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Discussion Starter #1
I just carved a jack-o-lantern, and I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to keep animals from eating it. While the pumpkin was out on the porch before I carved it, I noticed a torn spot appear on the flesh. A few days later I noticed another one. I don't know how they got there, except that maybe an animals took a bite out of the pumpkin. So now, I'm thinking if I put the carved pumpkin out there it will be like a smorgusboard for critters.

Does anyone have any tips? Would lemon juice/oil help?
 

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spookiness in the suburbs
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Lemon oil might work; I bet critters couldn't stand the smell or taste. Spritzing the pumpkin with diluted dishwashing soap might make it bitter-tasting and would make it smell odd.

One thing that should work, although it's kinda gross, is predator urine. Yes, nasty, but nothing keeps away prey animals like predator scent. Of course, the smell might keep TOTs away too! Farming supply places often sell predator scent products; Tractor Supply Company comes to mind. Hunters sometimes use urine for scent trails, so an outdoors sporting goods store might have something that would work.

I guess I'm lucky--my pumpkins (uncarved) haven't been gnawed on to date. We have armadillos, possums, racoons, rabbits, feral pigs, and who-knows-what-else around my neighborhood. I'm surprised that one or more of them don't want a hand-out this time of year!

If you hit up on something that works, let us know! I'm sure there are others facing the same thing...
 

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You could try putting a couple moth balls inside the pumpkin. Most animals hate the smell of kamphor and won't go anywhere near it (also great to put them in your garden to keep out skunks and groundhogs!). I don't know if it'll work in this case, since you're probably dealing with rodents. If you have any bitter apple spray that's used to keep rabbits and ferrets from chewing cords, that would probably work too.
 

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A Great Pumpkin
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Squirrels are our nemesis - have sparyed silicone protectant (like what you use on car vinyl interiors) and they've taken one nibble & left them alone. Makes them nice & shiny too. Just be sure to use it only on the outside & the outer carved surfaces.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies, I ended up putting it out last night with some bug spray, lemon oil and dishsoap spritzed on it. It seems to be ok as of now... hopefully nothing will take a chomp out of it before tomorrow!
 
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