This weekend I plan to do my annual pumpkin crawl. This is my annual trek out to find the perfect pumpkins for Halloween. I try to buy one a every pumpkin patch I visit and in between farm markets there are stops for lunch, maybe an adult beverage and always apple cider donuts. The tradition started a few years back and it has now turn into a can't miss event.

So what do you do once you find the perfect pumpkin to prevent it from becoming a snack for your local wildlife before Halloween? My first thought is to leave it inside but that's not fun. If you have carved it really well you will want to put it on the porch to show your pumpkin skills to the neighborhood. So what is the answer? Let me start with what's definitely not the answer.

You are allowed to get upset if one of your local woodland creatures ruins your expertly carved pumpkin, but what you shouldn't do is kill the little dickens. Very often people resort to using household cleaners such as bleach on their pumpkins to keep the squirrels, raccoon and even deer from eating their way through your porch's pumpkin patch. Bleach is highly toxic and can cause many problems for any animal that ingests it, this includes one of your pets. It is really important that your keep in mind that their are non toxic ways to keep your pumpkins from becoming a snack.

I check into a few ideas after seeing that some suggested using vinegar instead of bleach. Let's face it bleach isn't easy to find these days and if you can, would you waste it spraying down a pumpkin. I would definitely go with the vinegar. It tastes bad and no squirrels will be harmed for the sake of lighting up a pumpkin on Halloween.

WikiHow also suggested some other non-toxic ideas for keeping critters off the Great Pumpkin at your house.

1 - Place it on a blanket with pet hair on it - the dog or cat hair scent should keep them away.

2 - Spray the pumpkin with hot sauce mixed with some dish soap and cooking oil to help it stick - the smell should do the trick but if doesn't the first taste will for sure.

3 - Pour a ring of vinegar around the pumpkin - apparently this also gets rid of the insects

4 - Wipe the pumpkin with eucalyptus oil - this one maybe my favorite. I am one of those weirdo who loves the smell of eucalyptus.

Follow the link below to see more ideas and Happy Halloween.