Legislative Efforts to Ban Glue Traps

April 10, 2024
April 10, 2024 Susan Masciarelli

With more and more legislation being introduced at both the federal and state levels to try to ban the use and manufacture of glue traps, Susan wanted to share her thoughts on the matter.

The Case for Rodent Glue Traps

There has been a lot of talk over the years surrounding the ethics of glue traps. The primary arguments being that some consider them to be inhumane, or that they sometimes trap unintentional creatures. I agree that in some cases this can be true. However, what the opponents of glue traps fail to see and understand is the big picture, which unfortunately has become the new normal in the cancel culture society we live in today.

The Glue Trap Prohibition Act

This past January (2024) Congressman Ted Lieu (D) of California introduced a new bill in Congress, inspired by the recent successful ban of glue traps in West Hollywood, CA and increasing bans around the world, named the Glue Trap Prohibition Act, for the purposing of placing a national ban on the possession and use of glue traps to catch rodents. Congressman Lieu’s announcement of the bill deemed glue traps as inhumane and disease spreading.

What Congressman Lieu and the supporters of this bill do not understand is that a primary reason we need to use glue traps is to safeguard public health and food safety. You cannot use chemicals or other poisons in an environment where foods are prepared or processed . You need non-toxic, non-aerosol means, such as a glueboard. These environments must adhere to strict hygiene requirements, and this includes monitoring and disposing of insects and pests on a regular basis as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.

Glue traps do not spread disease, they keep the rodents from spreading disease.

We have to think about the big picture.

We all just lived through a worldwide pandemic, and although it was a bat, not a rodent, which was the initial carrier for Covid 19, it could just have easily been spread by a rodent in that wet market in Wuhan, China. Glue traps are meant to help stop this type of event early, before it spreads beyond control. In this case, a glue trap would have been an appropriate means of monitoring and containment in a food market.

Food handling environments are just one example of where pesticides should not be used. There are many places where pesticides should be avoided, and in some cases they are the only feasible option for dealing with an infestation. When used responsibly and properly (i.e. monitored regularly, placed appropriately, disposed of properly), glue traps are an important tool in the PCO’s arsenal of tools. They are a non-toxic option that has a key place in an overall IPM program.

Yes, unfortunately, there is sometimes unintended target catch with glueboards. But glue boards are non-toxic, and if a family pet or a child or a bird gets into that, a little vegetable oil will quickly and easily release them. This is not a reason to ban an entire pest management tool.

There is always going to be a downside and an upside to anything controversial. It is not possible to make everyone happy in all situations. What is important is that we listen to both sides of an issue to be as informed as possible and try to understand and see which side advocated for the greater good. In the case of the people vs glue traps, the benefit derived by keeping the PEOPLE safe and healthy outweighs the ethics surrounding rodent cruelty.

Maybe we are trying to legislate glue traps the wrong way. Glue traps should be used responsibly and properly, and some may argue that that can only be done by professionals. But instead of going after a valuable tool in the PCO’s toolbox, maybe we need to work harder on educating the public as to why they are important, and if we must legislate, let it be on improper use, not restriction.

And don’t even get me started on the economics of a glue trap ban…….

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