Californian city becomes the second to pass glue trap ban

The Californian city of Ojai has banned the use of glue traps because they are inhumane and cruel. The animal suffers a slow and painful death. It is the second city to pass this kind of ban.

Glue traps are made up of a layer of cardboard, wood or plastic with a coating of non-drying adhesive on one side. When the targeted animal walks on it they stick to it and become trapped. They normally die of starvation, dehydration and/or suffocation.

The Ojai City Council voted unanimously to prohibit glue traps within their jurisdiction. The City of West Hollywood, California was the first to pass such a ban which occurred in April last year.

Glue traps are banned in the Californian city of Ojai
Glue traps are banned in the Californian city of Ojai. Image: MikeB.
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The council commissioned a report as I understand it which found that animals dying from glue traps suffered extreme cruelty and a painful and slow death.

PETA report that glue traps are normally used to kill rodents but they can be used to capture other wildlife such as squirrels, snakes and even birds. Note, I can recall that there was a time in France (it may still occur) when migrating birds were trapped using glue traps placed on trees.

RELATED: Feral cats found dead or dying stuck to glue traps in Compton

There are reports according to PETA that domestic and stray cats can become stuck in glue traps requiring veterinary care afterwards.

Also, a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that glue traps can be a health concern for people because animals trapped in them might defecate and urinate and this waste which might carry diseases can come into contact with people.

And in any case, there are more humane and effective methods than glue traps according to CDC. They state that “for vertebrate animals, the most common alternatives include snap traps, live traps and electric traps. Both snap traps and electric traps have a higher chance of killing the rodent instantly.”

Other jurisdictions have debated the banning of glue traps but they’ve not yet become law. During the 2021-2022 legislative season, similar bills were introduced in Massachusetts and New York without passing.

PETA state that glue traps are banned in England, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway. In addition, two Australian states have banned them as have nine states in India.

RELATED: Glue traps are a potential danger to cats

The Los Angeles Times reports that a special projects manager for PETA, stated at an Ojai council meeting last Tuesday, that glue traps “are responsible for more suffering than any other commercially available wildlife control product”.

Jakob Shaw added that, “They pose a threat to every amazing animal who lives in and around Ojai … They’re just these horrible, indiscriminate killing devices that permanently disable, injure, and kill countless small animals every single year.”

According to PETA, the screaming of wildlife caught in glue traps is “extremely upsetting to people who don’t know how to dispose of these sentient beings.”

“Left alone, the terrified, injured animals die, sometimes days later, of blood loss, shock, suffocation, or thirst. Or they die from being crushed in the garbage, which is where the instructions on the traps advise consumers to put them.”

How do you release an animal from a glue trap?

If you find an animal caught in a glue trap, it’s essential to handle the situation with care. Here are instructions on how to help an animal caught in a glue trap:

  1. Safety First: Wear thick gloves to protect yourself from bites or scratches if appropriate.
  2. Contain the Animal: Whenever possible, safely contain the animal. If you can, immediately transport it to a local wildlife rescue or a veterinarian. If professional help isn’t available, proceed with the following steps.
  3. Supplies Needed:
    • Thick gloves if appropriate
    • A bottle of rapeseed oil (or other cooking oil)
    • A thick towel
    • A secure container (with oxygen holes) to place the freed animal
  4. Warm the Oil:
    • Run hot water over the oil bottle for a couple of minutes until the oil feels warm on your wrist but not hot enough to burn.
  5. Gently Restrain the Animal:
    • Use the towel to gently restrain the animal near its head (place the towel near, but not over, the head).
    • Keep a firm but gentle grip.
  6. Apply Oil to the Glue Area:
    • With your other hand, massage the warmed oil into the animal’s fur, feathers, or skin where it’s stuck to the glue board.
    • Be patient; it may take several minutes for the oil to soften the glue.
  7. Free the Animal:
    • Continue massaging until the animal becomes free from the glue board.
  8. Transfer to a Container:
    • Keep a firm but gentle grip and transfer the animal to a box or secure container.
  9. Seek Professional Help:
    • Transport the animal as soon as possible to a wildlife rescue or vet.
    • The animal should receive treatment for being “oiled,” as oil affects its ability to regulate body temperature.
  10. Provide Care:
    • If professional help isn’t available locally, keep the animal in a warm, dark, quiet, and secure location until it’s well enough to be released.
    • Offer sugar water via a dropper placed on the corner of the mouth.
    • Provide food such as oats, nuts, or peanut butter on a cracker or cereal, although the traumatized animal may not eat immediately.
  11. Minimize Disturbance:
    • Resist the temptation to keep checking on the animal. Recovering animals need calm and minimal disturbance.

Remember that wild animals can be dangerous, especially when trapped and terrified. Always prioritize safety and seek professional assistance if possible.

Sources:, Wiki how, Martha Stewart,

What animals are commonly caught in glue traps?

Commonly caught animals in glue traps include rodents, insects, and occasionally small birds. These sticky traps are designed to capture pests, but unfortunately, they can also ensnare unintended wildlife. Here are some examples:

  1. Mice and Rats: Glue traps are often used to catch mice and rats indoors. These rodents get stuck on the adhesive surface when they walk over it.
  2. Cockroaches: Insects like cockroaches can also become trapped on glue boards. They are attracted to the bait placed on the trap and get stuck.
  3. Spiders: Although not the primary target, spiders can accidentally wander onto glue traps and become immobilized.
  4. Small Birds: Occasionally, glue traps placed near windows or in attics can catch small birds. Birds may land on the trap while seeking shelter or food.
  5. Lizards and Geckos: In warm climates, geckos and other small reptiles might encounter glue traps and become stuck.
  6. Squirrels and Chipmunks: Larger glue traps intended for rodents can sometimes catch squirrels or chipmunks.

Remember that glue traps are considered inhumane because they cause prolonged suffering to trapped animals. If you encounter an animal caught in a glue trap, follow the steps I provided earlier to release it safely or seek professional help if available.

Sources: Bing Copilot.

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