PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Many of you might already have a carved pumpkin in front of your house. But what do you do with them after the ghosts and ghouls head back to their haunted houses?

Here’s what you should not do: Give your pumpkins to wildlife.

Katy Weil, Senior Natural Resource Scientist with Oregon Metro, stopped by KOIN 6 AM Extra in the studio to explain why, and to offer tips to responsibly dispose of jack-o-lanterns.

“What happens is pumpkins are great and they have a lot of fiber,” Weil noted. “And if you have too much fiber, you can actually prevent the absorption of nutrition that they really need.”

“Also, when many animals come for the free lunch, the free lunch counter of all the pumpkins left out there, that’s a lot of animals in one small area and you can actually facilitate the spread of illness and disease,” Weil continued. “It’s like a kid that goes to school with a cold and hangs out at recess and by the next day, everybody has it. That’s something we just try to discourage.”

Check out the full interview in the player above.