Social media tip to make pumpkins last longer could hurt wildlife

Jack-o’-lanterns can be safely preserved with vinegar-mixture to make them last longer

Squirrel eating a pumpkin. (Pixabay)

SAN ANTONIO – Pumpkins are a Halloween staple and carving them can be a fun family tradition but the Texas heat and humidity makes jack-o’-lanterns wilt quickly.

People are posting on social media about several popular tricks to help keep your pumpkins perky, including using bleach — but that’s not as safe as you might think.

Pumpkins are often left outside on purpose as a way to spruce up Halloween décor and celebrate the season. But some deer, squirrels, raccoons, possums and other animals think pumpkins are delicious to eat.

Some of these animals might start burrowing into uncut pumpkins or prying off pieces of your carved jack-o’-lantern and if it’s covered in bleach, it could harm or kill the animal.

Mountain View Wildlife Rehabilitation shared some advice for preserving pumpkins and suggests using a vinegar mixture instead.

PSA: PLEASE!!!! DO NOT bleach your pumpkins to make them last longer!! We've seen this tip being shared all over social...

Posted by Mountain View Wildlife Rehabilitation on Saturday, October 3, 2020

One part vinegar to 10 parts water will work just as well, according to officials with the rehabilitation center.

Another idea that some say can help keep your pumpkin gourd-geous is to pat down the cut areas of your jack-o’-lantern with a paper towel and then apply petroleum jelly.

Still don’t have a pumpkin yet? This map shows pumpkin patches in San Antonio and surrounding areas.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.