With a wasp problem around her home, Jessie Wall decided to buy TrapStik. This product states that it uses colour schemes and patterns to lure wasps, carpenter bees, hornets, mud daubers, and yellow jackets, but will not entice honey bees or “other beneficial insects.”
Unfortunately, the trap also lured seven chickadees to their deaths in Waterloo, Ontario. It was Wall’s son who discovered the dead birds and told her husband.
“They told me they were screaming and pecking at each other and pecking at him and they were really, really adhered to that trap, their wings, everything,” Wall told CBC. “They were on all sides, just completely splayed out, it was quite horrific. They tried to pull them off, wiggle them off, but there was just no way.”
Wall said she followed the directions and placed the trap on an eavestrough.
“I didn’t really think it was strong enough to hold a bird, let a lone a group of birds,” she said. “This is heartbreaking for us.”
Director of marketing at Rescue Pest Control Products—where TrapStik is sold—Stephanie Cates told CBC that in the five years that TrapStik was introduced in the U.S., a million have been sold and they only had about a dozen reports of birds being trapped.
“While rare, we acknowledge that this is an upsetting and traumatizing sight for anyone to see,” she said. “As with any sticky trap used outdoors, there is a risk of catching a bird, a beneficial insect or any other creature that flies and comes into contact with this trap.”
Loblaws has since removed the product from it’s shelves and is offering a full refund for any returns. Other Canadian retailers still carry the product.
“I made a big mistake, I want other people to learn form my mistake,” said Wall. “I’d like to see it taken off the shelves but that’s not my decision. That is a corporate decision for the retailer … I just want people to be aware.”