Wildlife Friendly Halloween Decorations

The beginning of the holiday season is starting off this month with (arguably) the best holiday, Halloween! If you are anything like me, you know that decorations are some of the most fun aspects of any holiday, but we have to be careful with the kinds of things we put outside and how they appear to our native wildlife.  There is nothing better than some spooky decorations that are also safe for every critter outside.  Here is a list of some helpful dos and don’ts of decorating for spooky season!


  • Place signs or other decor on the inside of windows
    • This is a great way to display your love of the holiday to the outside while keeping all potentially dangerous material away from wildlife indoors
  • Be aware of where animals typically roam in your yard/area
    • Knowing where wildlife likes to walk can help you decide the best places to avoid when placing anything outside of your home
  • Keep candy in a covered container
    • If you are going to have candy outside for any reason, make sure it in inaccessible to wildlife with a sweet tooth by keeping it in a sealed container
  • Use twigs/sticks/other outdoor items to spookify your home
    • Using the items you already have on hand and belongs outdoors is not only easy on the wallet, but safe for any animals exploring your space
  • Dispose of all pumpkins/produce as soon as the holiday is over
    • Cleaning up these items will save you a significant amount of stress later on, as well as keep animals from being places where they could potentially be harmed in other ways


  • Bleach or chemical-bathe any pumpkins/other produce
    • Animals do not know that they shouldn’t eat things that smell like bleach so this can cause serious toxicosis
  • Use fake spider webs
    • Wildlife can easily get tangled in fake spider webs and are unable to escape
  • Place decorations with small or hanging parts outside
    • These small items can look like food to our wildlife and can cause obstructions or other issues when consumed
  • Put items out with small holes/loops
    • It is very easy for foragers or other animals to get their legs or heads stuck
  • Light anything on fire outside
    • While this may sound self-explanatory, it is so easy to forget about our wildlife, so make sure not to put anything on fire or very flammable outdoors where it could harm an animal

We hope that these tips help you to have a safe and fun holiday!! As always, if you come across any native wildlife animal that has been harmed by any of these decorations or otherwise, we are happy to take it in and treat it to the best of our abilities. Happy decorating, and happy Halloween!

This article was written by Jamie Booth, Class of 2023