How to Unstick Your Child (or Your Pet) From a Mouse Glue Trap

By Chris Williams on November 6, 2014.

I occasionally use mouse glue traps around our home when I see evidence of mice. The other day my 2-year old daughter stuck her hand on a glue trap that I thought was hidden. We both freaked out because we couldn’t figure out how to get her unglued. I finally got her calmed down enough so that I could slowly pull her loose but it was a lot of work to get the glue off of her skin. Is there an easier way to do this in case it happens again? A. A., Hampton, NH 

mouse glue traps

If a child or pet gets stuck in a mouse glue trap, many kinds of oil will help remove it.

There is an easy way to remove the glue. The antidote is a product that fortunately is available in every home – cooking oil. Many consumers already know that you can use cooking oil to dissolve chewing gum or the glue on those pesky store price stickers. It’s the same principle here…oil dissolves glue.

Removing Trap Glue From Skin or Hair

Glue trap manufacturer J.T. Eaton offers the following procedure for removing the glue from skin and other surfaces:

  1. Slowly and carefully pull the trap away from the skin’s surface. Most of the glue should remain in the trap.
  2. Dab the glue that remains on skin or hair with vegetable oil (corn oil, canola oil, olive oil), mineral oil, baby oil, or smooth peanut butter. Let the oil sit for several minutes.
  3. Using a dry cloth, rub the area to remove the softened glue.
  4. Repeat the process if necessary, and then wash the skin or hair with soap and water to remove the oil.

Removing Trap Glue From Clothing, Furniture, Other Surfaces

Place fabric items in the freezer, if possible. Once the glue is frozen you can simply peel it off. For glue on fabric-covered furniture, try placing a freezer pack or ice cubes in a plastic bag on the glue. When very cold and brittle, scrape the glue off. Small items that won’t be damaged by freezing can also be placed in the freezer to remove glue.

To remove the glue from floors or other nonporous surfaces, try oil if the surface won’t be damaged, or use turpentine, paint thinner, or Goo Be Gone, or similar product. Test an inconspicuous area first. Let the solvent sit for several minutes, wipe it off with a dry cloth, then wash with mild detergent.

Releasing an Animal From a Glue Trap

Whenever a non-target animal, pet or otherwise, is trapped on a glue trap, it’s best to have a veterinarian attempt the removal in order to avoid injuring the animal in the process.

If you unintentionally trap a small animal that you didn’t intend to trap such as a lizard or snake, it can usually be released from the trap in the same manner. The nature of glue traps is that the more an animal struggles, the more stuck it becomes, so try to keep the animal calm, and keep it from sticking its nose in the glue.

Wear heavy gloves to avoid bites. Pour cooking oil on the trap glue at the points where the animal is caught and massage the animal’s skin or fur to work the oil into the glue. You may need to use a lot of oil (but don’t drown the poor animal!) so do this where spilled oil won’t be a problem. It will take a few minutes for the oil massage to work. Once the animal is free, give it a soapy bath to remove the oil (if it’s your pet) or take it to a veterinarian for follow-up care.

To prevent the above scenarios in the first place, place your mouse glue traps inside a trap station or bait station so that children and pets can’t reach them.

Photo credit: John Loo / Foter / CC BY

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