About rat glue traps
A quick breakdown of the best rat glue traps
Rat glue traps aren’t really complicated so breaking them down is going to be easy and quick – they are made out of boards or stripes coated with a thick layer of glue. The boards/stripes can be made out of any suitable material – paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, leather, etc. Generally, and especially for big rats, you want the board or the stripe to be sturdy enough so that the raging animal doesn’t break it or tear it apart. For big rats, leather and metal boards/stripes are recommended for that exact reason.
As far as the glue is concerned, it should go without saying that it needs to be as strong as possible. When an animal gets caught it will fall into a panic very quickly at which point you might be surprised at the strength it can muster. Even small mice are sometimes able to break off of weaker glues and set themselves free. Even if the glue is strong, if it’s layered rather thinly, there is the risk that only the surface levels of the rodent’s fur will be glued to it and the animal will be able to rip its own fur off and escape with nothing but a bit of hair loss.
In summary, a good glue trap consists of a sturdy base that can hold the raging animal, as well as a thick layer of a strong adhesive.
For rats, in particular, you want the trap to be big enough for them, as a lot of mouse glue traps are too small.
What happens when a rodent or another animal gets stuck to a glue trap?
There are lots of ways how to get rid of rats, so let’s list them starting from the “better” ones and going to the more gruesome variants:
- The animal will stay stuck to the trap until you find them (hopefully soon) and kill them in a humane way. This really is the only “good” scenario.
- The animal remains stuck on the trap until it dies of dehydration.
- The animal breaks its neck in an attempt to escape.
- The animal gets its nose stuck in the glue and dies of suffocation.
- The animal peels off a large portion of its skin as it’s trying to escape and dies of blood loss.
- The animal chews off one of its limbs as it’s trying to escape and dies of blood loss.
We warned you it’s a gruesome tool to use. This is also the reason why rat glue traps are banned for residential use in a lot of countries, (like Australia, for example) and are available only for professionals and for commercial pest control managers.
What to do if you’ve captured an animal in a glue trap and it’s still alive?
The recommended humane way of killing a captured rodent is with a sharp and swift blow to the head. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the constitution or skill to do this so a lot of people resolve to drown the rodents or just leaving them in the trash together with the trap where they can die on their own. If you are not capable or willing to kill a captured rodent manually, we’d suggest that you use another method of rodent control.
Are rat glue traps effective for long-term prevention?
Rat glue traps, particularly large leather stripe ones, are capable of capturing an impressive amount of rats. Other rat traps can also do a lot of work if they are good enough and in a large enough quantity. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Glue traps do nothing to affect the rodents’ nests, they also capture the rodents as they are running around the property;
- Rats and other rodents are highly intelligent animals and they can quickly learn to avoid glue traps.
So, while glue traps are an effective method of catching even a large number of animals in a short span of time, they are not really that effective as a long-term solution.
What are the alternatives to rat glue traps?
For those that are not willing to use a glue trap, there are some alternatives we’d suggest:
- Snap traps. Snap traps are an old and tested method of rodent control. In modern days there are some new models that work even more effectively than the old “board and a string” traps of the past. They are generally considered “humane” as they tend to kill the animal quickly and painlessly, but keep in mind that this is only so if the snap trap is of a good enough quality and if a proper size. Also, beware that snap traps can pose a danger to your pets or kids.
- Zap traps. These are a different type of rodent kill traps that are also considered “humane” as they aim to kill the rodent quickly. They are generally safer for pets as long as the pet is too big to fit in the trap, but they should still be kept out of reach because a dog or a cat can fit their paws inside the trap. Zap traps work by delivering a powerful (usually around 7000 volts) surge of electricity when they detect a physical presence inside of them, instantly frying their victims. The problem is that some zap traps are weaker than they claim to be and they don’t kill the rodents so easily, which means that the animal will either escape or will be slowly fried for several minutes until it dies in agony. In short – if you are going to use a zap trap, make sure that it’s a good one.
- Non-lethal rat traps. These come in hundreds of models, shapes, and sizes, so describing them in just a couple of sentences is impossible. In short – they specialize in baiting and capturing the animal without killing it so that you can then kill it yourself or set it free somewhere away from your property.
- Poison and bait stations. Different poisons and rat bait stations can be a good way to get rid of a large rodent infestation but they are also tricky to use as they are, well – poisonous. In addition, you’ll still have to find and collect the dead animals which can often die in hard-to-reach places.
- An exterminator. When all else fails you can always call an exterminator. True, they tend to use the same tools you can buy and use yourself, but they are professionals and they typically know better on how to do it. The thing about all the rodent control methods we mentioned above is that they require know-how and skill to use properly, which is where a professional exterminator has an edge over most people.
