Carving pumpkins is a must during the Halloween season. But the only bad thing about carving pumpkins is the fact that they rot so quickly. A trick to keep carved pumpkins lasting long is to spray them with a bleach solution. Many agencies around the country are begging people not to do that for the sake of local wildlife.

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Bleaching Pumpkins Sound Weird

It does, doesn't it? When I think of bleaching pumpkins, I assume you're trying to turn them white. White pumpkins are already a thing so why would they do that to orange-carved pumpkins?

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Well, people actually bleach pumpkins to let them last longer. While it's very exciting to see your jack-o-lantern masterpiece last forever, wildlife sees pumpkins, carved or not, for what they are... food.

Save Quad Cities Wildlife & Stop Bleaching Your Pumpkins

Over the years, I've seen social media posts pleading with people to not spray bleach on their carved pumpkins. Agencies like New Hope Pet Rescue in Syracuse, IN, and Wildwood Wildlife Park & Safari in Minocqua, WI have shared social media posts that animals like squirrels, deer, raccoons, birds, bugs, and much other wildlife consider pumpkins to be food.


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 (yes, I said the W word) and the weather starts to get cold, animals start to become desperate for food and will most likely eat anything, even your bleach-covered pumpkins.

The Social Media Post That Pops Up Almost Every Year

Even though this post is from 2 years ago, it will eventually pop up again in 2022. This is the plea that many animal rescues and animal protective agencies are saying to convince those not to bleach pumpkins this year.

And if that plea doesn't work, here is a phrase I came up with two years ago when I was probably sucking down some Coors Lights:

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

-Connor Kenney

If Not Bleach, Then What Can I Use?

Wildlife agencies and probably a scientist somewhere says that an alternative to bleach to preserve your jack-o-lanterns 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. For those who think bleach is still the best route because it might "keep the animals and bugs away," think again and stop being an a**hole.

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

Fine. If you want to bleach your pumpkins so damn 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.

Quad City Pumpkin Patches

It's pumpkin pickin' time in the Quad Cities. Pumpkins make great fall decorations and they are obviously fun to carve. If buying a pumpkin at a store doesn't cut it and you want the full experience of a pumpkin patch, we have the full list of pumpkin patches throughout the Quad Cities. If we are missing any local pumpkin patches, email us here.

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