We've all seen it happen. The mouse comes out to the snap trap that you strategically placed in the corner where it was forced to walk. It takes a minute to breathe in the fresh aroma from the cheese you placed ever so gently on the trigger switch. Then, it makes its move.
You are sweating, your heart racing. It's as if you are set up on one of the biggest Pope & Young whitetails coming in to bow range. All of a sudden, the mouse reaches out, grabs the cheese, steps off the trap, of course looks at you and gives you a wink, then heads on his merry way.
It's happened too often and more times than not; we find ourselves without a mouse trap in the first place while they have infested our cellars, attics, garage, cabins, you name it... they just waltz in like your crazy Aunt and Uncle, no heads up, no doorbell, just one day you get a, "Oh hey, didn't see you there."
The marketplace is full of many different types of traps. They all promise to tackle any mouse infestation. But all the glue traps and bait cups in the world really can't stand up to the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of a DIY trap.
If you find yourself in this situation and are in need of some pest control (of course, I'm talking about the mice here, not your extended family members), here are a few simple DIY mouse traps that you can make out of several items that you probably already have around the house.
This is one rodent control device I use when I want to conduct a multi-catch effort and I am not going to be around for a little while. Many times we would use this at my hunting cabin in the foothills of the Adirondacks when we would leave for the week and come back to a bucket full of mice.
Basically how this works is the mouse makes his way up the ramp, through the hole and because you put the peanut butter on the far end of the can, he is forced to step on the can, which will spin, ultimately leading to the mouse to fall into the bucket where you have water deep enough that the mouse will drown.
Similar to the one above, you need a ramp onto a five gallon pale for the mice to make their way up to the bait. In this trap, we have swapped out the spinning can for an unbalanced styrofoam plate.
The concept here is that the larger end of the plate, the side without the bait on it, is being held by the buckets edge, to give the mouse support enough to walk onto the plate and make it's way to the bait.
After the mouse crosses the fulcrum or the part of the plate where it will be off balance, ultimately acting as a drop away door, the mouse will fall into the bucket with no way out.
The video below shows another bucket trap idea that I found very interesting, however I took the idea from the first picture and mixed it with this idea to come up with one of my own. I am not saying the idea in the video does not work, yet you can hear the person in the audio saying he has yet to actually try the method due to his lack of mice activity.
Regardless, it earns itself a scent-smelling scratch-off sticker and a spot on the top DIY mouse trap list until proven otherwise.
Ok this one is really innovative and gets a sucker with the scratch and sniff sticker. The video below shows an empty bottle, bigger than your average 20-ounce soda bottle and square much like a Fiji water bottle, set up as a rat trap. Now the video is set up for a rat which explains the reasoning behind the larger bottle, but I can imagine the trap in a smaller version would work just as fine for mice.
The concept here may seem complicated but its actually quite simple. On either side of the trapped door, is two rubber bands pulling at the door which is being held up by the trigger. The trigger is the red twine that runs to the bait in the bottom of the bottle.
At about 5:45 of the video, you can see how the bait is set up with a small needle or maybe a toothpick that goes through the hole and held up by the red band. The rat, or mouse, enters in through the trapped door, pulls at the bait, which releases the tension by releasing the line to the door, and the rubber bands pull the door shut holding so much force as to keeping it closed.
The only thing to remember here would be to make sure you put the top on the bottle before you set the trap, I can see the confusion on your face now followed with a head shake and a, "I can't believe I did that" statement.
The comedy behind this poster makes this a favorite and the best part, the person who wrote it, says it works. Read below for the directions on this one but be sure to read them all, as I can see skipping number six may lead to a tipped over bottle and an escapee!
Anyone can make this trap just about anywhere. If you have mice problem on your counter tops or just about anywhere with some height, this trap is genius.
So as you can see here, you take an empty toilet paper roll and crease one side so it fits flat along the edge of a table or counter top. Balancing may be difficult at first, but that's the concept to making this work. Once you find that sweet spot, place some peanut butter or some sort of mouse attractant at the end of the tube. The key is to making sure you have a tall enough bucket or bin below to where the mouse will fall as it reaches the end of the tube. Simple, cheap, and efficient. My kind of smart mouse trap.
I came across this video a couple years ago while I was living in Baltimore City, Maryland and for as young as the kid may be or sound, he made one of the most genius rodent traps that worked great for us at our row home rental. The idea is the shoe box, well, looks like a shoe box.
You cut a hole out of the top of the shoebox and tape two pieces of paper to form a trap door. We placed a little bit of cracker crumbs on our trapped doors with some peanut butter smeared very lightly to prevent it from weighing the door down and it worked great.
Take a look at the video and I'll wait to say it with you when you come back. "Why didn't I think of that!"
This one when I first found it I gave it no mind. I then saw it again on another forum and decided to investigate it a little further. At first, it looks as if there is just a glass upside down held up by a nickel. Looking closely you can see there is peanut butter smeared on the bottom of the glass. Apparently a penny isn't big enough so the nickel is the correct size to use here.
This DIY mouse trap gets an A+ for simplicity and although I haven't used it yet, it's obvious it would work and therefore gets the scratchy smelling sticker for operability. The concept is the mouse scurries under the glass to get the peanut butter while knocking the nickel loose causing the glass to fall onto the mouse. You don't end up with a dead mouse, but you've done a big part of the task.
I do have only one question however, when it traps the mouse, who is brave and quick enough to reach under and grab the mouse? Just, uh, wear gloves, ok?
Hopefully each type of trap mentioned here helps address any mouse problem you may have, and cut down on the mouse activity from the first night you set traps.