One of the cruelest methods of killing animals that exists today is the glue trap. These devices consist of pieces of cardboard, fiberboard, or plastic coated with a sticky adhesive designed to ensnare any small animal who wanders across or lands on its surface.
Trapped rodents and other animals suffer immeasurably during the days that it takes for them to die. Glue traps rip patches of skin, fur, and feathers off the animals’ bodies as they struggle to escape, and many animals even chew off their own legs trying to get free. Some animals get their faces stuck in the glue and suffocate, which can take hours. And the screaming of ensnared rodents is extremely upsetting to people who are then unsure of how to “dispose” of these living creatures. Glue-trap manufacturers generally direct consumers to throw animals in the trash along with the trap, leaving the victims to suffer for days until they finally die of starvation, dehydration, or stress—a cruel fate.
Glue traps are completely indiscriminate. PETA fields calls on a regular basis from distraught individuals who have discovered birds, lizards, snakes, bats, chipmunks, squirrels, and even their own animal companions hopelessly stuck to these sticky boards.
Glue traps also pose disease risks to humans. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically warns against their use because of the threat of hantaviruses posed when terrified, ensnared animals lose control of their bodily functions.
In addition to being cruel, indiscriminate, and unsanitary, glue traps and other lethal methods 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!
Further, glue traps are cost prohibitive because their adhesive becomes inert after two weeks.
Poisons are extremely toxic and cruel, too, and should never be used. If lethal methods of rodent control are insisted upon, they should at least guarantee a quick death.
Humanely Send Rodents Packing
The only long-term way to control rodent populations is to make the area unattractive or inaccessible to them. Eliminate their 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), never feed companion animals outside, pick up fallen fruit and vegetables in orchards and gardens if possible, and never feed wildlife. Reduce hiding places by keeping grass and vegetation trimmed back and outdoor furniture, grills and barbecues, and wood piles away from buildings.
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 cage traps. PETA has carried a “smart” mousetrap in our catalog for years because it’s effective and humane, and it’s one of our top-selling items.
To be humane, live traps must be checked hourly since trapped animals can quickly die from stress, exposure, or dehydration. Also, rodents must be released within 100 yards of where they were found because animals who are relocated beyond their natural territory have trouble finding adequate food, water, and shelter and die as a result. When not in use, humane traps should be scrubbed with a mild bleach solution (to eliminate food smells), disabled, and securely stored—otherwise animals can become trapped unbeknownst to the user!
Read more about proven humane rodent-control methods.
Did You Find an Animal on a Glue Trap?
If you encounter an animal who is stuck to a glue trap, place a few drops of cooking oil or baby oil in between the glue and the animal, and gently work the animal free. Be sure to keep oil use to a minimum, otherwise oiled animals can perish from exposure later on. While removing the animal from the glue, slide tissue or paper underneath freed body parts to prevent them from getting re-stuck. Once free, active and alert rodents can be released outdoors during good weather within a one-block radius of where they were discovered. Lethargic or imperiled animals, or animals caught during extreme weather, should be rushed to a local veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator or call PETA for guidance.
If you ever see that glue traps are being used to capture and kill animals, contact those responsible, ask them to stop using the traps, and then contact PETA. Also, wherever you see glue traps sold, be sure to send a polite letter to the store manager asking that the store stop selling them, and have your friends do the same.
Please explore PETA.org for more information about living in harmony with wildlife.