Vail Daily letter: Mice needlessly suffer
September 18, 2013
It's fall — here come the mice, into our homes. Are they dangerous? The creatures themselves are not aggressive; don't stick your finger in their mouth and your probably OK. Mice and their feces do pose some health risks, however, and an infestation will likely lead to property damage as well. It make sense to keep them out of our homes and businesses.
I've never had mice in my home even when neighbors have, but I've owned cats. They weren't all great mousers, but just having a cat around seems to do the trick. In a workplace, I've used sonic repellents with decent success (you do need quite a few of them). I've also heard of using peppermint, ammonia and even snake poop to keep them out. But I know that most people are fine with just killing them.
Actually, I'm not horrified by the idea, either. They are just mice, right? A prolifically breeding prey animal with fewer predators to eat them then in the old days. But I am horrified by the glue traps and not thrilled by poison. I know nature delivers many inhumane deaths, but we humans can imagine the suffering we cause, and I personally can't help but imagine it. Empathizing with a lowly mouse is not considered normal. I don't mean to, but I hate knowing how long they spend dying.
Death is a fact of life, but needless suffering, slow death delivered because a sticky trap is cheaper drives me nuts. There are far worse injustices in the world but this one is based on pure convenience. Please help me out here — use deterrents when practical or instant kill traps. Save the poison for infestations where health is truly threatened and just ditch the sticky traps. Thanks.