We hung two wasp traps from the apple trees in our back yard. They were “caged” glue traps that were supposed to attract unwanted flying pests, while also being bird proof.

Tell that to the poor bird that made its way into the trap and got its back and wing stuck to the glue strip.

I discovered him while I was talking on the phone on our screened in back porch. I thought I saw something in the trap, and assumed it was a bird or squirrel. I almost didn’t take a closer look, but decided I should, expecting to find a small animal I could easily free.

No such luck.

The poor bird was stuck fast and had done a lot of damage to himself trying to get free. After a brief panic and intense wave of guilt, I looked up how to free an animal from a glue trap on the webs and got to work. Once I was gloved, goggled, and masked, I covered his head with a small cloth to calm him down, then slowly and carefully used olive oil soaked Q-tips to release him from the glue. Once he was completely released, I used a damp cloth to gently wipe away what oil I could. Then I set him down in the grass and removed his head cloth. He could stand, but not move much, and certainly couldn’t fly.

I went inside to get a box, then found him in the exact same spot, where I scooped him up and moved him to the front yard, safe from my dogs. I found a shaded spot under some thick Day Lilly growth, where I thought he could rest, with some cover from predators. I had no real expectation he would survive, but I did what I could to make him as safe and comfortable as I could.

He died that afternoon, in the same spot I left him.

I don’t handle animal death or suffering well, and this one hit me hard, because we had hung the trap he got stuck in.

Both traps were removed and discarded, and glue traps of any kind are now banned from our home.

I take some small comfort in knowing he didn’t die stuck to that trap. I’d like to think there was some sense of relief for him that he had been freed. But he suffered and died because of something we did, and that will bother me for a long time to come.

10 thoughts on “Remorse

  1. Ohhhhh the poor little bird. I have heard this happens with smaller birds. My mother had gotten some hang traps, and I reminded her to get the ones with small holes, only flying bugs would fit into. I would be much like yourself if a birdie got caught on one. I get more upset over animals dying then I do people.


  2. Oh wow. I’m not familiar with those kind of traps, but that was distressing just reading about that ordeal. (((hugs)))


  3. Sometimes “The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions” . It was an unfortunate occurrence which you did everything within your power to rectify. I feel as if you have served your time and should try to move on to bluer skies. You did nothing wrong!


  4. We are alike, you and I. I would feel the same way. Years ago, when I worked at a bank in Ohilly, there was a mouse infestation caused by people leaving good in their desks. Someone in facilities decided to put out those awful glue traps over the weekend to catch the mice and they did catch quite a few mice. When we came in Monday there were the glue traps with dead and dying (still struggling) to off the glue traps. Someone gathered up all the glue traps with the mice and threw them out the window to land on the roof where the HVAC equipment was located. I couldn’t concentrate on my work all day knowing their were still live mice on those glue traps struggling to free themselves. I wasn’t the only one upset by this cruel method of getting ride if the mice. The glue traps were never used again.


  5. I have several experience with sticky traps. One when I was younger we had mice in the hardware store I worked in. We laid down sticky traps but then you’d see the mouse struggling in the glue. My solution was to wrap the trap in pallet wrap and then place it on the floor.Jack up a pallet of say Coca-Cola and slam down on mouse. Dispose.

    Later in life I’m working for the RI Sec of State. I get told there’s a weird odor in our little kitchenette. I go in move the trash barrel out and the sight was disturbing. A dead mouse surrounded by tons of bugs in the glue. Yeah I’m the one with the cast iron stomach so I had to deal with it; Wrapped it in a trash bag and took it outside to the dumpster.


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