Glue traps may be an efficient rodent trap for catching mice, rats, and other critters. However, you want to know how to remove a live mouse from a sticky trap safely as it can be lethal to the animal. Any animal stuck in a glue trap could suffer and consequently die from starvation, exhaustion, injuries, dehydration, or exposure if not rescued.
How to remove a live mouse from a sticky trap
Do the following to safely dispose of that live mouse in a glue trap:
1. Protect yourself
Protect yourself from mouse bites, scratches, and possible diseases by wearing protective, rubber, plastic or latex gloves while handling the traps—Stanford Environmental Health & Safety. Good options to consider for gloves include work gloves, gardening gloves designed for handling thorns, or heavy-duty leather gloves.
Gloves can help to prevent bites and scratches, as well as mitigate the risk of contamination.
2. Put the mouse in a plastic container
To safely remove a mouse or other animal from a glue trap, you can use a clear plastic container or box slightly larger than the sticky trap and at least 4 inches (10.2 cm) deep.
To keep a mouse calm while removing it from a glue trap, you can use an old rag or towel. Gently cover the rodent’s head with the towel and hold it in place with one hand near the shoulders.
3. Apply vegetable oil to the glue trap
Remove the mouse from the glue trap by concentrating the oil around the area where the mouse is stuck. Use as little oil as possible, and avoid getting the oil directly on the mouse if possible. A cotton swab or cloth can be used to apply the oil to the glue. Cooking spray, coconut oil, or baby oil could also be used as a last resort. Nevertheless, liquid vegetable oil is the most effective option.
Massage the area around the mouse trap for a few minutes to gently loosen the glue. Once the mouse can release itself from the trap, carefully remove the trap from the container. Place the trap in a plastic bag, seal the bag, and dispose of it in a garbage can.
Soak a cloth or rag in warm water and wring out any excess. Next, use the cloth to gently remove any excess oil from the mouse’s paws, head, and body. Make sure to remove as much oil as possible as it can prevent the mouse from regulating its body temperature.
4. Let the mouse relax
First, place a small bowl of fresh water in the container with the mouse. Cover the container with a large towel to create a dark, warm, and quiet environment, and allow the mouse at least one hour to rest and relax.
Whenever possible, release the mouse to a specialist for care, such as a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian—Mass.gov. If releasing the mouse to a specialist is not possible, ask the specialist for guidance on how to care for and treat the mouse for oil, and release it back into the wild.
5. Release the poor animal
If you are unable to release the mouse to an animal specialist, try releasing it back into the wild. Release the rodent within 100 yards (91 m) of where it was found to ensure it is in familiar territory and can find necessary resources such as food, water, and shelter.
Ideal locations for release include nearby parks, forests, fields, or green spaces. In winter, you may consider holding the mouse in a shed or garage until the weather is more suitable for release.
When setting the mouse free, Place the container on the ground near some bushes, logs, deep grass, or other covers so the mouse can quickly find a safe place to hide.
Remove the towel or other covering from the container and gently turn the container on its side and take several steps back to give the mouse space to exit. Allow the mouse to leave the container and seek shelter at its own pace. Do not try to force the mouse out or chase it.
6. Disinfect the supplies and yourself
Dispose of the towels and cloths that you used to handle the mouse, or wash them separately in the washing machine with the gloves on a hot water cycle and add bleach to disinfect them. Clean the container with a disinfecting spray, or discard the box.
Turn on the taps and thoroughly wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, making sure to scrub under your nails, the backs of your hands, and between your fingers. Rinse your hands thoroughly under running water and dry them with a clean towel.
How do glue mouse traps work?
Glue traps are small, flat boxes containing a sticky substance that is designed to trap animals such as mice. When a mouse walks on the glue, it becomes stuck and is unable to escape without assistance.
The critter is not immediately killed by the trap but is likely to die from stress, dehydration, or starvation if left for an extended time. It can be difficult to remove an animal from a glue trap, and often requires using solvents like vegetable oil or other methods to free it. In many cases, the animal may need to be euthanized due to the severity of its injuries or distress. Euthanization is a recommended procedure—see Review of Rodent Euthanasia Methods publication for the various methods.
How long does it take a mouse to die on a glue trap?
When a mouse becomes stuck on a glue trap, it could suffer for a long time, depending on how frequently you inspect the trap. It may be stuck on its side, face down, or with one or all of its legs stuck in the glue. The critter may cry out in distress and struggle to free itself, which causes injuries such as broken bones or self-inflicted wounds from biting or tearing at the trapped limbs.
The mouse eventually becomes exhausted and collapses face down in the glue, leading to suffocation or death from exhaustion, dehydration, and starvation. Ultimately, it can take 3 to 24 hours long for a mouse to die in a glue trap, per the Humane Society International.
Ways to keep mice at bay
1. Seal possible entries
To prevent mice and other rodents from entering your home, seal any cracks, holes, vents, openings, or other access points around your house. Mice can squeeze through openings as small as a dime (or even a 6-7 mm hole—per SSSB), so it is important to be thorough when checking for these types of openings. Some effective methods for sealing these openings include using metal or cement. Consider putting screens around chimneys, use weather stripping on doors and windows, and repair any holes in window screens.
2. Get rid of mice hideouts
To prevent mice and other rodents from taking up residence near your home, keep your property well-maintained. Mice and other rodents often hide or make homes in woodpiles, shrubbery, and other items that are stored near your house, so keep these items as far away from your house as possible.
To reduce the risk of mice and other rodents nesting near your home, keep shrubs and long grass trimmed, trim branches that are overhanging your roof, and store firewood, barbecues, patio furniture, and other items at least 20 feet away from your house.
3. Eliminate their food source
To prevent mice from finding a food source in or around your home, there are several steps you can take. Mice will eat a wide variety of things, including scraps, garbage, crumbs, pet food, seeds, fruit, and more, so it is important to be diligent about keeping your home clean and free of potential food sources for mice.
Some specific actions you can take include:
- storing food in airtight glass containers;
- cleaning floors, counters, and pantries;
- storing pet food and trash in rodent-proof containers;
- cleaning up fallen birdseed, and
- picking fresh fruits and vegetables immediately.
Additionally, repair any leaks, moisture problems, or other sources of freshwater that might attract mice to your home.
Mouse escaped glue trap will it come back?
I have observed instances where mice and rats have managed to escape from glue boards. In these cases, they appear to have survived and left behind some fur. It seems that they can pull the board over and use it to leverage themselves off the board by wedging it against a solid object and using it to get a grip. This technique allows them to escape from the glue board. It is worth noting that not a lot of fur is usually left behind, although these animals can escape from the glue board.
In some cases, it could be that your pet removed the critter. So, make sure to verify whether your pet may have removed the mouse and get rid of the adhesive possibly stuck to its mouth.