Mouse trap usage at the high school deemed inhumane


Chris Wan / Contributing Photographer

Ouch! The poor critters that get stuck to this glue mouse trap perish over a period of several days.

Rachel Vin, Staff Writer

A mouse “glue trap” is a flat, adhesive board that immobilizes mice on the sticky surface. Once caught on the board, assuming that the mouse doesn’t collapse into the glue and suffocate, the mouse will die over several days of starvation and dehydration.

These traps are largely viewed as inhumane, and animal rights organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and The Humane Society condemn their usage. Despite this, they are still the only method of pest control that is allowed to be used at the high school.

According to Assistant Headmaster Hal Mason, glue traps are a harsh way to eliminate mice, but the magnitude of the rodent problem and the risks of alternative trapping methods leaves administration with no other choice but to use them.

“There are certainly mice in the building,” Mason said. “The goal is to keep them under control, but it’s almost impossible to completely eradicate them. The school looks for any effective way to get rid of rodents.”

Junior Evelyn Gilbert has several rats as domestic pets. She said that people’s hatred towards rodents makes humane treatment seem unimportant to them.

“They’re [the traps] really terrible and inhumane,” Gilbert said. “Mice are known to freak out when they get stuck to them and chew at their own ankles, which is a terrible way to die.”

According to exterminator Todd Mcnamara, while there are a multitude of obscure techniques, the primary two methods are glue traps and snap traps. Mcnamara said that snap traps are a more humane process to kill mice because they take the mouse’s life instantly with a blow to the back of their neck.

According to Mcnamara, it is not always practical to implement new snap traps.

“Sometimes when you’re dealing with rodents they do become what’s called trap averse, and they will start to avoid the snap traps,” Mcnamara said. “Also, sometimes you can’t get snap traps in certain areas just because of space, because they don’t have enough room for the [snap bar to swing].”

Mcnamara said the main conflict with having snap traps in schools is the risk that children will get caught in the traps.

“A lot of times the issue with schools is when there’s children around you can’t just have the snap trap, because children could get injured,” Mcnamara said. “With a glue board you can’t get injured.”

Senior Hannah Farman, co-president of Veg Club, works with the club to promote animal rights activism throughout the high school. Farman said she dislikes the use of glue traps at the high school. Farman believes that animal rights need to be acknowledged and discussed more openly at the high school.

“I have a problem with glue traps. It’s unethical because it kills the mice slowly, so they just suffer for a long time,” Farman said. “Most people get angry when we talk about it, so I think people people don’t want to think about it.”

According to Mason, the school would use a more humane trapping process if they were able to.

“If there was a humane alternative that could keep the mouse population under control, the school would probably use that,” Mason said. “I don’t think there is such a way to do it.”