NAPLES — The Conservancy of Southwest Florida says glue traps are killing too many animals unnecessarily.
This week, one of the devices snagged two grackles in Naples, and one of them died. They were found outside an apartment complex, but many businesses and homeowners use them as well.
The traps are meant to catch rats or mice, but they often catch small birds, and the results can be gruesome.
Wildlife Hospital Director Joanna Fitzgerald said her week started treating those two small birds with glue in their feathers and wings.
"Unfortunately, the one did not survive. As we were working on it to get it off the glue trap, it passed away. The second one is still in the hospital. It’s doing well," said Fitzgerald.
The hospital released video of the second bird, which is now able to jump from branch to branch, but Fitzgerald said she’s tired of seeing animals that aren’t as lucky.
"We’ve actually seen small mammals pull so hard that appendages are ripped free. So it’s just a horrible, horrible death," said Fitzgerald.
At this point, Fitzgerald has seen hair pulled off rabbits, owls with their feathers stuck to glue, and snakes that need to be peeled off the traps. She said there are several reasons people might choose glue traps, but none of them are good.
"I think it’s because of the price, and then just not thinking through the full ramifications of what you’re causing when you put something like that out in the environment," said Fitzgerald.
We checked, and there is definitely a price difference. Some glue traps are selling for under $1 online, while humane traps tend to be more than $20, but Fitzgerald said, it’s worth the cost.
"Humane pest control practices exist. There’s just no need for this type of suffering," said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald said she often talks with people who are surprised when a glue trap they bought injures an animal. If you would like to know more about glue traps, you can read an article Fitzgerald wrote on the subject by clicking here.