One day you are flying around, pulling up worms from lawns and landing on tree branches and rooftops. You find a lovely bug and fly to the edge of the roof on a building to digest it. When you spread your wings to go find another bite to eat, you find yourself stuck to the roof. You have become the latest victim of a glue trap, placed on a roof to catch “nuisance” birds like pigeons and starlings. What can you do?
Unfortunately, there is nothing, realistically, that you can do. If you stay there, you will eventually succumb from exposure and starvation. You will endure days of suffering before, mercifully, you die. If you try to remove your feet from the glue, you will tear the skin, and likely tendons and muscles, off of your feet. If you choose to do this, you will be in severe pain and certainly die from infection within a few days.
The best you can possibly hope for is to be found by a caring person and taken, glue trap and all, to a wildlife rehabilitation center. There, trained people will know how to remove the glue, give you antibiotics, keep you warm, feed you and allow you to heal. However, even if you receive state-of-the-art care at a rehabilitation center, your chances of survival are slim due to the trauma involved in the extensive handling required to remove the glue and repair the wounds.
Glue traps are inexpensive, commercially available products marketed for the control of “pest” animals, typically rats and mice. However, they can kill any creature that comes in contact with them. Death is slow and painful. Google “glue traps” and you will find articles on how to get rid of mice and other creatures that are still alive days after being caught in one.
Wildlife rehabilitators are seeing more and more creatures—including songbirds, owls, snakes, rabbits, squirrels and opossums—that have been caught in glue traps. People who bring them to us often report their exterminator told them the traps just deter animals, not hurt them. Obviously, this is a lie. Hard as we try, some animals are too far gone or too stressed to survive. It doesn’t matter how you feel about any of these creatures, no one deserves this ghastly death.
Please, folks, if you must kill rats and mice, use an old fashioned snap trap. At least it is quick and fewer animals are unintentionally killed. And when you are buying your snap traps, urge the manager of the store to stop selling glue traps.