Glue Traps For Rats — How Humane Are They Really?

Glue traps are one of those things that seem like a really good idea at the time. In theory, they seem to fit the bill quite well, particularly if you’re looking for something that can easily, quickly, and safely catch and kill rats, without putting your kids/pets/partner in jeopardy. (We all know someone who got a little too close to a ready-to-go rat trap…)

When you put this master glue strip/trap plan into action, however, you’ll soon start to learn that the theory doesn’t turn into reality. Quite the opposite in fact. Here are a few reasons why…

Glue strips are going to catch insects and other animals.

Glue strips are absolutely not a good idea for an outdoor area because they’ll catch bugs a’plenty, and perhaps even a few other small wild critters, but probably won’t catch rats at all. When you have a glue strip that has a bunch of insects on it, you’ve got a buffet for most scavengers and opportunistic feeders, which means that you might even attract rats, mice, snakes, and other wild animals.

Glue strips don’t kill rats.

Ah yes, this seems to be the one point that many home and business owners don’t take into consideration; glue traps for rats don’t actually kill rats at all. You’ll catch a rat — it will be stuck to the very strong glue on the strip, but the rat will still be very much alive. It will also likely make an awful lot of noise and thrash around, desperately trying to break free of the glue. In turn, this can rip off strips of skin, and can even cause a rodent to chew through its own arm or leg, especially if it senses that other animals — predators — are close by. If you have a cat, for example, the rat will sense the cat is hanging around and will panic, causing it to injure itself trying to break free.

In that sense, glue strips are incredibly inhumane.

You will need to check glue strips even more frequently than you’ll need to check other traps.

Live cage traps are relatively safe to leave for a few hours before checking them. With glue traps, on the other hand, you’ll need to check them far more frequently than that, especially if you want the best results. A rat isn’t going to wander right over to a glue trap that has another rat stuck to it, so leaving dead rats hanging around is going to slow down your rat removal process. Those dead rats are also likely to attract other pests, in turn, such as, snakes, raccoons, opossums, skunks, foxes, coyotes, wolves, etc. Different areas will face different pests, but everywhere has pests.

Glue strips do not prevent or stop the spread of disease.

Admittedly, other trap types don’t really do this, either, but at least with snap traps the problem is contained to one spot. With glue traps (and also poison), the rat can sometimes be left wandering around your home or property, injured or very unwell, and eventually end up dying somewhere that you can’t easily get access to.

Glue traps can cause incredibly inhumane deaths to rats and other animals.

There have been cases highlighted by PETA, of animals that have gotten noses and mouth areas stuck in the strong glue on glue traps, this causing them to slowly suffocate to death, panicking in the process, and possibly even being made more vulnerable to predators, i.e. a passing cat or dog. Small puppies and kittens, birds, small pets, squirrels, and plenty more have all been accidentally captured by glue traps, and then killed, either by the human as a humane act or as a direct result of being stuck to the strip.

Some manufacturers of these glue traps actively encourage throwing the entire strip away when you realize a mouse or rat is stuck to it, effectively throwing a half-dead animal in the trash. You will attract other pests to your trash bags if you do this, and you’re also being incredibly inhumane. That animal will die a very long and painful death once you throw it out. It will be much kinder of you to finish the job.

You will need to finish the job.

In fact, that brings us nicely to this next point; you will need to finish the job yourself. If you were looking for a way to get rid of rats that involves NOT killing the animal, glue traps are not the way to do it. You will have a half-dead or fully alive animal stuck to your trap, which you will then need to kill or remove from the trap. We actually recommend that you just kill it if you’re going to use these types of traps at all.

We DO NOT recommend glue traps to get rid of rats or any other wild animal. There are plenty more humane and safer, as well as more effective, methods to rely on.