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Loblaws and Home Hardware pull product after disturbing photos show birds trapped in wasp catcher

Last Updated Jul 19, 2017 at 8:07 am EDT

Loblaws and Home Hardware are pulling a bug trapper off store shelves after photos surfaced online of several small birds stuck to the product’s surface.

The disturbing photos were posted to social media on Monday.

“We bought a wasp trap from Real Canadian Superstore recently as we were noticing a lot of wasps in our backyard. We often have little children playing there so we thought that a trap would help,” the Facebook post read.

“Sadly unbeknownst to us it trapped 7 tiny birds as well.”

The poster, who lives in the Beaches, said that she contacted the manufacturer of the TrapStik but was told they would not remove the product or post a warning.

According to the company, the TrapStik was designed to catch wasps as well as mud daubers, hornets, yellowjackets and carpenter bees.

In a statement to CityNews, Stephanie Cates, director of marketing and communications for Sterling International Inc., the company behind the TrapStik, said that while it is extremely rare, the product has been known to trap birds.

“Relative to the number of TrapStiks we sell every year, catching a bird is an extremely rare occurrence. In the 5 years since this product was introduced in the U.S., we’ve sold over 1 million TrapStiks, and have been alerted to a bird catch about a dozen times,” the statement read.

“While rare, we acknowledge that this is an upsetting and traumatizing sight for anyone to see. As with any sticky trap used outdoors, there is a risk of catching a bird, a beneficial insect or any other creature that flies and comes into contact with this trap.”

Cates said customers are told to only hang a TrapStik in a tree if there is a hornet’s nest in that tree. Otherwise the product is to hang from a man-made structure, away from where children, birds or pets may come in contact with the adhesive.

But instances of bird catching were news to Loblaws.

Tammy Smitham, vice president of external communication for Loblaw Companies Ltd., said this was the first time they’d heard concerns about the product and they would begin notifying their stores to accept refunds.

“While we are aware that other Canadian retailers carry this item, we have made the proactive decision to remove the product from our shelves,” the statement read.

“We are working on issuing this notification to our stores and will be able to accept any returns with a receipt for a full refund.”

Home Hardware, which also carries the product, told CityNews on Monday it would be investigating the situation.

On Tuesday, Home Hardware confirmed they would be removing the item from their shelves.

Customers are being advised that if they find birds or other small animals stuck to the TrapStik, to use soap and water to free the animals.