Carving a jack-o'-lantern is always fun to do for Halloween. Sure, maybe some pumpkins are easier to carve than others. And maybe hollowing them out can be a nuisance. But at the end of the day, it's worth it.

Not just in New Jersey, but all over the country, countless towns and organizations host pumpkin carving contests. It's truly amazing to see what creative ideas come to life on the face of a pumpkin.

There are also carving kits available for those who'd prefer to trace their own masterpiece. And of course, there's the classic pumpkin face looking at you with that smile and three to four teeth inside its mouth.

With so much excitement, most might opt to dive right into carving the minute they pick their pumpkin. But it's not always wise to do it so soon. In fact, the closer you wait to Halloween to carve, the better.

Yes, it might require a lot of willpower to wait, but it's definitely worth it. Here's why holding out till the last minute for that jack-o'-lantern will work in your favor.

Stink bug (Lynn Bunting, ThinkStock)
Stink bug (Lynn Bunting, ThinkStock)

They'll attract critters

One drawback to carving jack-o'-lanterns too early is that it'll attract unwanted guests. Critters of all types will try to crawl inside to feed on the soft pumpkin interior.

And it's not just flies and other types of bugs. Slugs will also make their way inside to enjoy the deliciousness the pumpkin has to offer. And the longer the pumpkin sits out, the worse the problem will get.

They'll also be a noticeable difference while the weather's still warm. Typically, the warmer it is, the greater the impact. By waiting closer to Halloween, you not only reduce the chances of this becoming a big problem, but it'll also be cooler out, which will help the jack-o'-lantern last longer.

Okay, now THAT'S a creepy jack-o-lantern!
Mike Brant - Townsquare Media

They'll rot faster

A lesson I learned a while back. Not only will the bugs attack a jack-o'-lantern if carved too early, but they will also rot faster.

Now one can argue that a rotten jack-o'-lantern might add to the spookiness of Halloween, which may definitely be true to an extent. But it's also a pain to have to deal with when it comes to cleanup.

Not to mention the smell. If a pumpkin is carved weeks ahead of Halloween, it's more likely to become nasty and disgusting by the time the big day arrives.

Old Pumpkin

They may collapse

Finally, the increase in bugs and exposure to the elements might prove to be too much for the jack-o'-lantern that by the time Halloween rolls around, it's too late. All your hard work is no longer standing.

And it's unfortunate, too. Not only does pumpkin carving take quite a bit of work to do, but now it's deformed to a point where it's almost unrecognizable.

And as mentioned in the last point, how much harder it is to clean up. At that point, probably the only way to transport it to a garbage can is with a wide enough shovel.

One Snow-Capped Orange Pumpkin

Colder air is your friend

When it comes to jack-o'-lanterns, the colder the air, the better. Not only will the cooler air help preserve your hard work, but the late-season chill will also reduce the odds of bugs getting to it.

And carving right before Halloween will certainly work in your favor. Even if we have a warm spell, the jack-o'-lantern will certainly be fresh enough to withstand any damage the elements are likely to throw at it.

Not only that, but you may be able to keep them on your porch long enough to get to Thanksgiving. And who says you can't have a nice jack-o'-lantern for turkey day?

A tasty treat to come
Mike Brant - Townsquare Media

A great tasty treat for between holidays

Probably one of the best parts of carving a pumpkin is enjoying what's inside. Fresh pumpkin seeds are by far a favorite for many and another perk of the frighteningly awesome jack-o'-lanterns created from those very pumpkins.

So no rush on getting those pumpkins carved too soon. It's more beneficial the closer you wait to Halloween.


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