Do not follow the online advice to dump your used jack-o-lantern on Crown land to feed wild animals.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says it’s illegal and ill-advised.
MNRF outreach specialist Megan Legge suggests you have your pumpkins composted instead.
You can leave them out on your own property, but Legge says that can attract animals, like black bears.
“Animals can become dependent on artificial food sources like pumpkins,” she notes, “and they lose their natural fear of humans and pets, becoming more prone to conflict.”
It can also cause several species to gather in large numbers.
“This kind of concentration of animals in one area can spread parasites and disease and cause destruction of that habitat,” says Legge.
She adds that dumping pumpkins beside roads is a public safety issue, increasing the risk of animal-vehicle collisions.
***With files from Bob McIntyre