How to Keep Bugs Out of Your Jack-O'-Lantern

Choosing and carving a pumpkin is a cherished fall tradition. After working hard to create the perfect jack-o’-lantern we want to proudly display it on our porch. However, a decomposing pumpkin with a flickering light inside will be irresistible for creepy crawlies.
These 6 tips will help you keep your Jack-O’lantern looking its best.

1. Choose the Right Pumpkin

It all starts in the pumpkin patch. Choosing a pumpkin that’s too ripe might mean you’ll be throwing your hard work in the garbage after only a couple of days. Try selecting the most under-ripe pumpkin you can. It should be firm, with no soft spots or blemishes.

2. Wait to Carve

If you’re excited about all things fall, it may be hard to wait to carve your pumpkin. Try to stay patient though, because once carved, pumpkins usually last a week before rotting out. If you want your Jack-o’-lantern outside for Halloween, try not to carve your pumpkin more than one week in advance.

3. Get All the Guts Out

The stringy guts will start to rot first, so scrape the inside as much as possible before carving your pumpkin.

4. Coat the Pumpkin

Rubbing lemon juice on the outside will help keep the pumpkin from browning while spraying a bleach solution on the inside will help keep fungus from growing. ½ a teaspoon of bleach added to a spray bottle of water will do the trick. This step may earn you another day or two before your pumpkin starts to slump onto itself.

5. Bring it Inside

If possible, try to bring your pumpkin inside if the weather outside is less than 55 degrees or more than 65 degrees.

6. Use a Flameless Candle

Real tea light candles end up cooking the interior of the pumpkins. Using a flameless candle to light your jack-o’-lantern will help prevent it from getting too hot & rotting faster.