Back Button

How to Remove a Glue Trap From Birds

Jasey Kelly

Glue traps can be an effective way to trap unwelcome guests, including birds. Many people choose to use glue traps as lethal traps -- the animal becomes glued to the trap and dies of either dehydration, starvation or suffocation from the glue.

Some birds, including starlings, are pests and may get stuck in a glue trap.

However, glue traps also can be live traps if you check them frequently and free the animal to live another day. Unlike other animals, birds may become trapped in the glue and get the adhesive in their feathers, which may prevent flight even after release. Because of this, make sure the glue is removed thoroughly. Take the animal to a bird or wildlife rehabilitator if any glue is still present on the wing feathers.

  1. Walk up slowly to the bird in the glue trap. Sudden or quick movements will frighten the bird more than it is and may cause it to get more glue on its body.

  2. Pick up the bird and the trap carefully, taking care to not squeeze the bird too tightly, but hold it firmly. If its wings are not in the glue, try and keep them away from the adhesive.

  3. Cover the glued parts of the bird's body with vegetable oil. Carefully rub the oil into the feet and belly or other areas covered with adhesive. Pour oil on any parts of the glue trap's adhesive that aren't attached to the bird to try and prevent the bird becoming more attached.

  4. Pull gently at the bird after a few minutes. If the bird is not freeing, wait a little longer. Never pull the bird off the trap if there is still strong resistance from the glue.

  5. Allow the bird to fly by holding it a short distance off the ground. Do not release the bird from a height where the bird will injure itself from falling if it is unable to fly.

  6. Take the bird to a wildlife rehabilitator if the bird is having trouble flying -- it may have glue or oil in its wings. You can find a wildlife rehabilitator or similar organization by calling your local animal control office or your state's Department of Natural Resources.