By Sam Wasson
Updated Nov 21, 2022
By Sam Wasson
Updated Nov 21, 2022
Mice and rats are some of the most bothersome pests around the world. They can infest everything from your garage to your shed, attic, basement, and any other place in or around your home. Not only are rats and mice a pain to deal with, but they’re also destructive and carriers of numerous diseases like salmonella. But, even as nasty as these pests are, some homeowners prefer to use humane methods to catch them. Unfortunately, at best, many store-bought mouse and rat traps only capture one or two rodents at a time and are not overly helpful when facing large numbers. To help, we’ve compiled a list of DIY humane mousetraps that are cheap and easy to make.
Before making these traps, we want to go over what live capture traps are, how they work, and how best to utilize them. “Live capture traps” are intended to contain one or more mice alive, humanely, so they can be set free farther away from human dwellings. These traps are humane alternatives to snap traps and electric mousetraps. However, these traps will be lethal to mice if left unattended for extended periods, so we recommend checking them twice per week. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with a bucket of dead mice. Once you’ve caught them, you should deposit all mice immediately. Furthermore, when releasing mice, be sure to do so at least two miles from where they were trapped, or they’ll quickly find their way back into your home.
The first trap on this list is extremely easy to make, only requiring three objects to complete:
Then, you’ll need to do the following:
The basic bucket trap is elegant in its simplicity. The mice follow the ramp up to the top of the bucket, reach down, attempt to get the peanut butter, and fall into the bucket. The walls of the bucket are slick, making it impossible for them to get out. Some variations of this trap have you drill a long nail through the top end of the lumber and place it over the lip of the bucket. This nail then holds the ramp in place. Doing this will help stability and ensure the ramp won’t move, but in most cases, it isn’t necessary, and the weight of most lumber pieces is enough to keep it secure on the bucket’s edge.
Next up, we have an equally easy-to-make trap, requiring no power tools or serious modifications. For this trap, you’ll need the following:
To assemble this trap, you’ll need to:
This trap functions similarly to the last one, with a few alterations. The last trap’s only major problem was that mice would occasionally not fall in. This trap further baits them to unstable footing with the paper and peanut butter. Keep in mind that the mice’s weight may occasionally rip or damage the paper, so it will need to be replaced, especially if you intend to use this trap multiple times.
This DIY trap is the most popular, effective, and difficult to construct. On the plus side, you won’t need to replace any components, as with the paper trap. To build this trap, you’ll need the following:
To build this spinning trap, you must:
This trap has several benefits over the others on this list. First, mice are more likely to fall into it because the peanut butter is at eye level and is slightly within reach. The mice can typically get to the peanut butter by stretching or carefully walking across the wire, but they’ll fall in once they place their weight on the rotating can. Second, you can disassemble the trap by bending the wires back and slipping the can out of the center, allowing you to dispose of the rats in the bucket and reuse the trap later without replacing any parts.
While researching this topic, we found plenty of online tutorials for mousetraps that were either incredibly ineffective or cruel in practice. Here are some of the most common traps we don’t recommend:
Mice can be one of the most difficult pests for homeowners to handle. With their damaging habits, fast multiplication, and stubbornness once inside a home, mice can quickly become a living nightmare. Thankfully, the traps in this article are designed to capture multiple mice, so if applied early enough, these can prevent infestations in their tracks. However, we want to stress that there is a limit to the number of mice DIY humane methods can handle. In the case of full-blown infestations, you’ll want to contact a pest control company.
Mice can carry dangerous diseases, cause structural damage, and can even infest multiple nearby structures if given enough time. If you’re experiencing severe mice issues, you should call an exterminator ASAP. Furthermore, if you experience frequent mice problems, a consultation from a pest control company can help you prevent further infestations down the line.
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