Seriously people, like I don’t have enough problems in my life right now. Some idiot reader of my site decided to sign me up for PETA’s email newsletter and report my post Mice, Rats & Vermin In Buildings Oh My! to them. Curiously I cannot unsubscribe to the PETA emails because I don’t have the password…
Helpful Tips From PETA for Landords
Respectfully, did you receive my email (below)?
Jodi Minion, PETA
Yes I did receive your email, however; I was hoping you would go away. Unfortunately you have not.
Dear Ms. Berube,
We hope that this letter finds you well. PETA is an international animal rights organization with more than 3 million members and supporters globally, tens of thousands of whom proudly reside in Canada. Our office has been contacted by visitors of your website regarding your blog titled “Mice & Rats & Vermin [i]n Buildings – Oh My!,” which recommends that property owners deal with unwanted wildlife by killing them (or by “kill[ing] yourself” in the case of raccoons). We hope to offer your readers suggestions about how to effectively deal with unwanted wildlife in order to prevent frustration as well as animal suffering.
(Sigh) I don’t have any raccoons around… can I still kill myself? Everyone in the developed world knows who PETA is after watching Pamela Anderson run around bare chested covered in fake blood at the Oscars last year or whatever.
Removing/killing wildlife never works in the long run, as you’ve no doubt noticed, and will actually backfire. When animals are removed from an area, a spike in the food supply results which causes survivors and newcomers to breed at an accelerated rate. Populations increase, and residents will wind up with even more unwanted animals than they had before. To keep raccoons, squirrels, rats and other animals away, property owners should be advised to trim branches away from structures and power lines, to seal garbage tightly (ask landlords/tenants to use bungee cords on lids or lock Dumpsters), and to never leave pet food outside or deliberately feed wildlife. Applying pepper-based repellent sprays (available at garden centers) to branches, and installing motion-triggered lights also keeps animals away. Trunks/poles can be wrapped with aluminum or plastic sheeting to prevent climbing. Wildlife can be evicted by placing ammonia-soaked rags in attics, sheds, and dens. Once the animals are gone (this usually happens quickly, but it can take mothers a few days to move babies), all entry points should be sealed.
There are too many people in Toronto that create garbage and almost unlimited eating, nesting and breeding opportunities for wildlife while simultaneously completely eradicating large predators because they might devour my neighbour’s 5 lb chihuahua and infants. Thank God for cars or we’d be three feet deep in racoons in this city.
We have rather stringent tenant protection laws in this lovely province of ours so, as landlords, we are best off to hire a competent wildlife control expert rather than climb up in our tenant’s attics with ammonia soaked rags only to confront an angry raccoon mama protecting her baby while perched on the top of a 20 foot ladder. Also I’m pretty sure that our tenants would not enjoy the smell and stinging eyes caused by the ammonia in their attic. Fortunately I’ve heard it’s rarely fatal to tenant’s children except of course the asthmatics, but we all know what Darwin would say about that. Right?
I also have strict rules about the proper use of pepper spray, it works really well on loitering tenants who smoke weed in my stairwells and is absolutely delicious on Spaghetti (You learn something new every day) but the first rain washes that crap off branches rendering it useless.
No one but an idiot tenant would feed wildlife, one of which I knew knew fed the area racoons cat food while her landlord who lived upstairs had to have wildlife removal technicians at his house every other day.
Boy, I’ll tell you those racoons are not potty trained, as the landlord discovered when his bedroom ceiling collapsed and 37 baby racoons and about a cubic meter of raccoon shit fell directly on his Ralph Lauren 600 thread count designer sheets.
The babies were sooo cute and she fed them right out of her hand. Where is a rabies epidemic when you really need one?
If wildlife removal is insisted upon, then animals can be live-trapped and immediately transported to an animal shelter for humane euthanasia (via lethal injection, inhalant anesthetics, or CO2 gas). Relocating wildlife beyond their natural territory (a one mile radius for raccoons/squirrels) is inhumane as relocated animals have trouble finding adequate food, water, and shelter; and they are commonly badly mauled in territorial attacks, or succumb to foreign diseases and parasites to which they lack natural immunity.
What is the difference between “kill them” and humane euthanasia? Doesn’t the animal end up dead? Personally I’d prefer a quick shovel blow to the head rather than a nasty cage. Animals have pooped in there and there are germs. If there was Purell in the cage it would be better. Does PETA put Purell in their animal cages?
In Canada we are a much more advanced civilization than the United States from whence you hail. Killing wildlife is illegal here period. It doesn’t matter how nicely you do it or even if you give the raccoon a kiss and a steak and lobster supper before, something legal and bad will happen to you. Don’t tell anyone we are more culturally advanced than you, we’re so enlightened that your huge egos and continual propaganda about how the USA is the best country on the planet doesn’t bother us.
FYI this is just my opinion as a human and not a raccoon but I’d rather be alive and scrounging for food in the City of Toronto than dead no matter what the method used. There is probably a great meal to be had in the local Tim Horton’s trash bin and water in a puddle. Clearly, unless the raccoon is retarded, if it’s within city limits a puddle and a Tim Horton’s can be found within a one block radius. This is another reason why Canada is a much more advanced civilization than the USA. Tim Hortons. I mean those bathrooms are squeaky CLEAN!!!
