Carved jack-o-lanterns rarely last more than a few days to perhaps one week, according to Ward Upham, horticulturist with Kansas State University Research and Extension.
But, you can do a couple of things that might make that Halloween favorite last longer, he said.
First, remove bacteria and molds before carving or painting. Wipe the surfaces, either with a household disinfectant or with a solution that combines one part bleach to 10 parts water.
Second, pick up a spray designed to help carved pumpkins last longer. Some are offered on the internet or in stores, but a cheaper option is just to use hair spray. It creates a lacquer-type surface that delays the cuts' drying-out process," Upham said. "Spray-waxing your pumpkin can do much the same thing if you coat all of the cut surfaces."