How To: 5 Clever Ways to Make a Simple No-Kill Trap for Mice & Rats

5 Clever Ways to Make a Simple No-Kill Trap for Mice & Rats

Once when I was a kid, my dad used a glue trap to catch a mouse in our basement. The result was so awful for the mouse that my mom and I made him promise to never use that kind of trap again. Call me a softy, but I'm a firm believer that you don't have to kill pests to get rid of them.

There's no shortage of traps, repellents, and poisons available, but if you don't want to kill or hurt the mouse, your options are pretty limited. Sometimes, you just have to get creative, but hopefully with better luck than this guy.

Image via blogspot.com

Though I do admire his tenacity.

1. Bucket & Spoons

One particularly clever solution requires only a large bucket, a spoon, and some peanut butter. Put a dab of peanut butter on the handle of the spoon and balance it on a countertop with the bucket underneath. When the mouse runs out to get the peanut butter, it will fall into the bucket along with the spoon.

Image via imgur.com

Check out the comments on the original reddit thread for more tips.

2. Bucket & Cardboard Tube

If you don't like the idea of a mouse touching your silverware, you can make a similar trap using any number of materials, like this toilet paper roll version by Instructables user kre84fun.

Image via instructables.com

3. Bucket & Soda Bottle

Don't want to keep resetting the trap? Try skewering a plastic bottle and positioning it over a bucket so it spins when the mouse runs out to get the peanut butter like in the video below (skip to 1:25 to see it in action).

4. Bucket & Paper Plate

Similarly, you can also use a paper plate to make a repeating mouse trap.

5. Glass & Coin

Even simpler, Instructables user Tim Anderson just puts some peanut butter on the inside of a glass and props it up on a nickel. When the mouse tries to get the peanut butter, the glass should fall and trap it inside.

Image via instructables.com

Now What?

The hardest part of catching a mouse is figuring out what to do with it.

Once a mouse marks its territory, it can find its way back from a pretty impressive distance. If you plan to release it anywhere near your home, make sure you find and block the entrance it originally came through, or else your guest will be back in no time.

If it's determined enough to get back in via another means, you might as well learn to live with it, maybe teach it some basketball.

Got Any Other Ideas?

Know of any other simple no-kill traps you can make at home? Let us know in the comments below.

Mouse in container via hradcanska, Wile E. Coyote screen capture via Ryan Wells

19 Comments

Thanks for the tips! I really wanted to get rid of these pests but I dislike killing animals. Gonna put this to good use.

-Stock Loc

Thank you for this - after reading comments on how people have had mice accidentally die some pretty nasty deaths on no kill traps I couldn;t bring myself to buy one so opted for researching making one myself. This is fab thank you. :) x

Thank you for this!! I just moved way out in the country and have mice coming out of my ears!!! I thought about adopting them but if it were me, I'd rather be free!

I caught 8 in my house and 6 in my car. I have 3 different types of live traps. The reason? The mice have figured out how to get a yummy snack, a place to puzzle for intellectual amusement then going on about their mousey day.

They are brilliant! I cannot use some of those traps without 2 hands and some thinking! I think adoption is imminent.

Get cats.

Keep them hungry (don't starve, just don't overfeed).

They will do the killing for you. There's no place for wild rodents near people. Read some stuff about the black plague.

The problem with keeping "hungry" cats - especially out in the country - is that they will kill native wildlife as well. Cats are an introduced species.

We had mouse problems in our house, and it came down to finding all of the entry points and sealing them up once we (humanely) caught the mice. The best way to work out where they are entering is to watch where they run when they see you enter a room =) As for your car, well, it shouldn't be as tricky as a house to find the gaps for them to enter.

Thanks for the great idea. I have a glass with a coin and peanut butter set up right now. I got 2baby rats as pets that are still quite afraid and was cleaning their cage and put them in a huge box. Didn't realize such a tiny baby could jump so high. Needless to say I have a baby rat loose in my suite. Hope the glass trap works. Will let you all know.

Did the peanut butter, coin and cup work?? I've got a little mouse just trying to get in from the biting cold outside but he got himself jammed stuck yesterday. I loosened him so he went back into his hidey hole but I really need to get him out ASAP. I'm pretty sure he's starving to death in the hole since he can't get into our main floor. I want to get him the hell out of the house though!

yep. coin and glass is a great simple solution.

I just set it up the PB, coin and glass trick and in maybe 10 minutes I had the little sucker. Now what to do with him.

You posted this 6 months ago. Seeing as you did not post any sfollow-up

story, I take it you now have a huge rat running around in your suite

Option One worked for me to get a mouse that found itself in my Van. Used a small trash can and a plank. One mouse, One Spoon.

After reading around similar ideas, I put a few inches of water in the bottom so the mouse couldn't jump out. Seems the common mouse can leap tall buckets in a single bound. The critter drowned and then froze solid, but I doubt I've endangered the species.

Death by drowning is an awful way to die, and so cruel! Even a mouse trap would have a better chance of killing the mouse on impact. You totally missed the point if this article, I'm afraid.

Old medications are odor-free for the most part. Dump a handful of random pills into the water and you'll overload their system. Just remember! Don't use vitamins. Once you have caught the mouse/mice, empty the bucket into the toilet and flush. This method uses two problems to solve each other. How to get rid of unused, or expired, medications and mice at the same time. Flush!

Another injustice solution is alkaseltzer (?sp) with an ultra fine coating of peanut butter on it. If you balance your platform just right, with a little resistance to tipping, the mouse can take a couple of good nibbles. Once they hit the water and take some big gulps, their bellies will expand to the point of fatality. This solution is the cheapest of all.

For several mice, I use antifreeze. You just have to remember to empty the bucket or they will use the bodies of the dead mice to jump out.

I'll kill any harmful animal , rats are the worst they carry rabies put you in the hospital or the grave yard .

Then why did you navigate to a page about humane traps? Seems like a waste of your time for you to be here and make a comment if you don't care about the animal's life...

rabies? really ? steve you need to educate yourself before you make comments like that. you really don't know what your talking about.

We have a mouse running around our house and my husband is having a fit. I have been in medicine for over 25 years and have never seen the black plague or any other mouse, rat disease so I am going for the no kill solution. After all we are the ones that encroached on their space. Thanks for the ideas!!

I have a terrier who LOVES hunting mice. These ideas will help me catch a bunch of mice for him to exercise his "hunting prowess". Thanks!

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest