DTY Rodent Management
Not So Bold When They Are Cold

By Dr. Stuart Mitchell

A material’s "mode of action" defines how exposure to it modifies physiological and/or anatomical functions. Glue boards, for example, are passive rodent monitoring and control devices. With the exception of glue boards specially designed for cold climates, their mode of action could be captioned, "not so bold when they are cold."

Glue boards are rodent cross-over trapping platforms. They feature varying glue thicknesses of high-adhesion strength, based upon scientific pull-off tests. Glue boards can be used as targeted, assessment-based monitors within sensitive areas. They can also serve as passive monitoring and control devices to capture both insects and rodents.

With the onset of winter rodent invasions, every glue board placement should be assessment or rodent evidence-based. Glue boards should be placed onto "high activity runaways" (Corrigan 1997; Fitzwater 1982) and possess sturdy, low-profile surfaces with easy-step-into, temperature-resistant and tenacious glue, which lowers the "hesitation factor" (Corrigan 1997; Fitzwater 1982). While "kinesthetically (Greek kīnein, to move, sensory input and perception of position, weight, and movement) traveling along its runway" (Corrigan 1997; Fitzwater 1982), the likelihood of rodent bodily capture is increased.

Now that the device is defined and the placement is pragmatic, the capture action can be increased by the lure attraction. There are a number of viable commercial options, but "the best attractant may be another trapped rodent" (Fitzwater 1983).

For optimal use, keep glue boards free of contaminants like dust and debris. Cardboard and plastic tunnels can help protect glue boards from micro-environmental contaminants. Notably, tunnels prolong essential glue adhesion while keeping captures discreetly hidden.
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As small warm-blooded vertebrates, rodents are especially subject to the Square Cube Law: Surface area increases as a square of body length, and volume increases as a cube of body length or a high surface area-to-volume ratio. Once captured on a glue board, exposed rodents lose body heat rapidly.

Under the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy (a decline into disorder) will increase over time to equilibrium. In other words, hot things continue to cool unless something stops the cooling process. What does this all mean? It means that for glue boards, the mode of action may be hypothermia or entropy or again, "not so bold when they are cold." So, as we wrap, another name for a glue board may be "entropy trap."

  1. Corrigan, Robert M., "The Efficacy of Glue Traps against Wild Populations of House Mice, Mus domesticus, Rutty" (1998). Proceedings of the Eighteenth Vertebrate Pest Conference (1998). 25.

Stuart Mitchell, DO, PsyD, DVM, BCE, is an observing family physician, consulting clinical psychologist, veterinarian, entomologist and a regular contributor to Pest Management Professional's Direct to You series.

PMP's Direct To You provides pest management professionals with educational refreshers on timely and critical topics essential to operational success. Look for the content-rich PMP Direct To You archives at mypmp.net/direct-to-you-archive.

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