Yesterday, Phoenix Pike posted on Facebook a sobering warning to other Canadian residents wishing to eliminate wasps from their yards: Don't buy TrapStik glue traps. Instead of catching wasps, the sticky glue trap attracted and killed 7 chickadees. Upset by this incident, Phoenix took to social media posting photos and a heart-wrenching message.
In just over 24 hours, her post has gone viral, being shared over 60,000 times and getting over 12,000 reactions on the social media platform. The story has attracted local news coverage, and continues to spread on social media.
The product, called a TrapStik is designed to trap wasps through "optical" attraction methods. This product has sold over 1 million units in the U.S. and according to the company, they are only aware of 5 cases where customer's have reported the trap snagging birds. RESCUE!, the maker of TrapStiks issued a statement on Facebook which says, “relative to the number of TrapStiks we sell every year, catching a bird is an extremely rare occurrence.”
However, the pressure on social media as a result of Phoenix Pike's post caused the chain store she purchased them at to remove the product from shelves, and other Canadian hardware stores have followed suit. I wouldn't be surprised if this spreads to the U.S. and they disappear from shelves in some locations. Retail superstore Wal-Mart still carries this product, which retails for $6.86/unit)
Take a quick look at a Google Search for "Loblaw Wasp Trap" and you will see one thing:
People care about birds.
This is the point of this blog post, that people do care about birds. Using social media, one woman's reaction to a product that indiscriminately killed birds resulted in dozens of stores removing the offending product from distribution. Social media works, folks. It's time to use this powerful platform of communication and improve the world we live in.
Don't underestimate your ability to positively affect change.
This leads to the larger issue: 25 million birds a year are being killed in the Mediterranean in a similar fashion. Click the links in this section to learn about the work Birdlife International is doing to stop this atrocity. National Geographic has also published a piece on this same issue. It's time for more people to educate themselves about birds, and connect and share their ideas in order to develop a solution to many of the solvable issues birds face. Will you make your voice heard?
If you'd like to learn more about glue traps and birds, read this blog post from 10,000 birds. Again, the key link above is: http://www.birdlife.org/campaign/stop-illegal-bird-killing