How to Help Animals Caught in Glue Traps

Glue traps are one of the cruellest methods of rodent control. If you come across an animal caught in one of these devices, you can free him or her and help alleviate his or her suffering by following the steps below.

See our Action Page for more information on glue traps and advice on how to speak out if you see someone selling or using them.


What to Do

  1. Gather supplies
    You’ll need a tea towel, a pair of gloves, baby oil or cooking oil, some tissues, a damp cloth, and a secure container or shoebox with air vents.
  2. Cover the animal’s head
    Lightly place the tea towel over the animal’s head. This will help keep him or her calm.
  3. Massage the oil in
    Make sure you’re wearing gloves for this part. Gently massage a few drops of the oil into the area where the animal is stuck. Keep massaging until you’re able to work the animal free.

    Be sure to keep the amount of oil to a minimum, as it can interfere with natural waterproofing and reduce the chance of survival following release. Once the animal has been separated from the glue trap, carefully slide a tissue over the trap to prevent him or her from becoming stuck again.
  4. Call for help if you need it
    If you can’t remove the animal from the glue board or if he or she seems lethargic or injured, seek help immediately. Contact your local veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator, or call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. (This is a 24-hour helpline charged at national call rates.)

  5. Release the animal
    Use the damp cloth to remove any excess oil, and place the animal inside a secure container or shoebox with air vents. Drape the tea towel over the container to make it dark, and place it in a quiet, warm location so the animal can rest for an hour or two. Active and alert animals can be released outdoors during mild weather within a one-block radius of where they were discovered. If the animal was trapped during extreme weather, he or she should be transported to a wildlife rehabilitator.


Thank you for being compassionate and helping animals!

Learn More

Visit our Wildlife Issues page to learn more about living in harmony with wild animals.