Compilation of eMail Correspondence Regarding the Use of Sticky Traps to Catch Mice.

In an eMail posted to Mammal-L and dated 24 FEB 97, Jerry O. Wolff wrote:

Dear mammals,

Has anyone had any experience with these new sticky traps for small mammals (they work on the same principle as flypaper). I think they are designed for removal (snap) trapping, but in that the animal is not harmed, it can be removed and released. Has anyone tested their efficacy by comparing them with snap or live (e.g. Sherman) traps? If so, will you share your results with us? If not and others are interested, I have a good setup to test their effectiveness and would be willing to do it.


Jerry O. Wolff
Research Associate Professor
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331

In a response dated 25 FEB 97, Jim Boone replied:


We use sticky traps to remove rats from buildings. They are effective for removal, but it certainly is not true, in my experience, that rats can be released. One of our field personnel once tried to release a woodrat and tore all of the hair off of one side of the animal. It probably died. I try to recover the skulls, and even this is a problem because everything sticks - I can't let anything touch the glue while cutting out their skulls. Needless to say, I can only estimate body measurements (probably a waste of my time).

I have one paper from the herp literature (Durtsche, 1996) where small lizards were caught on bits of sticky trap attached to a stick. Durtsche removed the lizards using corn oil following the method of Bauer and Sadlier (1992). I don't think this would work with rats, but I don't know.

Good luck, Jim


Bauer, A. M., and R. A. Sadlier. 1992. The use of mouse glue traps to capture lizards. Herp. Rev., 23:112-113.

Durtsche, R. D. 1996. A capture technique for small, smooth-scaled lizards Herp. Rev., 27:12-13.


Dr. James L. Boone, Ecology
SAIC, Science Applications International Corporation
1180 Town Center Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89134

In an eMail dated 2 MAR 97, Jerry O. Wolff wrote:

Dear Mammals,

Thanks to all who responded regarding the use of sticky traps. The general consensus is that they are nasty and cruel to mammals and are not good for either removal or mark-recapture studies. They might work fine for removing household pests, but not for legitimate field studies. I do not intend to pursue using them or conducting an efficacy study.

Jerry Wolff

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
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