Glue Traps Pose Challenges to Wildlife

Posted June 29, 2021 by Vindi Sekhon

Glue traps are a pest control measure using glue as the method of trapping nuisance animals and wildlife indoor and outdoor. The pest gets caught in the glue and then the trap is thrown away. There are two different types of glue traps; flypaper and glue-tray mouse traps.

While they seem simple, glue traps are one of the most inhumane methods of pest control. The animal, once caught in the trap, usually dies of starvation and dehydration over several days. The traps can also snare other wildlife. Since flypaper traps insects, insect-loving birds can become entangled in the flypaper while attempting to feed.

If unexpected wildlife gets caught in the trap, a well-meaning human pulling the animal free can cause serious tissue damage by pulling feathers, fur, or skin. Even if the animal is freed from the trap, it may be injured and die from the injuries later.

What do you do if you find an animal caught in a glue trap?

First of all, do not attempt to pull the animal-free. As stated above, a well-meaning human pulling an animal out of a glue trap can cause serious damage to its skin and may cause it to die. Instead, bring the animal with the trap still on it to a rescue centre immediately. Place the animal in a well-ventilated dark box to calm it down and prevent it from struggling further.

What can you use instead?

The glue trap alternative you choose depends on what pest you are trying to catch. For mice, there are a variety of glue-less mouse traps you can choose from. For fruit flies, here is my tried-and-true homemade fruit fly trap recipe:

  • 1 jar
  • Vinegar (preferably a wine or cider vinegar – it’s sweeter and more attractive to flies)
  • Liquid dish soap

Pour about 1 centimetre of vinegar into the jar. Swirl in a few drops of dish soap – this kills the flies. Then, cover with either plastic wrap or another covering such as parchment paper. Use an elastic band or the ring of the jar lid to secure your cover, then poke small holes with a pencil to allow the flies to enter. Place your trap near your fruit bowl and enjoy your handiwork!

Of course, eliminating possible food sources will help keep the nuisance animals away. You can do this by picking up fallen fruit, cleaning under any bird feeders, keeping bulk pet food in secure containers, feeding your pets indoors and securing your garbage, compost and recycling.

In the case that you do have an unwanted guest in your home, calling a humane pest control company is the best way to make sure both you and your guest stay safe. The BC SPCA has an animal welfare accreditation program called “AnimalKind” that focuses on humane solutions for removing animals. If the unwanted guest is a protected wild animal, please look at the BC SPCA website or call our support centre for advice.

If you see wildlife in distress please contact our Support Centre for assistance.

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