At a regular West Hollywood city council meeting on Monday, October 3, 2022, the city council approved Agenda Item 2.N. initiated by Mayor Lauren Meister, directing staff and the City Attorney to research and draft an ordinance to prohibit the sale and use of glue traps in West Hollywood. City Council also gave direction to staff to amend the City’s Integrated Pest Management Program to prohibit the use of glue traps.
A glue trap, also known as a glue board or sticky board, is made out of either a layer of
cardboard, plastic or wood and is coated with a non-drying adhesive or a shallow tray of
the adhesive. These traps are primarily used by homeowners, food processors, and pest
management companies to control rodent populations. The primary goal of the glue trap
is to entrap rodents or other pests when they cross the board since their feet and bodies
stick to the adhesive. The animals are then incapable of freeing themselves and slowly
other parts of their bodies get stuck to the trap, or they suffer from starvation, dehydration, or suffocation. After several days or weeks, the animal dies, but the process is extremely cruel, painful, and subjects the animal to a slow and inhumane death.
“I have a special love for West Hollywood because 20 years ago, I came here and asked West Hollywood to ban the declawing of cats,” said veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Conrad, during public comment. “West Hollywood did it. And since then, they started a movement. New York has banned declawing. In Maryland, they banned declawing. Almost all of Canada has banned declawing, as well as many other places, and it’s because of West Hollywood doing it first. For this reason, I’m asking this tiny and very mighty city, please ban the glue traps. I’m a veterinarian and glue traps are the cruelest way to die. They are like little La Brea Tar Pits. These animals walk in, they get stuck, and then another animal sees the animal and tries to eat and it gets stuck. This is not the best of humanity. This is the worst of humanity. We know better. We can do better. I really hope that you will consider this seriously because you will start a revolution and you will save many, many animals. There is no reason for us to continue killing animals this way.”
Glue traps are typically targeted for rodents, however, according to the People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), these traps have been used to capture other
wildlife including birds, snakes, and squirrels. Additionally, PETA reports there are
numerous reports of cats becoming stuck in vertebrate glue traps and requiring veterinary
assistance. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns against
using glue traps as trapped animals produce urine and feces, which may have harmful
human health impacts.
More humane, and targeted methods exist and can be used in place of glue traps. Snap
traps have a higher chance of killing the rodent instantly and live traps allow rodents to
be caught alive and unharmed and then released into the wild.
City Staff reports that the most problematic types of glue traps are typically used to catch
vertebrates such as rats, mice, etc. The City of West Hollywood does not currently use
this type of glue trap. There is another type of glue trap that is used to catch invertebrates,
including insects such as ants, flies, cockroaches, etc. These glue traps are much smaller
and typically include a tent or other structure on top to protect larger animals from getting
caught. The City of West Hollywood currently uses these types of traps to help detect
pests and monitor changes in order to address any pest issues in accordance with the
Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
This item directs staff and the City Attorney to research and draft an ordinance to prohibit
the sale and use of glue traps in the City of West Hollywood.
City Staff acknowledges that animal rights groups are concerned that if vertebrate glue traps are banned, but invertebrate glue traps are still allowed, a user could bypass the ban by removing the protective tent/structure or putting several insect traps together to create a potentially harmful situation. As part of this research, staff and the City Attorney will determine if both vertebrate and invertebrate glue traps can be banned. This will include evaluating alternatives to the current invertebrate glue traps that the City currently uses to ensure the City can be in compliance with this new ordinance, while also refraining from using otherwise harsh chemicals and pesticides in its pest management program.
Agenda Item 2.N. also directs staff to develop materials to educate the public on the potential harmful impacts of using glue traps and provide information on alternative options for pest control.