What makes pest control humane?
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What is humane pest control?

When wild animals get into our yards and our homes, we sometimes call them “pests”. Rodents are the most common cause for pest control in our houses, but sometimes animals like raccoons, deer, rabbits and pigeons get into trouble too. Even “pests” deserve to be treated humanely.

The best solution is to prevent the problem before it starts. Make sure you’re not accidentally giving them food (like pet food, bird seed, fruit trees, fish ponds) or shelter. Make sure your garbage and compost is in wildlife-proof containers. Seal gaps or holes in sheds, crawl spaces, attics and porches before they become a comfy nest or den.

Wildlife removal

Trapping and relocating wildlife is not a permanent or humane solution. Trapping in the wrong season can also orphan babies. If you have to remove an animal, call an AnimalKind company that gently removes them instead of trapping/relocating or killing.

If there are no AnimalKind companies in your area, find out how to choose a good pest control company.

Learn more about urban wildlife.

Photo by Liron Gertsman

Glueboards

Glueboards or glue traps are plastic or metal trays coated with glue designed to catch rodents. These traps are legal and can be found in stores, but they cause rodents and other animals to suffer tremendously. Birds, small wildlife and even pets can get caught in this sticky situation. Never use glueboards!

Below: Lola the kitten was found stuck to a glue board in West Kelowna and, luckily, was saved. Photos courtesy of Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital.

Rodent poisons and snap traps

Rodent poisons or “rodenticides” are used widely, but they cause a slow and painful death. Rodenticides are also dangerous for owls, eagles and even cats that eat poisoned rodents. As of July 21, 2021, Second-Generation anticoagulant rodenticides (e.g., brodifacoum, bromadiolone, or difethialone) are banned for sale and use in B.C. Exemptions are allowed for designated essential services and agricultural operators.

Snap traps cause a quick death for mice and rats, but can be dangerous to wildlife and pets unless they are kept in a locked box or wall interior. Call an AnimalKind company if you need help with mice and rats in your home.

black box for rodent poison glue board traps
Poisons and glueboards can be hidden in boxes like this

What is “humane”?

Any company can call themselves “humane” – but like many food-labelling claims, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are using animal-friendly methods.

In May 2021, thanks to a grant from the Vancouver Foundation, we conducted a poll* of 860 BC residents and learned “humane pest control” is still misunderstood. The term “humane” used in pest control still varies in definitions among BC residents surveyed since our last 2015 poll**.

When asked, what do you think the term ‘humane’ means in terms of pest control? Respondents could choose more than one response and they said ‘humane’ is:

What does “humane” mean to the BC public chart
*Stratcom poll conducted for the BC SPCA May 5-13, 2021 (n=860, margin of error +/-3.5%, 19 times out of 20)
**Vision Critical poll conducted for the BC SPCA September 2015 (n=803, margin of error ±3.4%, 19 times out of 20)