‘My heart hurts’: Trap intended for wasps kills birds in Toronto woman’s backyard
Rachael D'Amore, CTV News Toronto
Published Monday, July 17, 2017 4:18PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 17, 2017 7:18PM EDT
A Toronto woman says an insect trap is to blame for the death of several birds in her backyard after they became trapped in the sticky contraption.
In a disturbing series of photos posted on Facebook, several dead birds can be seen mangled on the surface of a trap intended for wasps.
“My heart hurts,” Phoenix Pike wrote on Facebook on Monday morning.
“We bought a wasp trap from Real Canadian Superstore recently as we were noticing a lot of wasps in our backyard. We often have little children playing there so we though a trap would help. Sadly unbeknownst to us it trapped seven tiny birds as well. It is SUPER sticky.”
Pike wrote that she contacted the retailer about her discovery, but were told that the product would not be pulled nor would a warning be issued.
“They have a commitment or contract with the distributor. They have noted it with their Head Office,” Pike wrote.
The TrapStik touts itself online as an “optical response sticky wasp trap” that uses “exclusive technology to draw stinging insects with appealing colours and a multi-dimensional pattern.”
The wasps are supposed to be attracted to the bright green hanging cylinder and, once they make contact, get stuck to the adhesive surface.
“Wasps are lured to the sticky surface,” a description of the product reads. “Once stuck, they expire on their own.”
Though entrapping birds is not the product’s intention, the manufacturer, a U.S. company called RESCUE! Pest Control, calls the incident an “extremely rare occurrence.”
“In the five years since this product was introduced in the U.S., we’ve sold over one million TrapStiks, and have been alerted to a bird catch about a dozen times,” a spokesperson RESCUE! said in a written statement provided to CTV News Toronto.
“While rare, we acknowledge that this is an upsetting and traumatizing sight for anyone to see. As with any sticky trap used outdoors, there is a risk of catching a bird, a beneficial insect or any other creature that files and comes into contact with this trap.”
The U.S. company, which is said to offer “environmentally responsible solutions to problems with pest insects,” has been making the TrapStik since 2012.
The spokesperson noted that where customers choose to hang the product is key in avoiding incidents involving birds or otherwise.
They advise hanging the trap from a “man-made structure” where it’s more likely to avoid reach of children, pets and birds.
“We are constantly evaluating and looking at ways to improve our products and are discussing this matter internally,” the statement reads. “We will also continue to promote best practices for use of our products to help consumers get optimal results when they need to mitigate a pest problem.”
The product is currently being sold at Home Hardware, Walmart, Home Depot and on Amazon and Ebay.
In her Facebook post, Pike said her particular trap was purchased from a local Real Canadian Superstore location.
A spokesperson from Loblaw, the parent company which includes Real Canadian Superstore, told CTV News Toronto via email that it’s the first they’ve heard about the concerns with the product, but intend on taking it off their shelves.
“While we are aware that other Canadian retailers carry this item, we have made the proactive decision to remove the product from our shelves,” the spokesperson wrote. “We are working on issuing this notification to our stores and will be able to accept any returns with a receipt for a full refund.”
CTV News Toronto has reached out to Pike for further comment.