What do you think about glue traps?

Last week I confessed to taking a certain amount of satisfaction in killing house pests.

In effort of that blog post, I spoke to a neighbor who reported the displeasure he takes in disposing of mice with glue traps. I thought that fair enough—I’ve occasionally used them myself, and know well that watching a mouse struggle, than submit to the adhesive pad can be a gruesome sight indeed.

But I had no idea the things were causing an international uproar!

Not surprisingly, PETA is on the case, orchestrating a letter-writing campaign to remove glue traps from the shelves of major retailers and spare rodents “an enormous amount of suffering and traumatic death.”

Not surpisingly, PETA finds glue traps inhumane.

(Ever helpful, PETA also recommends a small quantity of cooking or baby oil to set a rodent free.)

Meanwhile, in what strikes me as an odd bit of news, some municipalities in Australia have banned glue traps over the protests of Aussie pest managers, who say the ban puts rodents over people.

I’m already on the record on this one. I’ve used glue traps before and I’ll use them again, but I do think it’s reasonable to draw the line somewhere on animal cruelty, even when it comes to house pests.

Fellow New Yorkers, what do you think? Are glue traps morally reprehensible? Do you come down on the side of humane extermination? Maybe catch and release? Or do the ends justify the means in the war on pests?

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2 Responses to What do you think about glue traps?

  1. Chuck says:

    Yes, they are morally reprehensible. Considering there are more painless ways to kill them, allowing them to starve on a sheet of glue while they pull and gnaw bits of themselves off is unacceptable. It’s basically torture. I can’t see how an argument can be made for the “ends justifying the means”, because the ends can be just as accomplished without all the torture and pain. So why cause all that excessive suffering? Is being lazy an excuse? I don’t think there’s any excuse to torture something to death – they ought to be illegal, these glue traps. And they already are in some countries in fact.

    The trap instructions encourage people just to “chuck them” out into the rubbish, that presumably means starving them to death. When they attempt to get off (which they will), they’ll get pretty badly injured. This is really, in the end, animal abuse, because this level of agony can quite easily be avoided. No point to it at all, unless one is a sadist.

  2. Paul Slattery says:

    Hi, I’m actually from Victoria, Australia. The ban has taken place because it was found through a scientific study that glue traps are just a little too inhumane. There have also been many public complaints of these things. These pest control operators may claim that the ban “puts rats above humans”, but that is quite a load of rubbish considering the people behind the ban recommend alternatives. Not to mention that fact that pest control operators may still use them, just not the public (because let’s face it, these things are really terrible in ignorant hands). These lobby groups only care about their wallet, and don’t give a damn about the cruelty aspect of this.

    For them to suggest this is putting it above human issues is simply a strawman argument. One can certainly care about both.

    As for your question, I think it is a good idea to ban them. It is better to be progressive rather than hold on to crude and brutal methods that really have no place in civilised society. The aim is to kill them, not cause as much pain as possible.

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