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The Problem with Halloween Spiderweb Decorations

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The Problem with Halloween Spiderweb Decorations

October 14, 2021

It’s hard to believe, but Halloween is right around the scary corner. And that means, besides partaking in all things pumpkin-flavored and -scented, it’s time to dust off the spooky decorations and get festive. Over the years, an unfortunate trend has emerged, though: in order to really amp up the porch and front yard decorations, people are simply buying more plastic stuff—including spreading fake spiderwebs from bush to tree to Timbuktu. And while I agree this stringy stuff can look cool, it’s not so cool for the creatures who live in our yards.

Before you buy any, string up any, or even contemplate the fake spiderweb idea, you should know that there is a dark side to this holiday decoration.

According to the folks at my local WildCare, those fake spiderwebs can harm all sorts of creatures. Birds, hummingbirds, owls, and even bees can get trapped and suffer as their wings and feathers get tangled in the webbing. WildCare states that every year, their wildlife hospital treats dozens of entanglement injuries.

Holiday tip: If you think a creature might get caught in something you put up, the easy thing to do is to take it down. Be conscious of anything that is stringy, has loops or mesh fibers, and dangles. If you already have fake webbing strung up and are planning to leave it up, at least check it every day to make sure you haven’t accidentally ensnared a winged friend.

And while the entangling fake spider webbing might not be a huge problem, it does serve as a reminder that we all should be more mindful (and green) in our holiday actions. The good news is that there are many less hazardous and more reusable, environmentally friendly holiday decorations to use this Halloween. A few ideas below.

Featured photograph by Frank Farm via Flickr.

LED orange string lights can produce a twinkly fall effect. Just remember that string lights hung low can snag the antlers of adult male deer, so avoid stringing lights where they travel through. These Japanese lantern string lights by artist Juliane Solvång are made with the papery orange husks of Physalis alkekengi. No plastic! For instructions, see DIY: Pumpkin Lights Without the Plastic. Photograph by Juliane Solvång.
Above: LED orange string lights can produce a twinkly fall effect. Just remember that string lights hung low can snag the antlers of adult male deer, so avoid stringing lights where they travel through. These Japanese lantern string lights by artist Juliane Solvång are made with the papery orange husks of Physalis alkekengi. No plastic! For instructions, see DIY: Pumpkin Lights Without the Plastic. Photograph by Juliane Solvång.
Above: Adding items like pumpkins and gourds and even multicolored naturally dried corn cobs are a classic addition to porches and front yards. Remember to toss these decorations into your green can or chop them up and toss them into your compost pile. Some of these items (the un-carved ones) can even be saved and used in your Thanksgiving decorations. (These dried gourds from Terrain are no longer sold, but they can be easily sourced on the internet.)

For more on Halloween decorations, see:

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