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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Bird limes and rat glues--sticky situations


In antiquity, sticky materials were widely used for catching small birds for food and sport, but this practice is now illegal in most industrial nations. The most widespread use of sticky materials is in "glueboards" to catch rats and particularly mice. Their popularity has increased with the negative public attitude towards use of pesticide chemicals. Early materials were made from latex and gums of many trees, but current ones also use industrial chemicals like polyethylenes and polybutenes. They have most of the advantages of traps but have some disadvantages. Their use may be limited by temperature, moisture, dust, vapors, etc. The proper methods of handling, placement, and cleanup of rodent glueboards are discussed.

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