humane pest control, the one topic that causes a lot of debate is the killing of an animal - even a rodent that's widely considered a "pest". A relatively new invention loosely called a rodent zapper is now available - but is it humane?
A rodent zapper is a battery-operated device that administers a "shock" to the rodent when it enters the trap. The rodent is instantly rendered unconscious, and then quickly dies because it's muscles constrict, causing the lungs and heart to stop functioning. They are generally designed to work on mice and rats, but not on squirrels or other wildlife.
Rodent zappers are said to be designed so that they are safe to use around children or pets (the amount of energy put out by the device is limited). However, it's probably a good idea to use them with caution anyways, especially in households that include curious young children, or very small or young pets that could potentially enter the device.
Many types of these rodent zapper devices are available. The main selling points are that they are advertised to be quick and painless for the rodent, effective, use no toxic chemicals or poisons, can be re-used, and are easy to clean.
Many people feel the same way. Practicing preventive pest control can significantly reduce the risk of rodents entering the home, and maybe even eliminate the pest problem completely. But when rodents do gain entry into a house, they can cause a great deal of damage - from chewing walls, structures, and wires (creating a fire hazard); by contamination from their urine and feces; and they can transmit parasites and diseases to humans too.
There are several ways to deal humanely with rodents in the home. However, sometimes those methods have been exhausted and there are still rodents in the house... or the problem continues to get worse, despite all efforts at humanely controlling the issue... or the problem is taking a significant amount of time to resolve, while the house continues to sustain more and more damage... or the human occupants begin to get sick.
Even with the best efforts and the best experts, sometimes an infestation is just too large or problematic to resolve or contain with these methods. Even homeowners who were initially determined to avoid killing the rodents will sometimes feel they need to look at lethal options as a last resort.
Animals are humanely euthanized every day. Take household pets, for example - pet owners often face the difficult task of euthanizing their beloved dogs and cats who are ill, suffering, or who no longer have a reasonable quality of life.
Obviously unwelcome rodents who are infesting a home are not viewed in the same manner as a much-loved pet. As unpleasant as killing any creature is, a general view of a "humane" killing is one in which the animal is killed instantly without experiencing panic, or when the animal is rendered unconscious without panic and then quickly killed.
Although many homeowners would prefer not to have to kill a rodent, pest or not, unfortunately there may come a time when non-lethal methods aren't controlling the problem. In this case, a rodent zapper could be considered a humane way to help control a pest infestation.