Ban Glueboards Campaign

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Why Ban Glueboards?

The use of glueboards is a common, but extremely problematic, form of pest control. Here's why.


Glueboards, small trays or boards covered in a strong adesive, inflict more suffering than virtually any other wildlife or pest control product. It may take up to five days for trapped animals to die (possibly longer for reptiles) and, while alive on these boards, they suffer tremendously. After about one hour, their eyes begin to exude a thick, milky substance, which eventually cannot be cleared by blinking, and after three to five hours they begin to urinate and defecate heavily, indicating a high level of distress. Animals attached to glueboards struggle vigorously to escape, which often results in even more of their body becoming stuck, patches of fur being pulled off, and sometimes in broken or chewed-off limbs. Eventually, the animal will die of dehydration, starvation, suffocation in the glue, or exhaustion. This agonizing death is met by millions of mice, rats, and other animals every year.                                                                            


It is not uncommon for non-target species to become trapped on glueboards. Organizations such as the Animal Rescue League of Boston and the Cape Wildlife Center have responded to numerous calls over the years of animals such as birds, snakes, baby raccoons, and even household pets that have become adhered to glueboards. Some of these animals can be treated, but many must be euthanized.


Trapping a mouse on a glueboard does not provide a sustainable solution; it merely leaves a vacant habitat for a new mouse to occupy. More effective and humane solutions exist. Exclusionary techniques such as plugging holes in building foundations and trimming back shrubs next to buildings are highly effective and commonly practiced by professional integrated pest management companies. Also, while glue traps are less expensive than alternative products such as live traps, they cannot be reused and so may not be as cost-effective in the long run. In fact, studies comparing glueboards and live traps found that the latter caught a greater number of mice. Snap traps in particular cost only marginally more than glueboards, but are significantly less cruel. And finally, some cities, including Somerville, Massachusetts, are experimenting with rodent fertility control, a novel and potentially superior approach to pest management.


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises against the use of glueboards because of their inherent health risks to humans. Because the animals caught on these traps defecate and urinate excessively, they can easily spread these substances throughout the environment if they drag the board around in their effort to escape. The excrement also poses a health risk to persons disposing of the boards.

The Bottom Line

This campaign works with businesses and institutions across the state to phase out the use of glueboards. Massachusetts has long been home to forward-thinking and progressive initiatives, and the elimination of glueboards — which are inhumane, indiscriminate, ineffective, and unhygienic — would be in keeping with this history. We hope you consider joining us in this effort!

For more information about glueboards, go to Learn More. To take action towards eliminating glueboards, click on Take Action. To see which organizations, regions, companies, and institutions are already eliminating glueboard use, see Our Allies. Finally, to reach us, direct your attention towards the Contact Us page.