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Pat Sullivan: Preserving your pumpkins

Outdoor decorations, especially pumpkins, can be targets for squirrels and other critters.

INDIANAPOLIS — Fall decorations have expanded with a large variety of colors and shapes of pumpkins and gourds that, combined with autumn foliage, adorn porches and yards across Indiana well past Thanksgiving.

Pat Sullivan from Sullivan Hardware and Garden said on 13Sunrise that outdoor decorations, especially pumpkins, can be targets for squirrels and rodents that feed on your investment.

"People spend a lot of money on the decor," Sullivan said, but mainly squirrels, along with warm weather events in October, can wreak havoc with pumpkins, especially if you carve them early in the season.

Sullivan said that a mixture of a pepper sauce, such as tabasco or siracha, mixed with water in a spray bottle and applied to pumpkins can deter squirrels from eating your display.

"We've had squirrels down at our Penn store that literally have ruined an entire crop," Sullivan said. "You know what I hate about squirrels? They never finish one pumpkin. They go from pumpkin to pumpkin!"

You can use several products to preserve a pumpkin so it lasts through the entire fall season. Some people apply Vaseline to help seal the outer skin of a pumpkin. 

Sullivan said WD-40 can also work for the same purpose, but because it's highly flammable, don't use it on a jack-o-lantern that uses a candle. "They have really cool puck lights now that you can buy. They have a little remote, change all the different colors," he said. "You'll love it. Your kids will love it."

Dunking a carved pumpkin in a bucket of a bleach solution will also rehydrate it and make it last through the fall.

Watch Pat's full 13Sunrise segment in the video player:

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