A Circling the News reader asked if we could remind people to take down fake spider webs, or better yet, urge people not to put them up in the first place.
Fake webs can ensnare insects (such as bees), birds (such as hummingbirds) and even owls.
A 2018 story in Wildcare, “Keep Halloween Safe for Wildlife,” reports that the wildlife hospital in San Rafael treats dozens of animals from entanglement injuries annually.
According to the story, a screech owl was caught in the decorations a few years ago, and more recently, a pigeon was found wrapped in fake spiderweb decorations.
“His rescuer was able to untangle him, but he had a swollen foot that meant he needed medical care,” the article stated.
1) Don’t use fake spiderweb or other decorations made of entangling fibers. Wild animals can easily get trapped and may not be able to break the material to free themselves. People who have hung the webbing may not be aware of the danger. If your neighbors put up fake webs, remind them of the danger and if they don’t take it down, ask them if they will check it twice a day for entangled animals.
2) Avoid decorations with loops or closed circles. A foraging animal can inadvertently put his head through a loop or circle and choke himself.
3) Avoid decorations with small, dangling, edible-looking parts.
4) Don’t leave candy out where wildlife may find it. Dispose of all candy wrappers properly.
5) Carved pumpkins may be attractive to wildlife as food, so dispose of them if you don’t want post-holiday trick-or-treaters.
6) Strings of lights can become snare traps for adult male deer who get them caught on antlers. Avoid hanging lights or decorations in areas where deer pass.