Although Halloween occurred last week, many households may still have some spooky reminders sitting around such as their pumpkins. 

The Nature Conservancy of Canada asks residents not to discard pumpkins in forests or natural areas. 

Instead, they are recommending that people compost them at home or take advantage of local composting initiatives. 

Discarding these Halloween leftovers in the woods can unintentionally result in wildlife becoming sick. 

In a press release from the NCC, Mhairi McFarlane director of science and stewardship provides some further insight on the possible dangers of dumping this debris. 

“Causing animals to congregate around an unnatural food source can put them at greater risk of transmitting disease, and if the site is close to a road, can increase their risk of being struck by vehicles, which can also injure motorists. While pumpkins may be tasty and attract animals such as deer, moose, raccoons, and squirrels they do not require additional food,” 

A reminder from the NCC to residents that dumping anything on private land is illegal can encourage others to leave additional items that may not decompose. 

Other safe options can include contacting local farms, wildlife rehabilitation centers and zoos are also great options as they may take the pumpkins for animal food or enrichment.