Also known as “glue boards” or “glue trays,” sticky glue traps are made of pieces of plastic, cardboard, or fiberboard coated with a strong adhesive designed to trap any animal who wanders across or lands on their surface. Glue traps are among the most inhumane devices on the market today.
Mice aren’t the only ones hurt by glue traps—they also capture birds, squirrels, chipmunks, snakes, gerbils, kittens, and other small animals.
PETA often fields calls from people who have discovered small “nontarget” animals hopelessly trapped on these sticky boards. One distraught woman found a glue trap with a bird, two frogs, and a salamander stuck to its surface. All the animals were still alive when she found them but died later, despite her efforts to free them.
Glue traps are dangerous to human health—in fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Canada caution against their use! Animals who are trapped on these devices often void their bowels, potentially exposing anyone who handles the traps to hantavirus.
Glue traps never work to keep rodents away in the long run, and their use will actually backfire. This is because when animals are killed or otherwise removed, the resultant spike in the food supply causes accelerated breeding among survivors and newcomers—and this means increased populations. The only surefire way to keep mice and other animals out of your house is to make it less inviting to them.
To keep rodents away from your home, eliminate food sources by keeping counter surfaces, floors, and cabinets clean, and store dry food and “pet” food in chew-proof containers. Seal trash cans (use bungee cords on lids) and never feed companion animals outside.
Ammonia-soaked cotton balls or rags will drive rodents out (they hate the smell). Place them in areas where rodents, droppings, or nests have been seen, and be sure to give the animals a few days to leave. Then, to keep unwelcome “visitors” out, seal entry points using foam sealant, steel wool, hardware cloth, or metal flashing. If any rodents need to be removed from homes, this can be done with humane box traps.
Tons of companies, including CVS, Dollar Tree, Rite Aid, and Walgreens, have stopped selling glue traps, and many other businesses have stopped using glue traps after hearing from concerned customers. Unfortunately, some companies still sell these inhumane devices. Whenever you see glue traps for sale, send a polite letter to the store manager. Ask him or her to stop selling the traps and point out the many companies nationwide that have already sworn off glue traps.
If you encounter an animal who is stuck to a glue trap, pour a small amount of cooking oil or baby oil onto the stuck areas (avoiding the animal’s nose and mouth) and gently work the animal free. If you cannot free the animal, quickly rush him or her to a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator. Sometimes euthanasia performed by a veterinarian is the most humane way to end the trapped animal’s suffering.
Remember: Glue traps cause slow, agonizing deaths for the animals they trap. Never use glue traps, and share this with your family and friends so that they will learn the truth about these vile devices, too. Mice and rats are intelligent, sensitive animals who are just as capable of pain and suffering as the cats and dogs we share our homes with.