Glue traps are pest control devices designed to catch rodents or insects via a strong adhesive. While they often succeed in catching such pests, they occasionally catch inquisitive dogs and cats as well. While you may be able to dissolve the glue and free your pet safely, you should contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet sustains injury from the trap or you are unable to remove it gently.
Oils are among the best and safest solvents for freeing trapped pets. Any vegetable-based cooking oil will work, such as canola oil, corn oil or peanut oil. Whenever possible, heat the oil a bit by holding the bottle under running hot water. Test the oil on your wrist before applying it to your pet -- it should feel warm but not hot. Alternatively, butter, lard or peanut butter may help free your pet if you do not have access to a cooking oil.
Rest and Recovery
After you remove the glue board from your pet, she is likely to be anxious, so you want to let her rest in a quiet place for a while. Before doing so, though, you need to remove as much of the residual glue and oil as possible. Gently bathe your pet in lukewarm water and work through her fur with a gentle liquid soap. Rinse her well and dry her with a towel before leaving her alone. If you notice any injuries caused by the glue trap, contact your veterinarian. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly to remove any remnants of the glue that may have stuck to your fingers.
Avoid Strong Solvents
While some glue trap manufacturers recommend using mineral spirits or paint thinner to dissolve the glue, these chemicals can be too strong for your pet. They may cause skin irritation, and the fumes of such strong chemicals are often harmful as well. Also, avoid using alcohol-based products such as nail polish remover, or petroleum-based products such as petroleum jelly, motor oil or lubricating grease to free your pet.
Preventing Future Problems
While they may be appropriate in a few specific circumstances, glue traps are not ideal pest control devices. Glue traps work indiscriminately, and often cause considerable suffering to the animals they catch. Accordingly, it is wise to avoid their use whenever possible. If you must use such traps, be sure they are in places in which your pets cannot contact them. Remember that cats and dogs are notorious for exploring and accessing hard-to-reach places, so be especially careful when using them near household pets. Check the traps regularly to reduce the suffering of any animal trapped by the glue.
- Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media