Some tips to make outdoor Halloween decor safer and less scary for wildlife
Fake cobwebs and some other spooky, outdoor Halloween decorations meant as harmless fun can do real damage to wildlife.
Halloween spending has skyrocketed in recent years, and the National Retail Federation says Americans are expected to spend $2.7 billion on Halloween decorations this year.
Wildlife organizations say they also have seen an increase in animal visits to local rehabilitation centers for injuries related to the outdoor holiday decorations.
“The fake cobwebs are of particular concern,” said Lisa Bloch, director of communications for the Marin Humane in Novato, California. When they’re strung across bushes and trees, “wildlife can easily get stuck in these webs.”
Support Local Journalism
The fake webs can trap animals, said Alison Hermance of WildCare, a nonprofit wildlife hospital and nature education center in San Rafael, California. Birds caught in them can damage their wings and claws. Chipmunks and other low-to the-ground rodents can also get caught and damage their paws.
If you observe an animal in trouble, always call a wildlife center before intervening, Bloch said.
Halloween lights and other items that dangle also can pose problems for wildlife. Deer and elk can get holiday lights, netting, clothing and other materials stuck in their antlers, said Jason Clay of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Denver office. “We see it every year,” he said.
Be aware of what paths animals use in your yard, and avoid placing decorations there, Clay said.
Pumpkins and other food items should be disposed of promptly because they entice animals to come closer to your home than they normally would, putting them in contact with pets and increasing the risk of getting hit by a car, Hermance said.
Don’t leave any decorations up for an extended period, adds Bloch. “It’s good to be mindful and remove the decorations as soon as you’re done celebrating.”
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.