The thought of rats rummaging around in your home is enough to keep you up at night. You toss and turn at every little sound, thinking of inexpensive ways to dispose of the animals. You go to the store looking for snap traps or poison, but stumble upon something else instead. The product displays a picture of a cartoon rat with its feet trapped in a sticky adhesive and advertises that it’s “safer than poison!” You like the sound of that. After all, you have a curious cat and a new baby crawling around the house. The product sounds easy to use too. No snapping mechanism is required, and it comes pre-baited!
You notice right away that the product’s claims about a high rate of success were true. Come evening, the rat is caught. You know because you can hear it struggling within the glue board. “I got him! I got him!” Is what you’d like to say, but the excitement fades the moment you realize something rather important. The rat is caught, but what do you do with it now? Something must be done. You don’t want to leave the animal writhing on the trap all night, but you don’t really want to touch anything with a live, disease-ridden rat on it either. You check the product’s instructions and it tells you to simply dispose of the rat, but the thought of letting the rodent panic until it starves is unsettling to you. Here’s why you should just keep walking the next time you’re in the store and see a glue board on the shelf.
1. They’re Cruel
- Glue boards are one of the most inhumane traps on the market today. Once a rat or mouse gets stuck in the trap, it will writhe continuously in its struggle to get free, sometimes even screaming due to the enormous stress and anxiety. Rodents are panicky creatures, and until the homeowner figures out what to do with the animal, the rat is prone to a long time of suffering. Sometimes rats or mice will go through great lengths to break free from the trap, having been known to gnaw at their own feet in an attempt to get away.
- It’s rare for a mouse or rat to free themselves once they’ve been caught. This is good in the sense that the trap works well, but as the rat struggles, it faces agonizing consequences such as suffocation, (if its head gets stuck in the trap) starvation, (depending on how long the animal is left on the glue board) and dying of stress.
2. Glue Boards Are Dangerous
- The traps are non-toxic, but this doesn’t mean that the boards are not still a danger to your family and pets. Glue boards have been used to trap other unwanted pests such as snakes, spiders and insects, which means that these devices can catch more than just your average rat or mouse. Other small animals, such as kittens and birds have a reputation of getting caught in the sticky adhesive. Upon capture, the animal is sentenced to the same fate as the rat unless there’s intervention. Kittens will further coat themselves in the glue as they wiggle about in their desperate attempt to flee. This makes freeing the animal that much more difficult, and the animal may lose large quantities of fur.
- Small children are also no exception when it comes to getting their skin stuck in a blue board. Much like pulling gum, the child may undergo pain as he/she attempts to pull the product from their body. Hair and skin can be difficult to remove from the adhesive, and intervention will need to happen quickly to prevent further or possible injury.
- The unsuspecting environment may also become entangled in the trap. If you’re only looking to catch a rat in your barn, you might be unsettled to find that you’ve caught a variety of other creatures instead of what you were looking to capture. Frogs and lizards have been known to stumble upon the boards. As these animals lie in defeat, they become easy targets for other predators, such as birds, that may be surprised when—they too—get stuck in the trap as well!
- Don’t forget that these traps can also be a danger to you. Rats will sometimes empty their bowels onto the glue board when they become exceedingly stressed, which leaves you at risk for hantavirus—a fatal disease. You also risk exposure to other viruses when trying to handle traps that hold live rats, as the animals will desperately try to bite your fingers as they approach.
3. They’re Inconvenient and Don’t Always Work
- If you plan to catch a problem rat and release it somewhere far away from your home, you may have a hard time prying the animal from the glue. It’s possible to free a rat that’s been caught by using cooking oil and massaging it into the animal’s fur, or taking it to a veterinarian to have it removed without harming the rodent. However, these methods might be stressful for both you and the creature, in which case you should seek out a different catch-and-release trap that will end up being less hassle for you and the rat involved.
- Keep in mind that mice, although agile and spunky, are not the brightest of animals. It’s possible to release a mouse only for it to find its way back into the trap again.
- Because it’s important to rid animals in a humane way, the glue board might make it difficult for you to essentially “put the animal out of its misery.” Many homeowners don’t want to have to physically harm an animal, or cause it to suffer, which makes snap traps a better option for an instant kill with little-to-no suffering. Simple bait traps with a catch-and-release method would be more suitable for who want the rodent to thrive—as long as it’s someplace besides their home.
Glue boards might seem like a good idea. They’re inexpensive and less obvious to a rodent, especially since you can place them in corners and behind objects that the animals frequently explore. It’s a perfectly sly and easy method to catch a rat or mouse, but the traps definitely have their flaws, and unfortunately, those flaws tend to outweigh the good. Glue boards are inconvenient to dispose of, and frankly, a little cruel. They boast about not being a toxic product, but the board could very well become toxic from rat or mouse’s stool. If the trap is left unsupervised, pets and children could also stumble upon a creature stuck in the glue, whether deceased or alive, and pick up diseases or be harmed by the rodent’s fearful bite.
The trap-setter becomes fully responsible for the method of release once a rodent has been caught. There’s also the frustration in catching animals that the trap was not intended for. This can be heartbreaking when a beloved pet or small child accidentally crawls or lands on the glue. It’s painful and messy, as prying them from the adhesive is typically no easy task.
If you have unwanted pests in your home, consider alternate, humane trapping methods, or look into a pest control service. The folks at Green Rat Control use products that are 100% humane and easy on the environment. Their methods are guaranteed to not harm you, your family, or your pets and might just be the safest hassle free option you’ve ever tried!
Tired of dealing with rats or other unwanted pests?