When Things Go Bump in the Night

It’s Halloween; the time of year when people decorate their homes with haunting embellishments and spooky décor. Bats, spiders, and rodents are all good and fun when they’re made of plastic, but when you have the real thing taking up residence in your home, it’s no treat. Here are some tips for making sure these frightening critters don’t make your house their permanent home.

Blood Suckers

While they may not turn into vampires in real life, preventing a bat infestation is actually good for your health. That’s because bats are a known carrier of rabies and an accumulation of their droppings can cause lung problems in humans. Bats can enter your home through holes less than an inch wide, and when they do, they often find the attic to be very accommodating to their needs. So, how do you keep them from settling in? Start by checking your roof and siding for any gaps. Check your attic for any signs of infestation, including: brown stains around any openings in your siding or roof (from oil on their skin), droppings, or strange sounds coming from the attic. Ghosts aren’t the only ones who like it up there.

To prevent or rid your home of bats follow these tips:

  • Get rid of the bats now, so they can find alternative shelter before hibernation season in the winter.
  • Check with local pest control companies; in some states it is illegal to exterminate bats.
  • Locate the point of entry.
  • Hire a professional to evacuate the bats.
    • As mentioned above, bats can cause health problems; hire a professional who has experience and the right equipment. There are humane options available.
  • Prevent re-entry by sealing any openings.
  • Use mothballs to prevent re-nesting. Bats have a tendency to return to previous nesting sites, so this may need to be repeated.

Creepy Crawlies

In lists of common phobias, more than thirty percent of adults report fearing spiders, right behind public speaking and death. Most spiders that you find in your home are perfectly harmless; however, that doesn’t mean you want to share your space with them. To be on the safe side, there are some measures you can take to protect yourself from our little eight legged friends. Even a bite from a harmless spider can cause infections with itchy, red skin. In most cases, it can be treated by washing it with cool, soapy water, elevation, and an ice pack. Of course, if it shows signs of getting worse, your next step should be calling your doctor. Spider varieties that you should avoid include: Hobo spiders, Black Widows, Brown Recluses, and the Yellow Sac spider. These spiders are poisonous and can cause a number of symptoms from vomit to necrotic lesions. According to experts, spiders very rarely cause death in humans; however, if you are bit by a venomous spider you should seek immediate medical attention (and bring the spider remains with you, if possible).

Here are some tips to reduce spiders in your home:

  • Kill spiders on sight.
  • Place non-poisonous spider traps with non-toxic attractants and glue in areas where spiders are commonly found and in corners.
  • Be careful with common insect repellent and spider sprays, these can be toxic and harmful to children and pets.
  • Spiders can be deterred with essential oils: lavender, chestnut, clover leaf, and coconut.
  • Use ultrasonic devises.

Rodents:

The most effective way to prevent mice and rat infestation is to keep them out of your home in the first place. Mice can get through a gap as small as a quarter of an inch, so thoroughly inspecting the foundation and interior of your home for entrance points and sealing any cracks or holes is a great way to start. Rodents are also excellent at tracking food sources. Keep all food, including pet food and pantry items in secure bins and jars.

If you have found evidence of mice or rats (generally droppings or urine) take caution. Rodent secretions can be hazardous, and can spread salmonella or hanta virus. There are multiple methods for removing rodents from your home, including traps, poison bates, electronic and sonic devises and, a house cat, or professional exterminator.

If you are getting rid of the critters on your own you will want to follow these steps:

  • Identify their food source(s), entry points, and common routes around and through your home.
  • Remove food source with secure packaging that cannot be chewed through, such as glass containers.
  • Seal all entry points with wire mesh.
  • Place sonic devises, traps, poison, or other deterrents in the pathway of the rodents.
  • Use caution, make sure poison or exposed traps are not accessible to children or pets.
  • If you find urine, droppings, or a dead mouse you will want to spray the surface and mouse with a bleach/water solution. Using gloves and a face mask, remove the rodent and wipe all surfaces.
  • If you have identified a large quantity of rodents, contact a professional for removal and clean up.
  • You may need to take extra measures to ensure the removal is permanent by changing components of your back yard, replacing siding, or upgrading building materials to prevent outdoor nesting and re-infestation.

