A Facebook friend has apparently ignited a fire in my cat-sheltered little soul today. I say cat-sheltered because I have been rescuing/sheltering stray/feral cats since the mid 70’s. So though I had seen an occasional article on the glue traps he was complaining about, I had no idea how common or torturous they are. His post advised they were being sold at a local home improvement store.
The traps are meant for rats and mice. My cats keep most of those rodents out of our living space, though the occasional baby or adventurous one gets caught. But they are still a nuisance in areas the cats can’t go. Like the wiring in my old Toyota. As other car owners have also discovered, the rodents seem to have a taste for coated wires. My mechanic foiled them by coating the wires with silicon. There are apparently tapes and pastes that help too.
The problem is, depending on their placement, those glue traps catch other small animals too, including birds, wildlife and even small pets. The traps don’t kill the animals. They are left to thrash endlessly unless you want to humanely kill them with a sharp blow to the head. Some manufacturers advise to just throw the still-alive animal + trap in the garbage. This is called cruelty.
I did phone and speak to a manager at one of the stores my FB friend was complaining about. He smoothly said the traps could be placed in a shed or some such sheltered area. That might keep the birds out, but not the rodents, lizards, snakes etc. The suggestion seemed to imply that cruelty to those animals doesn’t count. I guess he didn’t hear about the cruelty charges for dismembering a live lobster in a restaurant.
But the manager’s attitude is not surprising. “Business” has spent years trying to divorce itself from ethics that might interfere with the bottom line. A prime example is factory farming. And I bet you can easily think of some other examples. This lack of ethics is changing slowly. But I still expect the head office I emailed to whine about everybody sells glue traps and that’s how the world works (I was requested to give them a couple days to get back to me).
So while protesting is good, not buying is better. Then what do you do about the little rodent nuisances? There are various strategies including cleaning up food/attractants and getting cats. Having removed battered rodents from feline floor hockey games, I am totally aware that cats are not the most humane executioners. But they are quicker than glue traps. (And by the way, my cats lounge and frolic in enclosed “catios” so they do not catch birds or rabbits. They also don’t get fleas, diseases from other animals, or get hit by cars).
In the interests of educating myself and others, including vendors, animal lovers and rodent haters, I have compiled the following list of relevant sources. Please share widely.