Snake experts warn of glue traps catching more than just bugs

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Rattlesnake caught on a glue trap. (Source: Phoenix Herpetological Society) Rattlesnake caught on a glue trap. (Source: Phoenix Herpetological Society)
Snake got a soapy bath before being set free. (Source: Phoenix Herpetological Society) Snake got a soapy bath before being set free. (Source: Phoenix Herpetological Society)

It was a sticky situation. A Valley homeowner called for help after finding a rattlesnake in her garage stuck to a glue trap.  

The snake was very much alive and very very upset. 

"It was very nervous and it was rattling," said Daniel Marchand, curator for the Phoenix Herpetological Society. 

Every inch of the young western diamondback, even its tongue, was stuck firmly to the sticky glue trap.  

"He was everywhere on that trap. You couldn't have gotten more snake on that trap. It was the craziest thing," said Marchand. 

It took nearly 20 minutes for Marchand and another rescuer to loosen the adhesive using olive oil and Q-tips. They had to work carefully, staying away from the snake's fangs.

"It's obviously very dangerous. Anytime you have to put your hands onto a venomous snake there's always a chance if you make a mistake, it's very costly," said Marchand.

This is not the first time the Phoenix Herpetological Society has had to free a snake from a glue trap. They estimate they do this about 10 to 15 times a year.

"Very common that that occurs. And we get, 'Why don't we kill it? It's a rattlesnake, it doesn't have a purpose.' And it does it actually has a very very important role in our ecosystem. Snakes are nature's rodent control," said Marchand. 

After a soapy bath, the snake looked almost thankful. Then it was released back into the desert, away from homes and people.

"All I can say is if anybody is using glue traps and they get into a situation where they either get a lizard or a snake on it, don't just throw the thing away. Give us a call, drop it off with us. We'll be more than happy to remove the animal from the trap for ya and let the animal free," said Marchand. 

Marchand asks everyone to be careful with glue traps now that spring has brought all the critters out of hiding. He says only use glue traps in areas where you're certain wildlife (other than bugs and mice) can't find it. He says garages aren't always secure enough. 

[FACEBOOK POST: Phoenix Herpetological Society speaks on snakes in glue traps]

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

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Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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