 

Originally Posted on the Windermere Blog, in Living by Marilou Ubungen 

Haunted Houses: Parties and Interactive Entertainment

Who says Halloween is just for kids?

Remember when being an adult on Halloween meant handing out candy and watching movies at home? Halloween is not only popular with children; more adults are actively celebrating the holiday and venues are rolling out the red carpet for them.  We’ve gathered a list of adult-only entertainment options in Seattle this weekend, varying from from haunted houses, party events, to live theater and more.

Harvest

Seattle’s largest immersive experience of horror and intrigue; choose your own path and test your bravery as you crawl beneath the skin of this gruesome open world at Seattle Immersive Theatre.

Georgetown Morgue

This Halloween you can’t miss the scariest and best haunted attraction in the entire state of Washington, The Georgetown Morgue.

HAUNT: The Ultimate Halloween Bash

Nearly 2,000 guests will converge on the EMP Museum in Downtown Seattle to enjoy multiple rooms of entertainment, theme decorations, and a gigantic costume contest!

The 13th Annual Cabaret Macabre

For over a decade, the Cabaret Macabre has existed in various forms as hosted by The Bad Things. This year, Cabaret Macabre returns to Columbia City Theater on Halloween for an evening of music and cabaret performance with high Halloween pageantry.

Sister Kate’s “The Seance”

Join the Sister Kate Dance Company as they channel the spirits of jazz rhythm in their exciting new Halloween-themed show, THE SÉANCE.

The Shadow Knows

Seattle-based Sandbox Radio recreates the classic experience of old-style radio magic, with modern touches. This all-new episode—created just for Halloween—presents new plays, songs, poetry, and adaptations of classic literature, all scored with live music and sound effects.

This Is Halloween

Can Can’s seasonal Halloween show is an extravaganza of live orchestral music, cabaret, burlesque and video projected sets inspired by Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Seattle’s Best Trick-or-Treating

Trick-or-treat! Kids of all ages love reciting those magic words and receiving bags full of goodies; however, walking through the streets and knocking on strangers’ doors may not be the best option for young children. Luckily, Seattle offers plenty of opportunities for safe trick-or-treating in controlled environments for kids of all ages.

Pumpkin Bash Featuring BOOMazium at Woodland Park Zoo

What happens when you give a tiger a pumpkin? How about a hippo or a penguin?

West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival 

If you’re looking to do some daylight, non-scary trick-or-treating (or if you just want to get it out of the way).

Trick-or-Treat on Upper Queen Anne

Each year, hundreds of little ghosts and goblins head to upper Queen Anne Avenue for the neighborhood’s annual trick-or-treat festival put on by the Upper Queen Anne Merchants Association.

Trick-or-Treating in the Village – Magnolia

This is a great option for little pumpkins who don’t want to walk very far or little ones who are new to the trick-or-treating scene. The best part? You’ll be home in time for dinner.

Trick-or-Treat at University Village

Take a stroll through U Village where participating merchants will be passing out candy to costumed kiddos on the 31st.

Trick-or-Treat in Fremont

Grab your buckets (or pillowcases!) and head to Fremont for this annual trick-or-treat extravaganza. This year, over 150 Fremont businesses will be handing out candy.

Hilloween – Capitol Hill

Start with some musical performances, add in a costume parade, carnival games and plenty of treats from Broadway Avenue’s merchants, and you’ve got the perfect way to celebrate Halloween.

Wedgwood Trick-or-Treat

Wedgwood’s stores will once again open their doors to costumed characters big and small on Halloween. Look for the orange flyer in the window of participating businesses and be sure to thank them for their community spirit.