If lethal control of mice/rats is insisted upon, glue traps should be avoided at all cost due to their extreme toxicity. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Health Canada both caution against the use of glue traps due to disease risks. Glue traps are also extremely cruel. Panicked, ensnared animals struggle mightily, tearing flesh, breaking bones, becoming more entangled in the adhesive, only to die exhausted, frightened, injured, from shock, dehydration, asphyxiation, or blood loss. Research shows that death can take days. And the screaming of ensnared rodents is extremely upsetting people who are then stymied as to how to “dispose” of these living creatures. Glue traps are also cost prohibitive because they aren’t reusable, and because they must be changed bi-weekly as the glue becomes inert. Poisons are extremely toxic/cruel too, and should never be used.
I used a glue trap on a tenant who was avoiding me, I bought a whole case of crazy glue and put in front of her doors. When I went back the next day to check if my ingenious trap had worked…she was indeed crazy and I found that that she was screaming and much louder than a mouse. I did help her out by carefully stepping over the Crazy Glue trap and going to get her purse so she could write me a check for rent arrears. I too was stymied on how to “dispose” of her but then I told her to take her shoes off and she was OK. Dodged a bullet there.
Also I have a question about the disease risks of glue traps. Is it more likely to make you sick to stick a rodent on a glue trap and then throw it down the garbage to the compactor where it dies a ghastly crushing death far enough away to muffle the screams or is it more likely to have a rodent make you sick by pissing and shitting all over your counters, gnawing your kids cereals boxes and eating all the Chocolate Cheerios? How many double blind human trials on the disease risks of ingesting mouse defecation vs the risk of picking up a sticky piece of paper with a small helpless mouse stuck to it has PETA paid for?
In any case the chances of you getting sick via mouse vectors is extremely improbable after all wheat and subsequently flour has generous allowances for allowable amount of rodent feces. Normal people understand the necessity to rid their homes of pests and vermin anyways.
I agree that poisons are toxic. It sure is nice to finally agree on an issue. I’m very agreeable or at least that what’s my grade school teacher Mrs. Armstrong said after I finished my one hour presentation on the parts of the flower.
As for the mice, they are indeed quite cute, and even delicious according to Farley Mowat.
The safest lethal options available for mice/rats are the D-Con Ultra Set Covered Mouse/Rat Trap and the Victor Electronic Trap. These are readily available, cost-effective (reusable), clean/touch-free, discreet, safe to use around food and children/tenants, and they ensure a quick death. Even ordinary snap traps are far preferable to glue traps or poisons.
Minion, while I respect that you must have an affiliate link to the $50 mouse trap, you are bat shit crazy if you think I’m going to buy a $50 mouse trap. Seriously after paying property taxes, mortgage and maintenance I usually have to put the $1.99 mouse traps on my credit card. Occasionally I have to shop lift them, if I have a tenant that isn’t paying rent. Just saying.
We hope that these tips are useful and you’ll be willing to offer this information to your readers. Please let us know if we can be of further help.
Jodi, thank you very much for your kind offer of help, I currently have one unit infested with bedbugs and the tenants that live there are highly questionable life forms. They have serious problems with complying with regular treatment protocols such as washing their laundry and cleaning up their unit. They are also being very cruel to the bed bugs. They are not careful when they sleep and crush the poor helpless souls mercilessly. I have seen with my own eyes the carnage of bed bug entrails and their little tiny helpless feet on these beast’s mattress. It’s just awful.
I have tried to get someone to rehome the bedbugs but no one is willing to save them. I figure if you could find a lady to save chickens and let them shit all over her house as they run around freely like in that TV show I saw once, you would be able to find these cute, little, cuddly bugs a wonderful new home. You might even like to give them free reign of your head office. Bugs after all are animals too and you wouldn’t want to poison them. I heard poisons are toxic. I’m sure many landlords would agree to ship the bedbugs you in humane shipping containers, such as a shoe box filled with those tasty styrofoam pellets.
Also the tenants, I am not sure but I suspect that some of the tenants in my building are not human, they may be a form of the elusive sasquatch aka Big Foot come to live among us. My reason for this line of reasoning is that they have curious nocturnal habits, when the other tenants are sleeping they are drinking and hooting and hollering a lot, during the day they sleep while other people work. They are hairy although this is hard to ascertain due to advances in razor technology such as the new 200 blade razor for $187 manufactured curiously by the same people who make those $50 mousetraps. There are variations in the species but…the one common characteristic they all share is a complete inability to pay their rent. Because of your impressive credentials as a Wildlife Biologist for PETA I was thinking I could ship you a few of those and you can dissect them and tell me if my suspicions are correct. I must insist that if you do discover that they are indeed a “sasquatch or Bigfoot species” that I have perceived due to my keen eye and scientific methodology, you must name it deadbeatimus sasquatchus.
Cheers to you too!
Jodi Minion, Wildlife Biologist
Emergency Response Team
Cruelty Investigations Department