Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Toxicology Tuesday, September 11


Toxic or Not?


Answer: Not toxic (But, see discussion in the Comments section)

17 comments:

Lisa said...

Not - at least the active ingredient in this one isn't, although I don't know whether there might be other sticky traps that incorporate other chemicals that might be. How's that for a qualified maybe?

Anonymous said...

Toxic. Eugenol, while a "natural" ingredient can be toxic to dogs at certain levels. Level of toxicity depends on amount ingested. Causes vomiting, weakness, lethargy and even death at higher levels.

KGMom said...

Well, anything that advertizes as a "natural anesthetic" doesn't sound like a good thing to me--for whatever furry creature.

holly said...

I have no idea but I think these are the cruelest things around.

JMNSHO.

Kathy said...

If dogs and cats got enough eugenol, I think it could be toxic to them. I'm not sure if there is enough in these traps to hurt them, but if I used them (which I don't) I'd make sure the dogs and cat stayed away from them, just to be safe.

LauraHinNJ said...

These are barbaric!

Susan Gets Native said...

I made the mistake of using one of the "bug" sticky traps, and I put it under my desk, forgetting that Trixie likes to hide from Pandora under there. Ever wonder what a cat looks like after a hot wax? I still feel horrible.
I have no idea about toxicity. "Natural anesthetic"? Is that supposed to make us feel better about letting a small animal starve to death while stuck to a board?

KatDoc said...

You know, this was supposed to be a quick and easy post, since I was in a hurry to write a Tox. Tues. this week. Glue boards are listed as non-toxic for dogs and cats on the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control web site, so I snapped a photo in the store and stuck this post up without noticing the "Eugenol" on the label.

Alert readers caught it though, and sent me to the 'Net to research this "natural anesthetic." Eugenol is found in clove oil, and is commonly used in human dentistry as a local anesthetic in root canals, fillings and caps. It is also found in OTC toothache remedies, food flavorings, and clove cigarettes.

Eugenol is an essential oil like cinnamon, garlic, cedar or citronella, which act as natural pesticides by disrupting a neurotransmitter unique to insects, and thus are considered "safe" for mammals. As Anon and Kathy pointed out, enough of anything, even a "natural" agent, can be toxic.

The reports I read of eugenol toxicity involved drinking large amounts of the pure oil (I could not find what constitutes a "large amount") or in research where it was administered to dogs by stomach tube or injecting it directly into their femoral veins. (And we aren't going to speculate why that bit of torture was necessary.) Many organ systems can be affected, from a burning sensation on contact with the skin or mouth to the respiratory, urinary, GI, cardiovascular, and neuro systems. I didn't find any reports of accidental exposure in dogs, nor of any deaths from eugenol in my search.

From that information, I concluded that the tiny amount of eugenol in a glue board wouldn't be considered poisonous to our pets. But, I thank everyone for their comments here, as well as my sister's input on the phone, about eugenol.

The ethics of glue traps are another story. I agree with Holly, Laura, and Susan that these things are cruel and barbaric. If you need to get rid of mice, a snap trap that kills instantly is much more humane than letting the poor thing stick to a glue board, struggle, suffer, and starve. I can't imagine what you would do if you found a live mouse stuck to a glue board. And of course, if your pet gets stuck to one, removing it would be tough. I don't know for sure how you would go about it, but I think I would try using something with an oily base - maybe Vaseline or peanut butter - to help unstick the glue board from the pet.

I think this is a first - I learned something from this week's Toxicology quiz. Thank you all for your insightful comments!

~Kathi

Anonymous said...

I will agree that I think the sticky traps are awful and I was really sad to have to resort to using them in my kitchen after placing the snap traps and even the stupid little box they are suppose to walk into and then the door closes behind them so that I wouldn't have to kill it! I am deathly afraid of mice! It's a trauma I went through as a child and I have to say to everyone that says those sticky traps are barbaric... to a woman that refuses to live in fear in my own home... they are sometimes the only option left!

