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How to Make a Mouse Trap

Do you need to know how to make a mouse trap? One of the last things anyone wants to see is the streaking blur of a mouse scurrying across a room. It’s common for people to experience a sinking feeling in their stomach when they discover a mouse has infiltrated their home. 

Many people make the mistake of delaying a counterattack against the invading pests. If you found one mouse, you’ll likely have many more hiding out. If you have a mice invasion, declare war on them and reclaim your home. 

Today, we will show you how to make a mouse trap with supplies you probably have lying around your home. Let’s get started.

Finding a Mouse in Your House

Mice are incredibly agile and nimble creatures capable of working their way into some tight spots. Once they enter your home, they can typically move between cabinets and drawers with relative ease, searching for food or shelter. You’ll likely find evidence of a mouse before you see it.

You may find chewed-up bits in drawers, cabinets, and pantries. And perhaps the worst is mouse poop. Once you discover these signs, put on a pair of gloves and immediately clean up the mess with disinfectant. Sadly, you’ll likely need to toss any food items into the trash that the mouse got into.

If you have traps readily available, you’ll want to place them in areas where you’ve seen evidence of a mouse. Because mice have a strong sense of smell and the ability to smell a human’s scent, wear gloves when handling, baiting, and arming your mouse traps.

You want to check the mouse traps every morning to see if you’ve caught your new enemy. If so, put on some gloves and properly dispose of it. It’s a good idea to reset the trap as you may have more than one invading your home. 

However, if you don’t have one or to do it humanely, we’ll show you how to make a mouse trap yourself.

Pro Tip: Nobody wants a mouse in their house! The truth is Mice Love Your RV, Here are 7 Ways to Keep Them Out.

Mouse inside plastic mouse trap
Nobody wants a mouse in their house! DIY a mouse trap to keep your home critter free!

How to Make a Mouse Trap

If you find yourself under attack, but don’t have access to an actual mouse trap, you can make one. There’s a good chance you have all you need to get the job done too. Let’s learn more.

1. Use Toilet Paper Tubes

You can use the cardboard tube in the center of toilet paper to help defend your home. You’ll need to fold the tube to create a crease on one side. Then balance it on the ledge of a table or counter. Next, place peanut butter at the end of the tube. You want the bait to extend over the counter, so the mouse ventures out and moves the center of gravity for the paper tube.

Finally, place an empty bucket, trash can, or any deep container under where the tube will fall to catch the mouse. Once it falls into the container, they most likely won’t be able to climb their way out of it. You can then safely and easily relocate the mouse away from your property.

2. Shoe Box Fall Trap

If you have an old shoebox lying around, you can easily create a very effective mouse trap. You need to cut a hole in the center of the lid for the shoe box. Tape two pieces of paper together so they meet in the middle of the hole and create a makeshift trap door. 

You can then place the lid on the box and set bait on the trap door. When a mouse goes for the food, it will fall into the shoe box and get stuck. You can then set the mouse free in a different location far away from your home. It’s a win-win for both you and the mouse.

3. The Balloon Method

For this method, you’ll need a bucket, a balloon, water, some bait, and a small piece of wood. Fill the bucket up with an inch or two of water. 

Air up the balloon until it sits just inside the top of the bucket and rests against the sides. Then scatter birdseed, dog food, or any other bait around the edge of the balloon. Use some wood to create a ramp for the mice to climb up to the top of the bucket and access the bait.

If all goes as planned, the mice and several of their buddies will come and discover the buffet of food you’ve prepared for them. They will climb on top of the balloon to eat the food. One will errantly bite into it, or their claws will puncture the balloon causing it to pop. The mouse on the balloon will then fall into the bucket and get stuck.

Make sure to place the food on the side of the balloon where they can’t reach it from the ramp. If you don’t, they will stand on the wood piece and not fall in when the balloon pops.

If the trap is nearby, you may even hear the balloon pop and know that it’s done the job. Don’t put too much water in the bucket or it will drown the mice. However, putting just a small amount of water allows their feet to get wet and prevents them from climbing out of the bucket.

4. Coin/Glass Method

You can also make a mouse trap with relative ease if you have a glass jar and a nickel. Simply place a dab of peanut butter inside the jar and flip it upside down. 

Next, use the nickel to prop the container up on one side. Once the mouse goes under to look for the peanut butter, it will knock the nickel loose. The jar will fall and trap the mouse inside. 

If you place the entire setup on a small board, you can more easily pick up the mouse and relocate it. You should note that the jar likely won’t contain enough air for it to survive through the night. 

If you use this method and want to avoid killing the mouse, you’ll need to use a tin can or other container. Punching some small air vent holes in the top will give the mouse enough air until you can relocate it in the morning. 

5. Make a Sticky Surface

Sticky traps are a very effective way to trap a mouse, and you can create your own. You’ll need a small piece of cardboard and some Gorilla or Duct Tape. First, cut the cardboard into a 4”x6” rectangle. 

Next, cut the tape into two 7” strips and two 4” strips. Lay the 7” strips onto the piece of cardboard with the sticky side facing up. Then, use the 4” strips to tape the longer ones with the sticky side up to the cardboard to keep them in place. Finish it off by putting a dab of peanut butter as bait in the middle of the sticky trap.

While sticky traps are highly effective, they typically almost always kill the mouse when it sticks to it. It’s unable to get free, and it will put up a fight trying to free itself from the trap. You can use more humane options, such as some listed above.

Mouse trap sitting on table.
Mice love a treat so leave out a sneaky snack to lure them into your trap.

What Is the Best Mice Bait?

Knowing how to make a mouse trap means finding the right bait. Mice love nuts and strong smells, making peanut butter the best bait. It is also great because it’s relatively inexpensive, easy to apply, and requires effort for the mouse to eat it. Peanut butter easily sticks to a trap, which means you have a smaller chance that they’ll steal the bait without setting it off. 

If you don’t have peanut butter, you can try chocolate, seeds, marshmallows, pet food, or even a piece of soft cheese. However, peanut butter is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to bait mice.

Pro Tip: Use these tips to Keep Mice Out of Your Vehicle’s Engine Compartment and protect your vehicle.

Keeping Mice Out of Your Space

Because mice are like the ninjas of the rodent family, they’re tough to keep out of your space. They use their agility and skill to squeeze themselves into some of the smallest spots in your home. Knowing how to make a mouse trap is a good start. However, if you want to keep them out of your space, you’ve got to close off any place that gives them easy access.

Many people will use foam insulation and steel wool to fill gaps in plumbing pipes and electrical lines. Mice will typically choose the path of least resistance, so start with the most apparent holes and work your way down to the least obvious. The more holes you can fill, the more you’ll protect your space from mice. They can get in through dryer vents, unsealed doors, and cracks or gaps on the exterior walls.

Additionally, you can help keep mice out by keeping your house clean. Make sure you correctly store spices and other food items. Plastic containers will help keep your things fresh and keep the smells from attracting mice searching for a snack. Avoid containers they can chew through and wipe off any spills. 

Have a Mouse in Your House? Know How to Make a Mouse Trap

It can feel like you’re under attack by a mouse when you find them invading your space. Certain situations may call for professional help. However, we hope that these DIY options will help you know how to make a mouse trap. 

If you can’t make it to the store to buy actual traps, give one of these DIY methods a try. Let us know how it goes for you. You can get back to enjoying a  rodent-free house in no time.

What’s your go-to method when going to war with mice? Tell us in the comments!

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  1. James Harris says:

    These mouse traps are right out of the “Rube Goldberg” catalog….always was amused by the board game “mouse trap”…the movie “mouse hunt” was hysterical….