When ‘spooky’ species come out to play

CLOSE UP An emerald moth in a moth trap
CLOSE UP An emerald moth in a moth trap
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Lianne de Mello from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust talks about taking care of ‘spooky’ animals this Haloween

Many of them are just getting on with preparing for winter, hibernation, or just gathering food in the warmth of our homes.

At Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust we love these spooky species as they’re among nature’s hardest workers.

n Spiders share our homes in autumn – you might spot house spiders stuck in bath tubs or sinks, or scuttling across the carpet. The chances are that they are males looking for females to mate with. Though they can appear large and sinister, unlike their tropical cousins the UK house spider is harmless.

In fact house spiders in the house and the garden are incredibly helpful as they help to keep flies and other pests in check.

Meanwhile you can encourage spiders into your garden by providing logs and stone piles for them to live, feed and breed in. Spiders are a food source for many animals, including mammals and birds – so encouraging them in your garden provides a vital link in the food chain.

n Moths are often overlooked in favour of their often more glamourous and colourful cousins butterflies – but there are over 2,500 moth species that call Britain home.

Along with bees and others, they pollinate many of our flowers, helping our agricultural economy.

Moths are so widespread and sensitive to changes, meaning they are useful as so-called ‘indicator species’.

If you want to get a closer look at your night time moth visitors, why not set up a simple light trap using a white sheet, washing line and torch?

n Bats in the UK are insectivores, meaning insects are the main part of their diet. For example, a common pipistrelle bat can eat over 3,000 insects in just one night!

They use their famous echo-location skills to identify and catch their prey, often mid-flight.

Like many wildlife species, bats are under threat of losing their homes and food sources.

Our local wildlife comes in all shapes and sizes and all our species have a part to play in our local ecosystems. Some are under threat and need a little help from us in our homes and gardens.

So why not take a second look and embrace some spooky species this Halloween?

Find out more about how to attract all types of wildlife to your garden on our website at hiwwt.org.uk.