Can I leave my jack-o’-lantern outside for the squirrels to eat?
A. Great question! There are a couple of things to consider here.
First is that while pumpkin seeds can be a good source of energy for squirrels, you need to be careful. After a period of time the pumpkin will begin to ferment. While squirrels will likely continue to eat the pumpkin, they’ll essentially become drunk. They won’t be able to climb or even walk or run properly. This can result in injury from a fall or being vulnerable to a predator.
The second thing to consider is that we don’t encourage the feeding of wildlife. There are a number of reasons for this including:
Squirrels can lose their natural fear of people when they are fed. Not everyone in the neighborhood appreciates squirrels and could react differently to a friendly or approaching squirrel.
Feeding also causes an unnatural number of squirrels to congregate in an area, larger than what the surrounding natural resources can support. This can also lead to an increase in the spread of diseases such as mange.
So all things considered I would find an alternate method of getting rid of my jack-o’-lantern after Halloween. For instance you can:
Find a delicious pumpkin recipe and use your pumpkin (only if it’s still fresh) to create delicious, cookies, muffins, pies, even soup.
Roast the seeds for a healthy snack.
You can put your jack-o’-lantern in the compost. If it doesn’t fit it can be cut into smaller pieces