If you are planning on carving up some pumpkins for Halloween, the US Fish and Wildlife office has some tips for you, as it seems more than just people enjoy the carved pumpkins. The tips are good to know, but in reality, you can really carve your pumpkins how you want and how you want to decorate them too.

The post has some good things to know when you are planning on putting your pumpkin outside for Halloween.

It's that time of year again - when people yell at strangers on the internet about proper pumpkin care and wildlife health. 

There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so your favorite wildlife nerds at USFWS are sharing a friendly PSA below with key facts and considerations this spooky szn.

Remember: Critters will likely eat (or at least nibble on!) your carved jack-o’-lanterns. Squirrels, raccoons, deer, moose, foxes, mice and insects might feast on the delicious orange porch snack you leave near your front door. “How nice of you!” they probably think as they eat their weight in slimy pumpkin goodness.

Painted pumpkins can make for an easier way to create a fun or creepy jack-o'-lantern. However, a painted pumpkin can potentially be toxic to wildlife if they eat it. If you choose to paint your pumpkin, please keep it indoors and away from any critters who might feast on its painted flesh. You can also explore nontoxic paint options made with natural ingredients when possible.

In recent years, social media users have posted various “tricks” to keep a carved pumpkin from rotting so quickly. Keep in mind that letting nature take its course is always an option. Carved pumpkins are eventually going to decompose one way or another. Always follow the directions of any product you’re applying to a pumpkin for your safety and others’ (including wildlife!).

Photo courtesy of Danielle Brigida
Some of the takeaways that you should come away with are:
  • Animals are going to be animals and more than likely nibble or chew on your creations. Bring your creations in at night to mitigate what is eating your carved creation.
  • Painted pumpkins are easy to do, and may indicate a food allergy. Leave the painted pumpkins inside as paint can be toxic for many types of animals.
  • The pumpkins are organic, but they rot, no matter how much you preserve them, they will rot.

We've put out some mini-pumpkins on our porch already and it appears that some birds are appreciating the easy meal as we've got a few small holes starting to show towards the top of the gourds.

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