Glue trap buying guide
- The trap’s size. When it comes to rats, in particular, size matters. Smaller mouse traps are just not big enough to capture bigger rats as they can just walk around with the rats on their backs or rip them off their fur with their teeth. It’s good to know what you’re dealing with first so that you know how big of a trap you need, so try to get to know your enemy first.
- Figure out how many traps you’re going to need. You really don’t want to have to purchase additional traps, later on, to figure out how many you’re going to need. Also, if you’re not certain about the exact routes of your unwanted rodent guests, it’s a good idea to buy extra traps so that you can set them up in multiple locations.
- Do you want the traps to be scented or not? If you are going to use them in a residential area it’s often unpleasant to use scented traps as you’ll smell them as well. If they are not scented, however, you are going to have to add your own bait to them.
- Consider the price. There is a rather considerable difference in the prices of the more expensive and the cheaper rat glue traps. The higher prices typically come with better quality, but if you have to purchase a large number of traps it pays to find a good compromise between price and quality.
- And of course – quality. When it comes to rodent control you really don’t want to use subpar products as they will just waste your time and money, and give the rodents time to keep procreating and damaging your property. To find the rat glue traps of the best quality you may have to read a large number of reviews, but hopefully, this article will have been of at least a little help. Also, it pays to consider the products’ brand as well. The brands we’d recommend include JT Eaton, LENKA, GraceFINE, Catchmaster, Tomcat, T Box, Coopache, KChoies, Panamela, and others.
Can’t a just make some DIY glue traps myself?
Sure you can – as we said, all you need is a strong adhesive, a board or another surface to place it on, and a bait. However, keep in mind that the glue must be really strong, in a really large quantity and the board or other surface needs to be sturdy as well. Depending on whether you are going to purchase the adhesive from it can also be quite pricey. Plus, you if you do it yourself you run the risk of making a subpar trap and waste time that you don’t want to waste, so it’s often a good idea to just make things simple and buy a good commercial rat glue trap.
Glue trap usage tips
- Place the rat traps in the right location. Rodents are very careful when they choose their paths – they stick to the corners and the edges, try to move underneath furniture or other items or sneak on top of high beams and pipes as to not be seen. Placing a rat glue trap is such places, typically between the rodents’ nest and their preferred food source will increase the chance of capturing them. Alternatively, placing the traps in the middle of the room will make them very ineffective.
- Add a bait. Even if the trap is baited, chances are that it is not baited well enough. If you know what kind of rat, mouse or other rodents you are dealing with, find the bait most suitable for it and use it in the middle of the glue trap.
- If you can fold the trap in a good way that fits with the location you’ve chosen for it this will have the added benefit of protecting the glue from dust
- Check on the traps regularly. This is important not only to make sure that the captured animals don’t suffer but also that they don’t have time to escape. Additionally, if a glue trap has stayed empty for long enough, this is a good reason to relocate it.
- Make sure that the glue traps are placed out of the reach of your kids or pets. Children and most pets are typically large enough not to suffer serious injuries from a rat trap but they can still get hurt unpleasantly. Smaller cats, in particular, can easily die from a rat glue trap. Also, keep in mind that if you place glue traps outside you can accidentally capture wild animals such as birds.
- And of course – make sure that you don’t glue yourself to the trap as you are setting it up Things like hot water, mineral spirits, acetone, laundry detergent, margarine, or salt can help you unglue yourself.
Additionally, just like other traps or rodent control tools (for example, rat repellents), to be as effective as possible, glue traps do need a certain amount of know-how and skill – it’s very important where you place them, how you place them, what bait you use, as well as to often change and rotate their locations. In short, the fact that they are effective doesn’t mean that they do all the work.
So, with all this in mind, if you can stomach the sight of a glued rodent (or other passing animals) and if you figure out how best to use them (as well as if they are even allowed for residential use in your country or area), glue traps can be an effective means for getting rid of rodents.
- The Catchmaster Glue Boards are classical board glue traps for rats. They are excellent at capturing and retaining mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, as well as lizards, snakes, and insects. They utilize a very strong glue adhesive that has a great retention rate and are sure to hold most rodents except the few biggest and strongest rats you may face. Even with them, however, these Catchmaster boards offer a better chance for a capture than most other glue traps.
- The Tomcat Glue Traps are an industry classic thanks to their powerful glue adhesive and solid base. They will not break or be chewed off by even the biggest rats and they will hold on even the most powerful rodents for a very long time. They are not that big, so that can be a disadvantage against some of the biggest rats out there, but they are definitely strong enough to hold. Both the base and the glue of these traps are damp-resistant so you can calmly place them in any basement, attic, warehouse or garage.