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Glue traps - the cruel truth


Victim of inhumane glue trap - photo courtesy of Januartha (

Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight. ~Albert Schweitzer

According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), glue traps (or glue boards), devices usually consisting of a piece of cardboard or plastic covered with extremely sticky adhesive, “are responsible for more suffering than virtually any other wildlife control product on the market.” Despite the ready availability of humane alternatives, the pest control industry continues to sell these inhumane devices to consumers who wish to “control” rodent populations.

Did You Know?

Despite stereotypes to the contrary, mice and rats are very clean animals, grooming themselves several times daily.  These social creatures spend time with their families and are less likely than cats and dogs to become carriers and transmitters of viruses and parasites.  Studies have shown that rats can recognize and respond to their names when called (as can mice) and, when tickled, make laughter-like sounds.

Caught in a Trap

While glue traps are generally designed to catch small animals, larger animals often become their unintended victims. Large animals may be able to escape from these sticky snares, however they may lose fur or skin in the process. Panicked animals often end up covered in their own urine and feces, which are sources of hantavirus and can cause health concerns for humans. The HSUS notes, “Some rodents have been seen biting through their own limbs in an attempt to free themselves” from these torturous traps. It can be hours and sometimes days before trapped animals are found, and those released from glue traps often die later from injuries, stress or other effects of the glue. A report from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) states, “The makers of these devices generally state that trapped animals should be thrown away with the trap—leaving animals to suffer for days.”

The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. ~Hippocrates

An Undignified End

When a small animal is caught in a glue trap, a slow, agonizing process begins from which escape is nearly impossible. The HSUS reports, “It may take three to five days for an animal to die, perhaps even longer for a reptile. Some animals succumb to exhaustion, collapse face down in the glue and die of suffocation when the glue lodges in their nasal passages—a process that can take anywhere from three to 24 hours. Most often death comes from a combination of exhaustion, dehydration and starvation.”

Glue Traps Do Not Discriminate

Many families have been distressed to find their cats and other companion animals caught in glue traps. According to the HSUS, “There are numerous reports of cats becoming stuck and requiring veterinary help, sometimes surgery, to remove the trap.” Even protected animals, such as migratory birds, have been known to fall victim to glue traps.

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. ~Mahatma Gandhi

What You Can Do To Help Reduce Animal Suffering

Sleeping mouse - photo courtesy of e3000 (

PETA’s website offers the following information for the humane control of rodent population:

“The problem of rodent intrusion is largely preventable by maintaining clean, sanitary conditions and plugging holes or cracks where mice or rats might enter a building. If traps are needed to remove mice or rats, humane box-type traps are available from humane societies and hardware stores and at These traps are made from either plastic or metal and have a spring-release trap door at one end that closes behind the animal once he or she enters the trap. The trap can then be taken outside so that the animal can be released. When using these, be sure to check them every hour because rodents have a high rate of metabolism and quickly become thirsty when they are frightened.”

Several major companies, including Rite Aid, Safeway, Albertson’s and CVS have made the compassionate decision to stop selling glue traps, however Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Kroger and Lowe’s continues to carry these cruel devices. Please visit the PETA website Action Center to ask Lowe’s to stop selling glue traps (and to see what else you can do to take action to help animals).

For more information on this subject, please visit the HSUS and PETA websites.


  • Thanksbut 5 years ago

    This is a very informative article.
    Citing PETA does not help though.

  • Keith Berger - Boca Raton Animal Rights Examiner 5 years ago

    Thanks for your feedback.

    I cited PETA as the source of some information in the article. PETA offers a humane rodent removal device on their website. In that sense, I feel it is very helpful.

  • JACKIE 5 years ago

    Valuable article. I have a mouse problem at the moment in a very large, old house. Even with five cats who have not caught nary a one, I know I have to do something soon. I will obtain these humane traps. I do not want to kill any animal.

  • Sheila Darcy 4 years ago

    I had no idea about these glue traps before your article Keith. I should be used to feeling sickened and upset by all the animal cruelty there is in this world - but I never am; it always shocks me. Thanks for educating me on this - just one more thing we have to try to stop. Why does 'Man UnKind' cause so much pain for animals?

  • Marisa 4 years ago

    Thanks, Keith, for sharing this important article. My friend Tania used the Humane Mousetrap and successfully caught two mice in her apartment. The trick is to check the trap frequently.

  • Patrick Clark 4 years ago

    I've been blogging about glue traps. Did you know they've been banned in parts of Australia? I agree they're cruel, but sometimes it's enough that they get the job done. Read more on my take here:

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    I agree with this article. My house is covered with mice and rats. They are very clean and despite eating my food and carrying diseases I let them crawl all over my newborn child.

    Please people, let rats and mice roam your home. It's the humane thing to do.

    Uh they're RATS and MICE for gods sake. Next you're going to complain about killing ants and spiders.

  • Mice hater 4 years ago

    Thank you, Anonymous...kill mice and don't feel bad about it. Serves 'em right for intruding on our homes and sh-tting all over the place.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Mice deserve it! Keep the glue traps on the market, they work. Would you rather live with mice?!?!?

  • Profile picture of Taliaj1
    Taliaj1 3 years ago

    PETA says we should live in harmony with everything. I get that concept, but I draw the line at endangering my family with more than 50 diseases! Hantavirus anyone? There's information on the web about rats killing humans, a baby at that or chewing of it toes. What kind of insanity is this? Mice are cute, we've had a few over the years, but as PETS, there is a big difference. If mice in HVAC ( )in your home or car, you'll be breathing recirculated bacteria of feces, urine, carcasses, bugs in the carcasses, the list is quite long. The can even start fires. I'm not willing to share my living space with even one pair of mice, one pair can breed 4000 in a year, they can breed at 20 days. PETA = Insanity! Other than that i might support thier causes, but they fell too far off the tract to be helpful for anyone or anything.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Some of you are idiots. If you want to kill the mice, like most people must do obviously, do it quickly. Don't let them just struggle and suffer. I am not a super humane PETA lover, but seeing a creature suffer like that is rather sickening. Try sticking yourself to something and being completely stuck. In such a hopeless situation, you would wish to just die instantly then slowly right? These glue traps are meaningless except for insects I would think.

  • Almost Sixty 3 years ago

    I love your straight forward input. The people who use these things are either ignorant, callous or just plain cruel. There is absolutely no excuse for using these contraptions.

  • Profile picture of Hezza
    Hezza 1 year ago

    Interesting article. I didn't know that mice laugh when you tickle their bellies - how fun!

    Do you have a link to somewhere that sells glue boards in bulk though? All of the steel wool and builders foam can't stop them coming out of the hinge mechanism of my dish washer. I'm board of them peeing and pooing everywhere, especially with two very young children.

    If I catch one, I'll be sure to try tickling it before I throw it in the bin!

    One last thing (Colombo here), how can glue boarding rodents be inhumane when they aren't human?

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    They are vermin!
    Does anyone care how cockroaches are killed?aren't they sentient beings also?
    Listen people, not saying you should pull their legs off,but glue traps are good for catching the little disease bags, kill em humanely after.