As professionals, we must always be able to answer the question: Why did we place that piece of equipment where we did?
It is important that PMPs do not fall into the “trap” of placing glue boards — or any other piece of equipment, for that matter — based on a formula or recommendations centered solely on square footage. It is critical to remember that each situation needs to be evaluated individually. This includes multi-family dwellings and apartment buildings that have virtually identical footprints. Every account has a unique set of circumstances that are allowing pests to thrive.
Glue boards are designed as “blunder” traps that intercept rodents as they quickly scurry from one point of security to the next. Glue boards or trays should be placed in known or potential rodent runways, where they act as interceptors as rodents quickly navigate through open and exposed areas. When rodents move quickly from point A to point B, they tend to let their guard down. Generally, they move across open spaces in a more erect posture, with their super-sensitive vibrissae (whiskers) and guard hairs held back and close to their bodies. It is during these times that rodents are most vulnerable.
As a rodent approaches an impediment in its path or a potential food source, it slows and shifts its focus forward — bringing sight, smell, hearing and, most importantly, touch into play. Posture becomes closer to the ground. Guard hairs and vibrissae flare out and begin to sense the surroundings. Each set of vibrissae are like individual hands responsible for “feeling out” the environment. This trait is exactly why we never place glue boards in corners or place bait on glue boards when targeting rodents.
Glue boards have proven to be indispensable IPM tools that are readily available, effective and affordable. When used properly, they not only capture the intended offenders, but act as effective containment devices that help minimize the spread of potentially harmful pathogens and ectoparasites.