why do you want to leave the fruit in your backyard?

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