Costume Carnival at the Museum

For a truly safe and weatherproof night of trick-or-treating, head to the Seattle Children’s Museum where little punkins (10 and under) can wander the halls looking for treats. Bonus: it’s free to enter the Museum!

Halloween Boo Bash – Northgate Mall

Ghouls, goblins and boo’tiful princesses (ages 0-12) will have a frightfully good time at their annual Halloween Boo Bash. Come decked out in your costume and enjoy various activity stations, games, trick-or-treating, a bouncy house and more.

8th Annual Monster Bash 

Rain or shine, grab your little ghosts and goblins and fly over to this annual Halloween fundraiser for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Come in costume and enjoy a hair-raising haunted house, pony rides, ghoulish games and more.

Halloween Fun at the Seattle Aquarium 

Activities include carving demonstrations with master carver Russ Leno, creepy Halloween games and activities, diver shows, a spooktacular story time, a mad scientist demonstration and much more.

The Museum of Fright at the Museum of Flight

Ghostly apparitions take to the skies at The Museum of Flight, where spooky crafts, airplane simulator rides, monster bowling and ghost stories will get your kiddos in the mood for Halloween. Wear your costume and jump in the photo booth to snap a few pictures.

Pumpkin Patch Season in Seattle

That nip in the air signals not only that autumn is officially here, but that pumpkin patches and apple orchards have their best produce ready to roll.

Don’t think of these as just places to pick up a future Jack-O-Lantern or apples for baking. No, these seasonal entertainment zones feature corn mazes, hay rides, petting zoos and fresh apple cider for a break from the ordinary weekend routine.

Get ready to experience a bit of farm life, make memories and more!

https://remlingerfarms.com/index.htm

http://www.foxhollowfamilyfarm.com/

http://marisfarms.com/activities/

http://mosbyfarm.com/pumpkin-patch/

http://carpinito.com/

http://www.spoonerberries.com/harvest-festival/

http://www.bobscorn.com/bobs-corn-pumpkin-patch.htm

http://www.stockerfarms.com/

http://www.cravenfarm.com/

http://www.carletonfarm.com/fall-festivities/

 

Personalize Your Pumpkins

This Halloween skip the knife and save a pumpkin! Last year we saw this new trend take off and turns out it’s still just as popular this year. Do something different than the typical Halloween jack-o-lantern and try a more sophisticated pumpkin with a flourish of your personal style. We’ve scoured the internet for our favorite bloggers/Instagrammers to bring you the ultimate no carve pumpkin ideas. So, without further ado, here they are!

Floral Fun – Use a drill or nail wide enough to poke holes through for stems of flowers and cover pumpkin in them. Use flowers with your favorite fall colors: yellows, oranges, and reds. For a more dainty look, use white daisies.

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Bold & Sparkly – Paint with traditional acrylic paint and allow it to dry overnight, then put glue all over the stem and sprinkle glitter on it (or wherever else). Sparkles and gold accents will add glam to your fall décor and make you wish pumpkins were always in season.

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Dia de los Muertos Style – Begin by painting the whole pumpkin white, then allow it to dry overnight. Next draw a skull face with a pencil, and then go over it in paint.

Monogram – Add your initial to your pumpkin with glitter or thumbtacks. If you are putting it outside, another idea is to put your house number on it.

Different types of paint – Use chalk paint for vintage looking pumpkins with muted tones or glow in the dark paint for extra spookiness.

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Make it unique – This could easily be our favorite. Are you a wine connoisseur? A Seahawks fanatic? Forever have the wanderlust itch? Put your passions on your pumpkin to reach the pinnacle of customization.

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Not only are no carve pumpkins quick and easy, they’re super chic too. Spray paint your pumpkins gold, silver, black, and white, add stripes or polka dots or turn it into a doughnut. Whatever direction you go with with it, your 2015 pumpkin game = strong.