Anonymous said...

Yeah... I agree that it is "barbaric" to use the glue traps but I placed snap traps everywhere I could without it being a hazard to my dogs...
These things cleaned to peanut butter off of the traps without setting them off and this was everyday... Even scarier is that one of my most active traps is in a closet and they have dragged the glue board and snap trap under the door in the the entry doorway to my office with out getting stuck or setting off the snap trap... I got some pinky and the brain lab mice esacpees living in my house...
I have glue traps and snap traps everywhere the dogs cant get to them and I have caught one mouse... Unfortunately he went over the snap trap into the glue board...
Like the person said before me, I am not going to live in fear in my own house... I dont know what foods these things get into before I eat it...
Being stuck to a glue board for a few hours just before getting smacked with a hammer is far less cruel than being sick from unknowingly eating rodent excrement and dying slowly over the coarse of days from being sick...
Its either me or them and I intend to make it them...

Anonymous said...

I have to anonymously chime in here. Trying to get rid of a mouse problem in a house with a German shepherd, a chihuahua, and a kitten has made me really careful about the toxicity/danger of our chosen mouse-removal methods.

I think your research is correct in that it would take a large amount of eugenol, and it would have to be ingested/injected somehow to cause real damage. The glue on the glue traps is thick enough (not to mention sticky enough) that a pet or child would have a very hard time eating it. I don't think it's fatally toxic by contact alone, either, judging from the live mice I've found on ours (which leads me to my next point).

I agree that the glue traps are pretty inhumane, but consider the alternatives. The snap traps are well and good... if they work. Most of our mice just steal the bait and leave the traps. The ones that get caught don't always die, either... so that seems even less humane than the glue traps (now they're injured, stuck, and in pain instead of just stuck).

Anyone who thinks cats kill mice humanely needs to think again. Cats play with mice until they die of shock, bleed to death, or are lucky enough to have their necks broken. It may be "natural," but it's not humane.

Poison is a slow, painful death.

As for live traps--again, IF they work (we tried these for months before caving to the glue traps)--let's say you catch a mouse and release him a mile from your house. There are three possible outcomes: 1) the mouse lives happily ever after as a field mouse; 2) the mouse is quickly killed by the elements or other predators (cats, foxes, etc.); or 3) the mouse moves into someone else's house, and they resort to one of the above methods. Guess which ones are most likely.

So I've come to believe that any death, provided it's quick, is okay. The most humane would be live trapping and then putting the little buggers to sleep like they do at a vet's office, but if you have a serious mouse problem, this isn't all that reasonable. The electric shock traps seem like a good idea (never tried them).

You CAN dissolve the glue on the glue traps with vegetable oil, so that's one option if a pet or a mouse you'd rather not kill gets into one. Or you can do what we do in my house, and take the glue trapped ones outside for a quick death via brick. It's gruesome, but it's better than letting them slowly starve, bleed to death, or die of poisoning. (And they don't starve here; we check the traps about 4 times a day.) I think snap traps and poisons, etc. are just the coward's way out since you don't have to get your hands dirty with them. That's not any nicer to the mice, though.

Anonymous said...

i use the glue traps then hit them with a club

Jason & Paula said...

