Wildlife deterrents and population control

Wild birds and netting

Seagull trapped in netting in roof © RSPCABird netting that's used to keep away birds can trap or kill wild birds if it's not installed or looked after properly. Netting can also stop birds from getting to hedgerows, trees or other nesting areas needed for their development.

If you find an area or building where birds are getting caught in netting, please report it to us.

Glue traps

Also known as glue boards or sticky boards, glue traps consist either of a sheet of cardboard, plastic or wood coated with a non-drying adhesive or a shallow tray of adhesive.

We believe that glue traps cause unacceptable cruelty, and their indiscriminate nature means that many non-target species, even pets are caught out and suffer.

Why glue traps are so dangerous

When animals cross the board they become stuck by their feet. Unable to free themselves, other parts of their body then become stuck, further entrapping them. In attempting to get free they may rip out patches of fur, break bones and even gnaw through their own limbs to escape.

After three to five hours animals have been reported as covered in their own faeces and urine. If trapped animals are left unattended they'll die slowly from dehydration, starvation or exhaustion.

Let us know if you find glue traps used or sold

We believe that if these traps must be used, it should only be by trained professionals. If you have seen glue traps being sold, please forward the following information to wildlife@rspca.org.uk:

  • Name and address of the store where the traps are being sold (include postcode where possible)
  • The name of the manager or owner of the store concerned (if known) and the address if different to above
  • The date you saw the traps on sale.

To report live animals caught in glue traps, please call our cruelty and advice helpline on 0300 1234 999.

Rodent control

There are humane and inhumane ways to control the population of rats and mice. Poisoning of rodents causes them to suffer and can result in secondary poisoning of predators feeding on poisoned animals.

Effective humane deterrents

It's always better to use humane deterrents first, look at our wild rats and mice advice to find ways to avoid attracting rodents to your home. Traps should only be used in certain circumstances, but some are not only inhumane towards rodents but can also harm animals they're not intended for.

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