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Spiderweb decor not only scary but dangerous for wildlife

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend $2.7 billion dollars on decor this Halloween but animal advocates are urging folks to leave a classic piece of festive fun on the shelves this year.

It’s meant to be harmless festive fun however, experts say decorative spiderwebbing can actually do damage to wildlife

Halloween shoppers in Goleta told our crews that they had no idea the classic fall embellishment was dangerous for birds, bees, owls, squirrels, and chipmunks.

“I use it every year, I love those it’s an easy decoration,” said Laura Forster, a Santa Barbara shopper.

Forster was going to put up her faux spiderwebs Monday night but she’s rethinking that after we told her what animal advocates said.

The Director of Animal Care at the Wildlife Care Network says when she looks at fake cobwebs all she sees is a bird trap.

Elaine Ibarra says when the fake webs are stretched out thin, a bird or any small animal trying to evade a predator could get tangled up or trapped in the synthetic material.

Birds could lose their toes or suffer a beak fracture and indoor pets may require surgery if they snack on the manmade fibers.

“So when you think of something that’s not even a natural substance, it’s even more damaging to the feathers, it’s more potentially damaging to their feet, it’s a lot stronger than spiderweb material so animals who may use similar materials can really become tangled,” said Elaine Ibarra, Director of Animal Care, Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.

“It’s not good for the environment and if it’s not good for the environment it’s probably best not to use them,” said Forster.

Another reason to forgo the fake webs like Forster is doing, because of the elastic properties, hummingbirds routinely use the real silk strands in their nests.

So when they inadvertently use the fake cobwebs it doesn’t move or work the same way an actual spiderweb would, creating a real danger.

A good alternative, Ibarra suggests leaving up the real spiderwebs around your home if you’re craving that spooky vibe.

KEYT 2019

Article Topic Follows: Holidays

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