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25th Oct 2023

Warning issued over fake cobweb house decorations ahead of Halloween


They’re being called a ‘deathtrap’ for birds

With Halloween just days away an animal shelter is put out an urgent plea for Brits to avoid using a certain decoration in their gardens.

As gardens across the UK become more spooky, Warrington Animal Welfare, has urged people to avoid using fake cobwebs.

While many people may think they’re essential for the Halloween look, the charity says they’re a “deathtrap” for wildlife that get stuck in them.

They shared a post by United to Save Wildlife which said: “Please do not use these fake cobwebs. They are an absolute deathtrap for garden birds.”

In sharing the post, Warrington Animal Welfare added: “Keep seeing these around Warrington on people’s hedges and just want to rip them off,” the Warrington Guardian reported.

The warning was also posted on RSPB Birdwatch’s Facebook page where it has been shared 28,000 times.

House Beautiful (HB)has also written of the risks suggested that “every year, birds, other small animals, and insects crucial to our ecosystem become trapped within the familiar cottony confines and are unable to free themselves, causing a potentially horrifying scene.”

The Ojai Raptor Center, in Ventura, LA, posted a picture of a screech owl wrapped up in the webs on its Facebook page. The centre also mentioned that the cobwebs are “known to cause intestinal issues in domestic cats if ingested.”

With fall migration season occurring around this time, it’s especially easy for songbirds to get caught in the sticky mess, HB reported.

The spiderwebs, HB reported, are usually made from dense artificial fibres, meaning even if little creatures don’t get trapped, any residual material left out is harmful to the environment. It also often finds its way to birds’ nests.

The decoration is also highly flammable.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), between 2017 and 2019, an “average of 9,200 fires were reported to fire departments in the US over a 3-day period around Halloween.”

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