How to Kill a Rat Stuck in a Glue Trap

Updated July 20, 2017

Glue traps are a popular choice for home pest control. They are cheap, easy to set up, and once they are set they can stay effective for months until a mouse or rat is caught. However, if you set glue traps in your home, the responsibility for killing the rats and mice you catch is your own. Simply throwing a trapped rat into the garbage is inhumane, leaving the rat to die of thirst or exposure. The most common methods of disposal used by professional exterminators are crushing, freezing and drowning. However, there is a method used to euthanize rodents that is less messy and far more humane.

Sprinkle the baking soda into a five-gallon bucket.

Lean the glue trap against the inside of the bucket so that the vinegar will not drown the rat.

Pour the vinegar into the bottom of the bucket. The vinegar and baking soda will react, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2). The rat should fall unconscious and suffocate without respiratory distress.

Dispose of the rat by securely wrapping the glue trap in a plastic bag and throwing it away.


If the rat does not die, try a larger dose of vinegar and baking soda, adding 1 1/2 tablespoons of baking soda for each additional cup of vinegar. Make sure the bucket is located out of the wind. If this still fails, tightly cover the top of the bucket with cling wrap or a trash bag secured with a rubber band. Leave the bucket covered for at least 10 to 30 minutes.


Always wear gloves when handling wild rodents. They are notorious vectors for disease. Never throw an occupied glue trap into the trash without securely wrapping it in plastic. Cats, dogs, and even birds can stick to a glue trap after trying to eat a trapped mouse or rat. Do not use dry ice as a source of CO2. The ice can cause severe burns, and it is difficult to control the concentration of CO2 from dry ice.

Things You'll Need

  • Five-gallon bucket
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 cups white vinegar
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