Defra announces key principles and dates for glue board licensing in England

by | Apr 29, 2024 | Rodents

Defra announces key principles and dates for glue board licensing in England


Defra has released an overview of the key principles for the new licensing regime for rodent glue boards, as required by the Glue Traps (Offences) Act 2022.

The Glue Traps (Offences) Act 2022 allows pest professionals to continue to use rodent glue boards under licence.


Pest controllers will be able to apply for glue trap licences from 13 June 2024.

The glue trap ban  will come into force on 31 July 2024.

Share your comments and feedback to the BPCA today.


Defra’s key principles of the new licensing regime for use of Glue Traps in England

On 25 April 2024, Defra released a document to BPCA containing their proposed key principles for the new regime. We have included it here in full for your feedback:

NOTE: Defra has stated these are the expected requirements and that licence holders will need to comply with the requirements that are issued to them upon making a successful application. Whilst they do not expect to make any major changes, there is always a small possibility of changes.

Licences will only be issued for exceptional circumstances, and where all alternative methods of rodent control are ineffective or impractical.

Only professional pest controllers involved in rodent control management will be able to hold a licence for glue trapping. A professional pest controller is someone who provides a pest control service for a public authority or as part of a business. To demonstrate this, applicants will need to:

(a) have completed both the following courses and will need to provide evidence of these with the licence application:

    • RSPH Level 2 Award in pest management
    • Killgerm glue trap online training module (2024 version)*

(b) supply a reference from another professional pest controller that vouches for their competency.

*Other companies are welcome to develop training materials that focus specifically on the legal use of glue traps, which Natural England can consider as demonstration of an applicant’s knowledge and competency.

There are 2 types of licence: 

  1. Class licence – you register in advance to use this licence. This licence only covers very specific situations (see below), which are time-critical. Once you are registered, you do not need to inform the Licensing Authority before you act under this licence, but you must notify the Licensing Authority within 5 working days after you have used this licence, and at each site you use it. Every year you will be asked if you want to remain registered.

The Class Licence will permit use of glue traps in the following situations only:

  • inside aircraft
  • in hospital surgery operating rooms (and related areas needed for maintaining equipment)
  • in critical infrastructure sites[i] at imminent risk of fire or equipment failure
  1. Individual licences – you apply for a single-use licence at the time of need, to deal with a particular problem, at a particular site. The Licensing Authority will assess your application and issue a decision. You cannot use glue traps until you have received written confirmation from the Licensing Authority that your application has been approved and you have a copy of your licence.

Individual licences will only be issued in exceptional circumstances where there is a high risk to public health & safety and where all alternative methods of rodent control are ineffective. Detailed evidence will be required of the alternative methods that have been tried. Exceptional circumstances are considered to be those with a large-scale risk to public health & safety. For example: sites accommodating large numbers of vulnerable people (care homes, hospitals), food manufacturing facilities with national distribution, laboratories where contamination risk has nationally significant impacts.

NB – restaurants, take-aways, dwelling houses are not considered as exceptional circumstances.

There is a cost associated with both types of licence:

Class Licence: New User Registration £180
Class Licence: Report of Action (at each site the licence is used) £230
Class Licence: Registered User Annual Re-registration £121
Individual Licence

Additional charges (based on an hourly rate of £121) will be payable if further information from an applicant is needed to assess the licence application


Licence requirements:

  • There must be an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy in place.
  • Each glue trap must be marked with the Licensee’s registration number and the name and contact details of the Licensee’s company (if applicable).
  • A pre-treatment survey must be conducted by the Licensee to assess risk of capturing non-target species. Rodent glue traps must be placed in such a manner that they do not present a risk to non-target species.
  • Where reasonably practicable, inspection times must be organised to minimise the time rodents are likely to be on the glue traps (e.g. if rodents are known to be active during certain periods, inspection times should be arranged with this in mind).
  • Every glue trap must be physically inspected by the Licensee at least every 6 hours when in use.
  • When glue traps are in use, the Licensee must remain on site unless a trap alert pressure or motion system, or other remote monitoring equipment, is used on every glue trap, to notify the Licensee when the trap has caught the target or other species. The Licensee must check any triggered glue trap within 2 hours of receiving such an alert.
  • Where it is known that glue traps will not be inspected at the intervals stipulated above, they must be taken up (even if only temporarily).
  • A contingency plan must be in place in the event of an emergency, whereby the Licensee is not able to physically check the traps in line with requirements above. The contingency plan must ensure that a Competent Person[ii] removes the glue traps and deals with any captured species appropriately. If the contingency plan is used, the Licensing Authority must be notified on the next working day.
  • The size of glue trap must be appropriate for the target rodent species.
  • Detailed copies of records and location plans must be available on site at all times for all glue traps laid during any treatment and must be updated as necessary and after all inspections to ensure traceability.
  • Rodents trapped on glue traps must be dispatched in a quick and humane and safe manner.
  • When using rodent glue traps, a freeing agent (a suitable food grade oil or similar emollient) must be available to hand.
  • In the event that a non-target animal is trapped, a freeing agent must be applied to the animal for removal. Caught animals or birds that are injured, must be taken for veterinary treatment as soon as reasonably practicable or dispatched in a quick and humane manner as appropriate for the species where it is not prohibited by law.
  • Non-target animals should only be released in the locality of their site of capture, not elsewhere, and only if they appear to be physically unharmed and their release is not prohibited by law.
  • Where a glue trap is not in use, it must be removed. At the end of treatment all glue traps must be accounted for and removed by the Licensee.
  • After use, all glue traps must be disposed of safely and in accordance with legal waste requirements. The sticky surface must be covered to avoid the accidental trapping of any species or subsequent misuse.
  • The Licensee must comply with the licence reporting requirements.
  • Glue traps should be purchased from suppliers who have been certified by the BASIS Point-of-Sale audit process (
  • The pest controller who holds the licence is responsible for all activities carried out under the licence, including activities carried out by their Assistants[iii] or, in the case of emergencies, a Competent Person.

[1] Critical infrastructure, for the purpose of licensing, critical infrastructure means sites that have a function of maintaining public health, safety or security at a regional or national level/scale. For example: national security, national power generation, data management sites that support i.e. nuclear power stations, 999 emergency control rooms, at airport or transport control centres.

[ii] A Competent Person is a pest controller who the Licensee has authorised to remove traps on their behalf in the event of an emergency and is either registered to use the Class Licence or satisfies the criteria to hold a licence.

[iii] Assistants must always be under the direct supervision of the licensed pest controller. An Assistant may not work alone or unsupervised by the licensed pest controller.


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