Why You Should Never Use Glue Traps

Why You Should Never Use Glue Traps

What is a Glue Trap?

A glue trap is a small, flat board made of cardboard or plastic that is coated with an extremely sticky adhesive. Advertising for these products implies that they are clean, non-toxic and effective. Many products feature cute cartoons of stuck rodents. The manufacturers imply that all you have to do is uncover the sticky plate, put it where mice and rats have been seen and somehow the problem is solved. People don't think about what happens next.

What happens next is horrific.

The glue trap doesn’t instantly kill the animal — the glue is not toxic. Instead, the animal stays stuck, dying over the course of several days from starvation, dehydration and suffocation.

WildCare admits a dozen or more animals stuck to glue traps every year, and each one is heartbreaking. Animals stuck to glue traps will rip off their own skin and fur trying to escape. They will even chew off their own limbs in a desperate attempt to get away. They inflict terrible injuries on themselves, even fracturing limbs, trying to get free. Trapped animals suffer for days as they slowly suffocate and starve.

That was the fate that awaited this scrub jay, except a young boy saw him stuck to the glue trap and tossed in the garbage by someone who must have thought he was dead. The young boy brought the bird on the sticky tray to WildCare, heartbroken at the thought of what had happened to him.

Without exception, every person who has rushed to WildCare’s Wildlife Hospital with an animal stuck in a glue trap that they set has expressed deep regret. Each person says that, had they known how intensely the trapped animal would suffer, no matter how despised that animal may be, they never would have used the product.

Help WildCare Support H.R. 7018, the Glue Trap Prohibition Act (Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Ca.-36))

WildCare asks you to support the Glue Trap Prohibition Act (HR7018), which would ban the use, sale, and distribution of glue traps, which kill, injure, and permanently disable countless small animals every year. Click here to sign the petition in support of the bill!

Glue traps are indiscriminate killing devices that are designed to ensnare any small animal who wanders across their surface. Trapped in the glue and terrified, animals can take days to die of starvation, dehydration, and exposure. In some cases, their noses, mouths, or beaks get stuck in the glue, causing them to suffocate to death over the course of hours.

Fighting for their lives, animals stuck to glue traps panic and struggle, and their frantic attempts to flee only lead to them becoming even more ensnared. Often, the glue tears off patches of fur, feathers, or skin, and the animal's frantic attempts to get away can break bones. Some animals even chew off their own limbs in a desperate effort to escape.

WildCare and our allies are asking all organizations and individuals dedicated to helping animals to support the Glue Trap Prohibition Act, which would outlaw these dangerous and cruel devices and help protect wildlife. In our Wildlife Hospital, we admit a dozen or more animals trapped by glue traps every year, and every one is heartbreaking. Many cannot be saved.

We have been advocating for a ban on the sale and use of glue traps for many years. This could be our opportunity to outlaw these incredibly cruel devices for good.

WildCare Patients Trapped by Glue Traps


WildCare's Alison Hermance gave a presentation about the horrors of glue traps to the San Francisco Animal Commission.

WildCare's goal has always been to stop the use of these incredibly inhumane devices by raising public awareness, and working to get them banned in San Francisco, Marin and ultimately California and beyond.

The video below shows Alison's presentation to the Commission and the discussion afterward about potentially presenting a ban on glue traps to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

How to Control Rodents Without Using Glue Traps

It's entirely possible to deal with a nuisance rodent situation WITHOUT resorting to the use of glue traps or poisons!

(Click here for a PDF of this information)

People put out glue traps because they see rodents and want them gone. Rodents inside the home should be evicted and excluded, but remember that rodents outside are part of the natural environment. Traps of any variety should never be placed outside.

The best method of rodent control is prevention. Rodents tend to set up camp in our homes when food and space are made available to them. How can you get rid of them?

Remove potential rodent homes like yard debris, trash, construction waste, etc. Rodents also thrive in groundcover like ivy, so removing ivy from the yard, especially around the house, is a good solution too.

Eliminate food sources. Keep bulk food, seed, and dry pet food in metal cans with secure lids. Pick up fallen fruit. Sweep under birdfeeders and take them inside at night.

Exclude rodents from your home. Seal openings 1/4 inch or larger around the outside of your house with metal, concrete, or Stuf-fit Copper Mesh Wool, which can be found online or at hardware stores. If you would like humane, professional assistance with rodent exclusion, contact our WildCare Solutions service at 415-453-1000 x23.

Include natural rodent predators in your solution. A family of five owls can consume up to 3000 rodents in breeding season. Placing a nest box to encourage a family of owls to make your property home can be a great alternative to commercial pest control methods. Please visit The Hungry Owl Project website for more information.

Use catch-and-release traps as a safe, sanitary, and humane solution. Catch-and-release traps will allow you to remove rodents from inside your home, but you must prevent their return by sealing entrance and exit holes and removing attractants (see above).

If you exhaust all the above efforts and as a last resort decide that lethal control of rodents is necessary, please use a rat zapper or snap traps (but only for inside use).