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This Halloween Avoid Dangerous Decorations

“As Halloween approaches, devilish decorations are lining the streets. However, it's not the ghouls and ghosts giving wildlife experts a scare” (Fox43). Halloween decorations, most notably fake spiderwebs, but really “anything that dangles, loops or flutters” is potentially hazardous to wildlife and pollinators.

Netting can trap insects, birds, and bats in the webbing and can cause injury and death as they try to escape. Fake pumpkins and corn can trick wildlife and they make try to eat it by mistake, causing them to choke.

We recommend staying away from these hazardous decorations, however, “there are still ways to display the spider webs while being conscious of wildlife. Rehabilitation specialists recommend to not place it in places where birds frequently fly such as in between trees. A safer option is to display it in a window, an enclosed entryway, or even hanging it up against something solid” (MyTwinTiers).

  • Please don't use fake spider web or other decorations made of entangling fibers.

  • Avoid decorations with loops or closed circles. A foraging animal can inadvertently put his head through a loop or circle and choke himself.

  • Avoid decorations with small, dangling, edible-looking parts.

  • Don't leave candy out where wildlife may find it and dispose of all candy wrappers properly.

  • Dispose of carved pumpkins properly. Pumpkins are very attractive to wildlife as food, so properly dispose of them if you don't want post-holiday trick-or-treaters.

  • Be alert for nocturnal wildlife while trick-or-treating. Avoid cutting across lawns and through brushy areas to avoid accidental encounters with your wild neighbors.

  • Give wildlife a "brake"! Drivers on Halloween night know to be on the alert for children, but we encourage you to also be aware of wildlife that may be scared out of hiding by all the unusual nighttime activity.

  • Avoid hanging lights or decorations in areas where deer pass. Strings of lights can become snare traps for adult male deer who get them caught in their antlers.

  • Always properly dispose of string-like objects. This means wrapping them tightly into a ball before throwing them away, and making sure they are contained, even within the garbage can.

  • Don't use netting or webbing in your garden. Especially filament-like garden netting is nearly invisible to wildlife, and too many animals get tangled while hunting the very species you're trying to keep out of your garden.

  • If you must use netting, always zip-tie it away from ground level to prevent entangling snakes, and check the netting twice a day (morning and night) for potential entangled victims.

  • Avoid or properly dispose of anything with loops or closed circles. A foraging animal can inadvertently put his head through a loop or circle and choke himself.

  • Always properly dispose of fishing line and hooks. Never leave fishing line on the ground where animals can reach it.

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