Re "They scamper, we stalk," Column One, May 9
This informative article about the rodent problem in Los Angeles unfortunately left out the intense suffering these mammals experience as a result of poisoning and, even worse, glue traps. These smart, resourceful animals scream and will chew off limbs and skin in an attempt to escape the traps. They ultimately die of starvation or dehydration -- sometimes it takes days -- if they are not fortunate enough to be found and dispatched sooner. It can be a disturbingly unforgettable experience, as it was for me almost 20 years ago when I foolishly used a glue trap to catch something doing me no harm.
After reading this article, I thought I could further help the eradication of rats and save a few precious songbirds along the way. Living in the foothills is a glorious privilege, but the pleasure comes with some pain. We have rats and many other assorted fur-bearing creatures. I have killed enough rodents to make my wife a full-length, rat-skin coat.
She has steadfastly refused the gift, but I still kill them, and after years of experimentation and networking, I have found that peanut butter is the best bait, bar none. Only Disney's mice like cheese.