As crazy as it sounds, people in Iowa are trying to preserve their carved pumpkins. The way the internet tells you to do it can be really harmful and deadly to animals which is why I'm here to tell you to stop. Think of it as my annual PSA.

attachment-Iowa Bleaching Pumpkins

People in Iowa and throughout the U.S. are using this method to preserve their pumpkins to let them last longer. Sure, you want your Jack-o'-Lantern masterpiece to last forever, but wildlife sees pumpkins, carved or not, for what they are: food.

Save Iowa Wildlife, Stop Bleaching Your Pumpkins

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Over the years, I've seen social media posts pleading with people to not spray bleach on their carved pumpkins. As humans, we know that bleach is very harmful and often deadly when digested.


Unlike humans, animals and bugs can't smell poison or when food seems off. As we get closer to wintertime, animals start to become desperate for food and will most likely eat anything, even your bleach-covered pumpkins.

A Plea From Wildlife Agencies

Agencies in Indiana and Wisconsin have shared social media posts that animals like squirrels, deer, raccoons, birds, bugs, and much other wildlife consider pumpkins to be food.

This is the plea that many animal rescues and animal protective agencies are making to convince those not to bleach pumpkins this year.

And if that plea doesn't work, here is a phrase I came up with three years ago that somehow makes sense, I think:

A rat doesn't go after the cheese because it's in the trap, it goes after it because it's hungry.

-Connor Kenney

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Safer Way To Keep Your Jack-o'-Lantern Longer

Wildlife agencies and probably a scientist somewhere say that an alternative to bleach to preserve your Jack-o'-Lantern longer is vinegar.

Try using a mixture of one part vinegar to 10 parts water in a spray bottle, spray your carved pumpkin inside and out, and it should do the same as bleach. Vinegar is not harmful to wildlife so use that instead if you're leaving your carved pumpkins outside.

I'm Still Not Convinced. When Can I Use The Bleach Mixture?

Fine. If you want to bleach your pumpkins so bad, go for it. But there is only one rule:

  1. Your bleached pumpkin must stay indoors, away from children and pets

Below is the video on how to bleach your pumpkins and you can learn from this link from Clorox.

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