Halloween season is upon us. And while most of the year we discuss how to keep pests away from your home, the spooky season has us changing gears somewhat. No, we are not talking about drawing pests to your home. Instead, we want to talk about all the pests that have become popular Halloween decorations over the years. After all, it is all the little creepy-crawlies that really get under your skin and give you a fright. So, if you are looking for ways to up your Halloween décor, look no further.
Bats are one of the most common Halloween decorations out there. From their creepy mystique to their association with the granddaddy of all horror icons, Dracula, there is no shortage of decoration possibilities. But did you know that bats, though they have wings, are neither rodent nor bird? They are mammals. In fact, they are the only mammals capable of true flight. In addition, most bats are content to feed on either fruit or insects, so having them around is not a bad thing. If you are having a mosquito problem, bats are your best friends.
With their 6 eyes and 8 legs, spiders are the very definition of creepy-crawly. And their webs look spooky even in the brightest and happiest of spaces. But in Florida, the vast majority of spiders are harmless to humans. There are only a few species that are venomous, so we recommend knowing what species are common to your area and how to identify them. Pay particular attention to widow spiders and recluse spiders, as they are known to be found in our state.
Another popular Halloween decoration is the snake. There are many types and forms that this could take, but their slithery nature and their rapid movements make them an ideal spooky inclusion. Florida has many species of snakes, the vast majority of which are non-venomous.
There are, however, two families of snakes that are venomous in our lovely state – pit vipers, which include cottonmouths, rattlesnakes, and copperheads; and elapids, which accounts for our coral snakes. It is important to recognize these snakes on sight in order to avoid them. Pit vipers can be identified by a telltale pit or circular indentation between the eye and nostril. Coral snakes are easily identified by their red, yellow, and black color bands. We recommend not getting too close to any snake in order to identify it. If you are unsure, it is best to keep your distance and call a professional to come and deal with it.
Last, but certainly not least among Halloween decorations, are rats. Rats come in many different sizes and colors. But one thing is for sure, seeing them scurry along the ground is deeply unsettling to even the most composed individuals. There are three common types found in Florida, roof rats, Norway rats, and woodrats. Roof rats and woodrats are both vegetarians, but they will eat whatever they can get their hands (paws?) on if their natural food source is not available. Norway rats eat more protein and carbohydrates. Rats tend to be active at night, which adds to their spooky allure. If you want to add to the creep-factor of your haunted house, include the scratching and scurrying noises of rats.