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Wildlife Rescue warns about the harmful effects of pest traps on wildlife

The use of humane alternatives is highly recommended.
This Black-capped chickadee was recently brought to the Wildlife Rescue hospital after getting stuck in a snap trap.

The Wildlife Rescue Association of BC has received several reports of birds stuck in traps over the past few weeks. Glue traps and snap traps are extremely harmful for wildlife. Pest control devices like these can unintentionally trap wild animals that are not the target. This can result in unintentional pain, suffering and agonizing deaths. 

Suspended glue traps, intended for insects, often attract insect-eating birds. When hungry birds approach the trap, the strong glue gets stuck to their feathers. As they try to free themselves, the adhesive rips and tears the animals’ skin or feathers, often resulting in devastating injuries.  

Additionally, snap traps can puncture skin and break bones. Animals stuck in traps will often struggle for hours, or even days, before they are discovered. This results in exhaustion, dehydration, and severe injuries. 

If you find a bird stuck in a trap, it's important to contact the Wildlife Helpline immediately at 604-526-7275 or [email protected]. Wildlife Rescue’s rehabilitation technicians have specialized training to help extract victims from these traps and give them the best chance of survival. 

The Wildlife Rescue Association of BC advises avoiding using traps altogether to prevent injuries to wildlife or other unintended victims, and instead seeking humane alternative methods to traps. 

A helpful way to mitigate pests in your home is by blocking off any paths pest animals can take to enter your house. Additionally, eliminating possible food sources will help keep pests away. You can do this by picking up fallen fruit, cleaning under any bird feeders, keeping bulk pet food in secure containers, feeding your pets indoors and securing your garbage, compost and recycling. 

In the case that you already have unwanted guests in your home, calling a humane pest control company is the best way to make sure everyone stays safe. The BC SPCA has an animal welfare accreditation program called AnimalKind that recommends companies that utilize humane solutions for removing pest animals. If the unwanted guest is a protected wild animal, please look at the BC SPCA website or call our support centre for advice. 

This article was written by Elin Molenaar, the communications assistant at Wildlife Rescue Association.