Recently as you may or may not know a new type of trap has been released onto the pest market. This trap is the A24 rat trap. Along with this has come some bad press and this will be something I will expand on. I am not involved with the makers of this trap in any way apart from following the progress.
So what is the bad press surrounding this trap?
Do you know, or is it second-hand knowledge?
From what I have seen all the bad press is about
1 - Not being effective with the lures that are supplied.
2 - Not getting a number of dispatches expected.
3 - Field tests or lack of.
4 - Dispatches of non-target animals
Let's explore these things:
1 - The lures
There has yet to be a rodent lure that is 100% effective in all situations we come across. Most rodent products are tested to my knowledge mainly on farms, the one place that generally has a ready supply of rats without the correct pest management program in place. be it on purpose, cost or ignorance we will never truly know.
2 - Underestimated dispatches
This is a funny one especially for a new trap where people say the lure is the problem. Unless you are filming 24/7 or have a trail cam how can you state this is the fact?
The phrase it didn't go off once so it's a piece of rubbish, is one I hear readily yet it's a new trap. Yes it's been tested, yes it was humane and it works in trials.
But if it hasn't had a true test in different types of situations, which I cannot comment on personally as I've never had a dealing with this trap, how can people expect it to be perfect without a small amount of trial and error from the user? Did you just pick up a Fenn trap (MK 4 for rats) and know how to set it in that situation? NO, it's not that simple, I'll maybe expand on that in another blog if we get enough interest.
3 - Field tests
Now we cannot comment truly on this one as we have only seen this product at exhibition shows and from what we have heard over social media from other professionals.
Our question would be why haven't they showed us these results as proof, or as a selling point, have they given a certain amount to one company in one area, have they tried both domestic and commercial situations, have they trialled it in many areas throughout the country or just going on the wider/larger collective result of Europe, and did they need to do adjustments and tweaks to make them work more efficiently, we just don't know.
As I have already mentioned it's hard to say personally due to not having one in our possession.
I have yet to receive a response from the company to truly field test the product in the Oxfordshire area, in different situations and blog an honest review of our response to that product for you, our readers (will keep you updated if we hear anything on this).
4 - Dispatches of Non-target species.
Now, this is a very hard one in my mind to explain as a catch of a non-target has so many factors can be involved, the legality, the knowledge of the trap, situation where deployed, the pest technician in question and the target pest, and many more as any professional reading this may know.
The a24 trap has had a lot of bad press lately due to a photo that has been going around that shows a hedgehog dispatched in an A24 trap!! The press/ animal rights are saying things like "pest controllers or gamekeepers are setting these traps knowing they kill hedgehogs" or "the evil people setting traps for hedgehogs".
This is far from the truth we have strict codes, guidelines, and laws to follow. I can hopefully speak for many pest technicians in saying we actually love animals and respect the laws surrounding them.
The basic fact is this. Anyone both professional or a member of the public can buy a trap and set it. Anyone can say yes, I caught that rat, mouse, squirrel, rabbit etc I caught it that's the end of that, yet if it's caught in the wrong trap for the species ( most public don't know any better but some so called "professionals" don't care so make sure you choose a trusted company). If you set a trap (cleared for use by the spring trap approval order) for a rat it's to catch a rat, and not something else just because you set the trap and caught something, If you catch a mouse in that rat trap (yes another pest) and it's not included as a risk in the environmental risk assessment then ask yourself how legal it is to put over the internet? I'm after rats but caught a mouse, Another example could be stoats or mice caught in mole traps, and yes it's a possibility and people will post pictures publicly which also isn't good for our profession which is where the environmental risk assessment comes into play again. How many birds have been caught in traps they shouldn't.
There are many traps on the market and many are capable of catching more than what they are cleared for (some traps are multiple species cleared). I've seen many a picture on the internet that I hate to see, these are pictures of non-target species in a trap not meant for that animal. This relates from places all over the internet from Facebook groups to Instagram to twitter you name it. From stoats in mole traps through to snakes in rat traps and badgers in snares. Look it up it's all widely available on google these days.
Does it make it right? No, it doesn't.
But this isn't the question either.
The question is this,
Was the non-target released unharmed from that trap in the correct way?
Was every effort made to reduce that risk to non-target species during the treatment?
Etc etc etc.
The bad press photo doing the social media rounds on this trap comes down to this:-
who set that trap?
Where and why did they set that trap?
why did they set it that way?
Did they adjust the way they set those traps and experiment with heights, angles, baits?
Were they a professional?
Should they be allowed to set that trap? Should it be professional and public use?
What other wildlife can be affected by that trap, set in that situation and how can you do your utmost to stop non-targets entering those traps?
I hope you have read and understood my points in these writings and if not I'm sorry to you, the reader, but catching non-targets isn't something we at Shire Pest Solutions
enjoy. So set the correct trap, in the correct way, for the correct species.
Don't judge something by a single review and everyone has a different way of doing things in the pest control industry. Are there ways wrong? No, but are your ways wrong? No.
There is no one truly correct way for pest treatments of any kind to be carried out, each treatment is unique. For the environment, there is a correct way. The correct way for the environment is to apply the correct technique in the correct situation.
If you are in the business then why not try a new item personally? All you have to lose is that product cost but you may find that product works for you even when others don't! Just like any type of trapping it takes skill.
Sorry for boring you all with a long winded blog but felt like it needed to be out in the open. if you have any questions then please feel free to get in contact to discuss them.
My personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I have spoken to vance at Goodnature traps UK
about the photo on social media doing the rounds with there traps killing hedgehogs, i can confirm that this was not in the uk it was in a country that hedgehogs are none native pest species.
There are also new lures on the way as this is a new product and they are adding to it all the time to give us pest technicians more options.
Thank-you to vance for explaining everything about the A24 to me.
This was taken from the Goodnature traps Website just so you all can see they do care about our hedgehogs
If you have any more concerns over hedgehogs in your area, please get in touch. We would be happy to offer support on how to carry out a safe trapping regime that will help to protect hedgehogs in your area. Check your garden doesn’t hold
that threaten our prickly friends.
A responsible, well thought out trapping regime will actually benefit hedgehogs by stopping food competition and predation of their young.
Have a look here
on how to create a safer more enriched sanctuary for them in your garden.