While you're going door-to-door with your little monkey getting candy from neighbors (or in my case, going bar-to-bar enjoying candy-flavored cocktails), your home may fall victim to Halloween mischief.
It's the biggest night of the year for pranksters, who take full advantage of the "trick" portion of trick-or-treating by covering front yard trees in toilet paper, stuffing mailboxes with stink bombs, and throwing eggs at doors.
And since shooting the brats with a BB gun is considered bad form, here are 6 other ways you can ward off these heathens that go bump in the night:
1. Be Nice to Trick-or-Treaters: I know you don't want to give candy to that 15-year-old who's not even dressed up, but if you don't, you may be pulling toilet paper from your trees tomorrow morning. Just give the kid some Twizzlers.
2. Light It Up: If you have flood lights or exterior lanterns, keep them on throughout the night. And even if you head out for an evening of costume contests, leave the inside lights on to make it look like you're home. Better yet, have the party at your house -- that way the whole gang can chase the tricksters out of the area.
3. Get Rid of Temptations: Decorations and pumpkins are prime targets for destruction. If you do decide to go all out with your decorations, don't spend a lot of money on them, just in case. And those craftily carved jack-o'-lanterns are safer in the window than on the porch.
4. Keep Pets Inside: Sadly, people use Halloween night as an excuse to terrorize pets (especially black cats). Keep them safely inside ... except your huge scary guard dog. Keep him on a leash outside. A very long leash.
5. Tape Up Your Mailbox: Tricksters like to stuff things such as stinkbombs and trash into mailboxes. To avoid getting blasted with a foul smell while getting the next day's mail, tape up your mailbox really good. No teen is going to sit there, cutting through tape at the risk of being caught, just for a prank.
6. Alarm Systems: Even if you're home, keep your alarm system on. If you don't have a home alarm system, see if you can borrow one of the yard signs from a friend claiming that you do (systems sometimes come with multiple signs).
Have you ever had your house terrorized by pranksters on Halloween night?
Image via MelvinSchlubman/Flickr