We are OVER RUN with mice. They have gotten so brave they come out during the day right under our noses. We've tried EVERYTHING to get rid of them. We started with live traps that only trapped the skinny, hungry ones, and when those stopped working we resorted to the snap traps they they stole the bait off of, then we tried the electric trap (that we shelled out $30 for) and after we had to PRY a FAT dead mouse out of it I wasn't so impressed with it anymore. After that was the plastic snap traps that are supposed to be harder to steal bait off of. After finding a mouse in one alive and thinking it would just 'release it' I pushed it open and he fell out, paralyzed from the middle back. Yeah, that made me feel WONDERFUL. They don't snap hard enough to kill them. My LAST RESORT was glue traps. I did NOT want to use them, but mice have chewed EVERYTHING they can get their teeth on! My husband took his work uniform off and left it in the floor. The next day when I picked it up to wash it there were holes chewed in it from the mice! I've had them get in our beds and had them run across my feet in broad daylight. So glue traps, here we come! The ONLY thing that makes me feel better about HAVING to use them is the fact that we put them in the freezer after we catch them. I've always heard freezing is just like going to sleep. If I had to pick how I died, that would be it. I figure it's the least painful way to die. I also want to try a make it yourself trap I saw on the internet with a five gallon bucket, a coffee can covered in peanut butter and a wooden dowel. The mouse steps on the can, it spins and the mouse falls in the bottom of the bucket. You can release them, bash their little cute heads in, or put antifreeze in the bottom of the bucket. I haven't decided what we'll decide to do with them when we make it. *sigh* Too bad they can't be ugly things that you don't mind killing, like monster roaches. I can step on those things ALL DAY!!!

Sensible said...

Eugenol is about as toxic as, say, nicotine. If you concentrate it enough, it will kill you, but in a tiny glue trap, it is not a big deal.

As for the squeamish idiots saying glue traps are inhumane, I defy you to find a better solution to a mouse infestation. It might be inhumane to throw a mouse trapped in a glue trap in the trash, but if you have half a brain and an ounce of mettle you will dispatch the mouse before you dispose of it. Death is death, and being trapped in glue is no worse than being trapped in a tiny plastic "live catch" cage. Mice do not suffer. People suffer. I think I will spend more time concentrating on the dangers of things such as dioxins and methyl mercury than eugenol in a frigging glue trap.

I suppose the best option would be to just let the mice do their own thing, but that is filthy by anybody's (and I mean anybody's, from the third world on up) standards.

Chuck said...

"
As for the squeamish idiots saying glue traps are inhumane, I defy you to find a better solution to a mouse infestation."

It's called a snap trap. Or a rat zapper. Or any of the multitude instant kill devices you can get. Cage traps are OK too, afterwards you can let the animal go or humanely kill it.

"Death is death, and being trapped in glue is no worse than being trapped in a tiny plastic "live catch" cage."

No it's isn't. One thing about the glue trap is that they'll try to get off - what do you think happens? The glue is too strong and they pull with all their might. Once they skin themselves alive or maybe dislodge an eyeball or break their limbs, they will chew a limb off to escape.

A quick death vs a slow and painful one. Hmm, hard choice.

"Mice do not suffer. People suffer."

People aren't the only animals that can suffer. Mice can feel fear and pain... maybe not on a mental level as ourselves but they're surely developed enough to suffer.

Many, many people can solve their pest problems without glue traps - in many countries they are illegal and not even sold. What is your excuse? I think I know: it is laziness. Glue traps are the cheapest and easiest to set... so that extra convenience seems to be worth the animal's pain. Attitudes like that don't belong here, because they are the root of evil. You could apply that principle to many other acts of barbarity.

Why on earth would you put the animal through so much pain when it is not necessary? Something is wrong with people like you - in fact, I'd rather the mouse than them. Heartless people can blow me.

Anonymous said...

Cat stuck! I have had a cricket problem and after spraying, one bomb, etc., I put some glue traps inside just to see if there were any left inside. They were out for two weeks, one behind the bookcase and my cat got stuck in it. BAD. She flipped out, and I put olive oil on her paws and then washed with soap and water. It's been a mess. Didn't think she could reach the trap.

KatDoc said...

ENOUGH with the debate over whether or not glue boards are humane, or whether mice suffer, etc.

The point of this series of posts was the toxicity or lack thereof of rodent products. The comments here are deteriorating to the point of nastiness. Apparently, a number of anonymous posters weren't around to read the introduction to my blog, wherein it was stated that we will all BE NICE.

Desist in making rude comments regarding this topic.