Can a Mouse Break Free From a Glue Trap?

by Derrick | Last Updated: April 17, 2022

Glue traps for mice are inexpensive, easy to use, and non-toxic. If you try to address your mouse problem with poison, the mouse will often die in a hidden place, and you won’t know you’ve killed it until the corpse begins to stink. The mouse will generally be visible and often alive with a glue trap but despite these benefits, glue traps are not foolproof and have several disadvantages.

A mouse can break free from a glue trap through its actions or because of issues with the trap. Mice caught in glue traps often resort to extreme measures to get free. These measures include gnawing off stuck limbs or pulling away from the trap with enough force they rip off fur and skin.

In this article, I’ll examine why glue traps become ineffective, how to use and place them for best results, and what bait experts recommend. I’ll also explore why glue mouse traps are banned by several governments and not used on properties owned by many major corporations. I’ve got lots of ground to cover, so let’s get started!

Why Do Glue Traps Become Ineffective?

Glue traps become ineffective when exposed to direct sunlight, placed in dusty conditions, and when they become wet. Under direct sunlight, the glue in the trap will dry up. When mouse glue traps pick up too much dust, the glue becomes less adhesive and less likely to hold a trapped mouse.

Although some people swear that peanut butter is the best mouse trap bait, using this popular sandwich spread in a glue trap is not a good idea. The oil in the butter will make the glue slippery and much less sticky. Seeds and nuts are a better option.

Proper Placement of Mouse Glue Traps

Military strategists insist one of the keys to victory is understanding your enemy. It is important to understand that advice when placing your traps. 

Mice do not like open spaces. When outdoors, open spaces expose them to birds and other predators. Indoors, open spaces expose them to humans and their pets.

Mice prefer the comfort of a wall and dark places. Traps work best when placed parallel to:

  • Baseboards
  • Dark corners
  • Behind kitchen appliances

Another factor to consider is the power of a mouse’s nose. Mice will be wary of anything that smells too much like a human. When laying out your traps, I highly recommend wearing gloves to keep your prey from picking up your scent.

The olfactory abilities of your average house mouse make checking your traps frequently essential. If a mouse is dead in one of your traps, it is equivalent to putting up a large sign that says “Beware of Traps!” Your mice will avoid the area and frolic somewhere else. It will then be your job to discover that place.

Best Baits for Mouse Glue Traps

You probably grew up watching cartoons in which mice crave cheese and believe cheese has to be one of the best baits for any type of mousetrap. Actually, it is not.

Mice are mainly seed eaters. The best baits for mouse glue traps include:

  • A nut
  • A little bit of birdseed
  • A piece of caramel corn

Since most mouse species have a sweet tooth, small pieces of chocolate or other candies also make excellent bait.

Don’t get me wrong. Mice will eat cheese. In fact, they’ll eat just about anything if they are hungry. This observation brings us to our next point. Are your mice hungry?

If your unwelcome house guests have access to other food sources, they will generally ignore whatever you put in the trap. If your traps are not attracting mice, search for other food sources they may be exploiting and eliminate those dining opportunities.

Illegal Mouse Glue Traps

In telling you the best places to place mouse glue traps and suggesting the best baits for glue traps, I could be accused of promoting an illegal activity in some jurisdictions.

Glue traps are illegal in the following countries:

  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • Iceland
  • Much of Australia 

On June 16, 2021, a bill was filed in the British Parliament to make glue traps illegal in the United Kingdom.

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention has advised American citizens not to use glue traps. They are concerned a trapped mouse may urinate and defecate on the trap, which increases the chance of spreading any diseases the rodent may be carrying.

Commercial Glue Trap Use

Due to increased concerns about glue traps being an inhumane way to address mouse infestations, many prominent companies have discontinued the use of glue traps on their property. 

In addition to corporations, mouse glue traps are banned at:

  • More than 100 airports
  • Several universities
  • Some medical centers
  • The Chicago Transit Authority
  • New York City Police Department

Several retail chains, including Big Lots, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart Canada have stopped selling glue traps.

The Issue With Mouse Glue Traps

Mouse glue traps are not designed to kill; they are designed to trap. Of course, in trapping a mouse, they often kill it, and death is often slow and cruel. After struggling, mice may fall face forward from exhaustion and suffocate in the glue. Some say those mice are the lucky ones.

Many mice caught in glue traps can remain there for days if the traps are checked infrequently. These mice often die from a combination of dehydration and starvation with a large side order of exhaustion. This process can take up to 24 hours. 

As mentioned earlier, some mice chew off limbs or rip off skin in their escape attempts. Many of these escape artists die soon after they have regained their freedom.

Final Thoughts

Although mouse glue traps are inexpensive, non-toxic, and easy to use, sentiment is growing to discontinue their use. To make matters worse, many pest control professionals have questioned their effectiveness in stemming any but minor mouse infestations. 

With several more effective rodent trapping and killing solutions available, the popularity of mouse glue traps may continue to wane in the coming years.