No good sticky situation!

Photographs of bats that were found stuck in glue traps. One survived to be released.
Top: Two bats caught on an indoor glueboard and brought to Save Lucy. One was already dead, and the other did not survive long after rescue.
Bottom: A bat found hopelessly stuck to a flypaper strip. He was freed from the strip, bathed, and finally released.

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! Yesterday, it was so windy that they cancelled school and I got to stay home! I did the sensible thing and slept ’til noon. It was great!

This week’s blog is a bit sad. It’s about something that needs to be said, but it makes me sad to think about it. This week’s blog is about glue traps. These traps are very harmful to animals. And I’m not just talking about the flies that people are trying to catch. These things hurt other animals, including bats.

A glue trap is basically a piece of cardboard, fiberboard, or a plastic board that has been coated with an incredibly sticky glue. It is a sort of nontoxic way to control pests (the glue sometimes contains insecticide). The problem with these traps is that they catch animals indiscriminately and the animals that are caught cannot break free. I totally understand that people don’t want insects, mice, or snakes in their houses. But, these traps are cruel. Animals are stuck in these traps for hours or even days. These traps don’t only catch the intended animals, but they catch any animal that happens to come by. Whether the trap is inside or outside, it can catch birds and bats in addition to other animals.

Earlier in the week, I saw a story about a Lesser long-eared bat that had been caught in a glue trap and couldn’t get free. A lot of microbats get stuck in these traps because they hear all the tasty bugs, and don’t realize there is a danger hidden underneath their dinner. The poor little bat struggled to get out of the trap so much that he dislocated one of the small bones in his wing, and ripped the tape in half. He had so much sticky stuff on him that he had trouble moving. He couldn’t fly! Bats need to fly in order to survive in the wild. The rehabilitators at Animalia Wildlife Shelter in Australia helped the critter as best they could. There is a video of him getting a nice bath. But, this little guy had been through too much and unfortunately, he passed away a week later. You can read about him and watch his video here.

So, on behalf of this little Lesser long-eared bat, and all the other animals that have been caught in glue traps (including the glue trap bats saved by Save Lucy), I would like to request that people stop using glue traps. If you or someone you know happens to find an animal stuck in a trap, please call an animal rescuer. They will do their best to save the little critter before it is too late. Always remember that a trapped animal is a scared animal. Please don’t try to free the animal yourself. Wildlife rehabilitators have been specially trained to deal with injured and scared animals and are the most able to help. Here is some more information, and some heartbreaking photos, from our friends at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

I would like to thank the people of Animalia Wildlife Shelter, especially Ms. Suzie Webster and Ms. Michelle Thomas for giving me permission to tell the story of their little bat and link to their post. All over the world, wildlife rehabilitators deal with this heartbreaking situation, and they spend a lot of time and effort trying to save them. If you would like to help, please remember that rehabilitators rely on donations. And keep the pressure on retailers to stop selling them! Here's a petition you can sign.

I hope you all have a good week.

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