We should elect more scientists to govern us. Of my limited studies of physics, there is one natural law I think about and use daily while making decisions. Newton’s Third Law of Motion states, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” I find that decisions can sometimes have severe, unanticipated consequences that prevent any positive outcomes. Fortunately, as a leader of a small business, if there are negative, unintended results of my decisions, it’s easy to scrap that idea and move on. However, when our elected officials make a decision that have an opposite intended effect, we as a society have to live with the consequences for decades or even forever.

A local news story exposed the high amount of nicotine addicts that are now purchasing their cigarettes through the black market. So many in fact, those state tax revenues have declined. It’s believed that putting obscene taxes and absurd regulations on nicotine products will encourage people to quit using them, while at the same time, we rely on those tax revenues from nicotine products to fund government programs. This is an example of the Third Law of Motion gone wild.  I suppose as more smokers quit or die off, the state will make up the loss of tax revenues by selling pot. Whether you agree with the legalization of Marijuana or not, it doesn’t take a mind like Newton’s to foresee the equal and opposite reactions that may occur. Although it is perhaps proposed with good intentions, there is complete disregard for the “equal and opposite reaction” principle in mind.

Relating to pest control, in the year 2000, the citizens of Washington, led by animal rights organizations, passed Initiative 713 to “…protect people and domestic pets…” I-713 banned the use of body gripping traps, as well as the sale of furs.  In 2003, efforts to amend the law to allow the use of mole traps sailed through both houses of the state legislature, only to be vetoed by Governor Gary Locke.  Despite not wanting to overrule the will of the people, Locke asked the Department of Fish and Wildlife to, “place limited enforcement resources into higher-order priorities than against homeowners, businesses, and the timber industry that traps moles, gophers, and mountain beavers.” This directive was adhered to for a few years until the Gregoire administration changed course and began enforcing the misdemeanor offense along with appropriate criminal penalties (fines), mostly at the expense of pest control companies.

There are many negative consequences as a result of this law, just ask anyone who has experienced a river otter nesting in their crawl space.  We are spending millions more trying to control the beaver population and moles are destroying thousands of lawns, driving homeowners to result to illegally trapping because traps are legal to buy, but not to use.

As a company, Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest has decided to remain law abiding and develop some alternative protocols for mole abatement. We will do our best by providing you with dedicated effort.  However, please understand if our efforts are less efficient, less effective and more expensive than trapping, keep in mind we’re dealing with the laws of physics here.

Dana’s Soapbox in Everett WA and Snohomish

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