This Kitten Maimed by a Mousetrap Wants You to Use Humane Rodent Control
Starving stray kitten Babybell faced a terrifying near-death experience when she tried to swipe a piece of cheese from a mousetrap and ended up with her front paw trapped and crushed. Fortunately, she was found and rescued by a passer-by and taken in by the Blue Cross to recover, although her injured leg had to be amputated.
Babybell’s story highlights the indiscriminate suffering that can be caused by cruel mousetraps. Animals rarely survive an encounter with these vicious devices and may often be trapped and in pain for hours when one of their limbs gets caught. It’s a slow, agonising and frightening way to die.
Even more inhumane are glue traps. Mice will struggle desperately to escape, even chewing off their own limbs, or else suffocate to death when their tiny faces get stuck in the glue. Using poison is also a bad idea, as cats, dogs and other non-target animals can often die painfully after accidentally ingesting them. These unkind rodent-control methods aren’t even effective over the long term because animals will often learn to avoid traps and killing animals leads to a spike in resources that will encourage others to come in and take their place.
Mice and rats certainly don’t deserve these cruel and unusual forms of punishment. Mice are extremely agile, can communicate using ultrasound and feel deep empathy for other members of their species. Rats make happy “laughing” sounds when they play, become lonely and depressed without companionship and are susceptible to peer pressure. Both mice and rats also feel pain and fear, care about their families and value their lives, just as humans do.
Even so, if, understandably, you’d prefer not to share your home with these furry little animals, try these humane and effective ways to keep them out of your house:
- Take preventive measures, and don’t leave a food supply for little visitors. Keep living areas clean, sweep up crumbs, empty the rubbish frequently and store food in sealed containers.
- Stop rodents from entering your home in the first place by filling any cracks and holes in walls and skirting boards with foam sealant or steel wool.
- Peppermint oil is a natural deterrent that will keep mice and rats away. Place oil-soaked cotton balls and rags throughout infested areas. Ammonia will also encourage them to move on.
- Traps tend not to be the best way to keep your house mouse-free over the long term, but if you must use them, humane, box-type traps can be used to capture mice safely and then release them outside in a suitable area. If you use these, be sure to check them every few hours, as rodents quickly become dehydrated when frightened.
Kitten photo: Courtesy of Blue Cross