Halloween Safety for Wildlife

Posted October 21, 2022 by Tayelor, Communications Coordinator

The spookiest night of the year is coming soon! While we here at Wildlife Rescue are big fans of all things that go bump in the night, we’d like to take a moment to help you make sure your moonlit rituals, haunted houses and sunken crypts are as safe for wildlife as possible!

Artificial Spider Webs
While artificial spider webs are a great way to add some creepy ambiance, they are a major hazard for wildlife. Every year we take in animals who have been entangled in these decorations. Sadly, many people discover these trapped birds, bats and squirrels when they are taking decorations down after Halloween and by that time it’s often far too late.

  • If you’d like to use fake spider webs in your Halloween display, we suggest placing them inside your windows rather than anywhere outdoors.

It’s not Halloween without Trick or Treating! Unfortunately chocolate and other things we humans find delicious are deadly to pets and wildlife, plus individually wrapped treats leave a lot of waste behind that can seriously injure animals.

  • It can be hard but wait to start eating treats until you get home and can properly dispose of any wrappers!
  • If you leave a bowl of treats outside, make sure to cover it with a lid to keep animals out.

Carving a Jack o’ Lantern is a favourite activity for a lot of people to celebrate Halloween. A lot of hard work goes in to making those creepy grins. However, pumpkins can be a temptingly tasty treat for wildlife like deer or racoons. It might be tempting to try and dissuade animals from eating your pumpkins with chemicals or other deterrents, but this often leads to animals becoming seriously ill.

  • If you’re worried about animals eating your pumpkins rather than attempt a deterrent we suggest waiting until October 31st to put them out. That way they’ll be there for your spooky display, and if they get eaten the next night you won’t have to throw them in the compost anyways!

Fireworks are loud, disruptive and frightening to pets and wild animals alike. Not only that but launching them into the air can seriously injure or even kill flying birds and bats. Even the most diligent fireworks operator likely won’t be able to clean up all the refuse left behind from a fireworks display, and a lot of trash can be left behind for animals to find.

Going Batty on All Hallow’s Eve

Here’s a fun idea for an event thanks to BC Bats. Organize a bat count! When the sun goes down bat activity is at its highest. Take yourself, your kids, some friends and your trick or treating candy to a quiet area near a bat roost and start counting!

  • Arrive at your bat roost at sunset (bats will begin to emerge at dusk).
  • The air temperature should be at least 12 deg (C) with no rain and low wind speed.
  • Sit or stand outside so that the bats’ exit point is visible from a comfortable distance. More than one person might be needed if bats are exiting from multiple points.
  • Tally the bats as they fly out for their nightly insect-eating. Use a counting app on your phone or a hand “clicker” to make counting easy.
  • Do not enter bat roosts and never handle a live bat.
  • Please respect private property. Ask permission if the bat roost is on someone else’s property.
  • You can find more information about bat counting at BC Bats website here: Counting bats – BC BATS

Posted in Education

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