An old faithful in any pest manager’s toolkit, glue boards remain a simple and effective way to treat rodent infestations.
It is easy to overlook the value of glue boards as part of an integrated rodent management plan. This is largely because it takes a level of understanding and expertise to ensure that the glue boards are effective in their purpose.
Why use glue boards?
The glue board is a dynamic, low cost tool in rodent management. They offer immediate control, or diagnosis of the infestation. If used properly, trapped rodents will remain in position, and can be easily and safely removed without disappearing into wall cavities. With a very low profile, glue boards can fit comfortably beneath appliances where rodents are active but where bait stations or mechanical traps may not fit.
They also offer the only method of ‘quarantining’ an area or item. For example, if a pallet of foodstuff is brought onto a premises where rodents are known to be present, the only way to be confident that the rodents will not reach the pallet is to completely surround it. Conversely, if the pallet is suspected of containing rodents, it can be quarantined from the rest of the facility. Additionally, glue boards are an excellent choice in areas where toxic baits cannot be used, or are an unsuitable option.
Correct use of glue boards
Glue boards must be placed in rodent runways and areas of high rodent activity where a rodent should, ideally, run straight onto the board. They should always be placed tight against a wall, as this is where rodents will feel most comfortable.
During the inspection of a potential commercial client, how often do you see glue boards (most often paper-backed), covered in dust and debris, in the middle of a refuse area? To be effective, the glue has to be kept clean and free of dust. A covering such as a glue board tunnel or station such as Bell Laboratories’ Trapper Pest Monitor will help to prevent dust from accumulating, avoid the capture of non-target animals and will keep the trapped rodent somewhat hidden from open view. Best practice – and in some areas, the law – dictates the daily checking of glue boards in situ.
Tips and tricks
Rodents, particularly rats, are neophobic or shy of new things in their environment. Some glue boards, such as the Bell Laboratories Trapper trays, come in pairs, to help counteract this. To use these effectively:
- Place them in the ‘closed’ position until the rodents become comfortable with the placement – then separate the pair and expose the glue
- Consider placing fresh droppings on the closed boards, as this encourages confidence in the rodents
- Once a location has been successful on one or two occasions, try moving the traps. Rats, in particular, will learn to avoid an area where their associates have previously been caught
- Using foodstuff placed in the centre of a glue board can work, on occasion, to attract the rodent, but it could result in the rodent pausing and being less prone to capture.
The use of glue boards is considered by some to be inhumane and is therefore banned or restricted in some states and areas of Australia. In Victoria, for example, glue boards can only be sold to, and used by, commercial pest managers. They can only be used in certain premises, under certain conditions, and heavy penalties apply for illegal sale and use in that state. It is vital that pest managers are aware of the legality of the use of glue boards in their territories.
What kind of glue board should you use?
It is critical to know what species of rodent you are dealing with. Mice are lightweight and will readily be caught on paper-backed boards. Rats, however, are much larger and stronger. It is recommended that large boards, or even trays where the layer of glue can be thicker and more adhesive, should be used to catch rats.
Pick a product from a reputable supplier; cheap, paper boards can be just that – cheap. Be confident that the glue will not melt in hot Australian conditions or harden and lose adhesion when it turns cold. Avoid boards with wide borders – rats or mice can and will ‘tiptoe’ around the lip of a board, particularly if that perimeter border is against a wall.