Glue Traps

“Can you come over and release a snake from the sticky trap in my garage?” a friend of Chuck’s asked when Chuck answered his phone. “The trap is to catch scorpions, not snakes!”


But glue traps do not discriminate. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Glue boards (also known as glue traps) are trays coated with an extremely sticky adhesive. Often used to get rid of rodents, insects and snakes, many buy these boards as an alternative to indiscriminate snap traps, which endanger pets and children. Animals that touch a glue board are immediately caught and stuck to the board and usually suffer a slow death by starvation or suffocation.

Glue boards might seem like a safe and easy solution to pest problems but in fact, they are one of the cruelest and most dangerous. Responsible for more suffering than virtually any other wildlife control product on the market, they are readily available at grocery stores, home improvement and hardware stores and most major retailers, as well as over the Internet.

Heading Over

Gathering some equipment, including vegetable oil to help remove the critter from its trap, Chuck headed over to his friend’s home. The homeowner pointed out the long, thin tail protruding from the cardboard trap in the form of a tunnel. “I picked up the trap,” says Chuck, “and looked into the tunnel construction. I saw not a snake, but a tiger whiptail lizard, still alive.

Freed at last

Getting unstuck

Chuck opened the cardboard structure and began applying the vegetable oil all around the body of the lizard to help neutralize the adhesive. Then he used a small tool to gently separate the lizard from the adhesive. “I started from the rear of the lizard and worked forward,” he says, “but the long tail kept getting re-attached to the adhesive, and I had to use a lot of oil to keep it from getting stuck again.

Gradually, Chuck separated each leg and then began separating the body from the trap.  “It’s a slow process that cannot be rushed,” he explained. “It could cause injury or death to the lizard.” When the head was finally clear of the adhesive, Chuck placed the lizard in a container with some vegetable oil and brought it home. After washing the lizard in a mild solution of Dawn dish detergent, Chuck then placed him in a container of warm water for the rinse.

Lizard bathing in Dawn suds


Finally the lizard was ready for release into our back patio. The lizard (named Sticky) scampered into the safety of a bush. “It’s a fast-moving efficient pest control animal,” says Chuck. “It eats bugs, insects, scorpions, and other pests.”


We didn’t see Sticky the rest of the day, but this morning as we ate breakfast, Chuck noticed movement out back. Peering through binoculars, he announced that our lizard was still here and on the hunt!

“These animals are more valuable alive,” he says.  “He’s lucky to be alive because most animals caught in a glue trap die a slow, agonizing death.”

Scampering to Safety

More humane ways to eliminate the pesky mice at home include other options like snap traps, live traps, and electric devices.

For further information about the harmfulness of glue traps, click here:


4 thoughts on “Glue Traps”

    • Absolutely right, Carol! Since we don’t use those traps, we tend to forget about them and what their consequences are.Thanks for checking in!

  1. Hello. I love this post. Part of living in the desert is accepting the creatures that live as part of a healthy ecosystem

    • Hello again, Charmaine!

      Great hearing from you and we’re glad you enjoyed the article! It’s just a matter of education to understand some of the animal life we share with in this special part of the planet. We are hoping the homeowner becomes a bit more tolerant of some of his neighbors that are overlooked and underfoot!
      A special thanks for your comments and for staying in touch!


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