I know, we all want to keep the ghosts and ghouls away from our porch. But, Halloween is here. And that means you're going to have some decorations up.

However, some of those decorations could be bad news for birds, squirrels, raccoons, stray cats, or even possums before they hole up for the winter(and you want those around, they eat nasty bugs like cockroaches). And the last thing you want is an unwelcome creature passing away on your lawn for your kid to find when they're raking leaves.  Talk about an unpleasant surprise.  Trick or Treat, am I right?

So anyway, there are a few things you can do to help the wildlife around our area, and even for those of you out in the rural areas.  Obviously nobody is going to tell you NOT to decorate, that would be ridiculous.  I'm no commie.  But maybe just keep these tips in mind if you do.

1. Don't use fake cobwebs.

Birds and other animals get tangled in them every year and end up hurting themselves, or worse. I can't imagine (and don't want to imagine) seeing one of my beloved little hummingbirds tangled in a web with a broken wing. So only use them inside, or not at all.

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2. Make sure other hanging decorations won't cause issues.

Things like string lights and netting can pose a threat. So make sure they're hung high enough that animals like deer won't get their antlers caught in them. Especially in more rural areas.  Sure, you might not see a ton of deer in town, but you know just as well as I do that somebody's got a story.  Somebody has seen and dealt with deer in town.  So it's just easier to avoid it.

3. Don't let pumpkins sit outside and rot.

I mean, I get that it fits the theme, but... just no.  If nothing else, you don't want added flies and other bugs hanging around your porch for no reason, right?  They attract animals closer to your home than they'd normally get. Which means a run-in with your dog or cat is more likely. And they're more likely to get hit by a car.  A full, uncarved pumpkin can last months without rotting. But the shelf life of jack-o-lanterns is only a week, maybe less. So you should wait until right before Halloween to carve them. Then throw them out a day or two later.

I'm sure that all of you creative types out there can find a way to have the spookiest haunted houses, while also being safe for kids and animals.  You got this.

Rottingly yours,

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