Mouse Trap

bucket mouse trap with rampEver heard the phrase “build a better mouse trap?” Well that’s phrase is now obsolete because there is no better mouse trap than this!

The bucket mouse trap catches many mice in a single trap and does not need to be reset between mice. It’s also so simple to make that you probably already have all the parts needed lying around your garage.

Never purchase commercial mouse traps or poison again!

bucket mouse trap

Build a Bucket Mousetrap

So you’ve decided to take care of your mouse problem the bucket way!

thread dowel through bucket

You’ll just need a few items to make this quick trap.

Assemble your Soldiers:

  1. 5 Gallon Bucket
  2. Dowel – metal is best but wood will work (try a metal clothes hanger)
  3. Tin can (pop can works fine)
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Scrap of wood for ramp

The Process:

  1. Drill holes at the top of the bucket, on 2 opposite sides
  2. Drill holes in the middle of each flat side of a soda can
  3. Insert a dowel through the bucket holes and the soda can holes, to end up with a unit that looks like the image.
  4. Bait with peanut butter and add a ramp for the mice to get up.
  5. Fill the bottom few inches with water if you plan to kill the mice, or leave it if you want to release them somewhere or feed them live to your snake!

The trap works when a mouse at the top of the ramp tries to jump onto the tin can to eat the bait. The mouse’s weight throws the can into motion, which bucks the mouse off into the bucket below.

Several readers have asked about the green liquid in the bottom of the pail. Some bucket mouse trappers use antifreeze in their pails. It helps “preserve” the mice, preventing them from rotting and creating a huge odor problem. This might be necessary if you’re trapping mice in a vacation cabin or bug out shelter which you won’t visit for months at a time. It will also make sure the liquid does not freeze in an unheated building.

Alternative Designs

There are tons of alternative designs for the bucket mouse trap. Every single one’s been discussed in the comments sections. I’m going to outline my favorite variations here.

Bucket Rat Trap

What works for mice also works for rats, but rats can escape from a 5 gallon bucket so use a 55 gallon drum instead. For a drowning trap use at least 6 inches of water in the bottom.

Plank Design

This bucket mouse trap’s being used in a chicken house. Mice are a big problem for chicken keepers since they love to fatten themselves on those expensive little chicken pellets.

plank bucket mouse trap

The biggest disadvantage of this trap is you need to reset it after every 2 mice it catches. It’s also likely that your chickens will knock your delicate planks down.

But what I do like about this design is that this bucket is square. Meaning it can be mounted on that 2×4 behind it. So you can hang your trap up in a shed or coop, it doesn’t have to take up floor place.

Also – did you know that chickens will eat mice? I’ve seen a chicken swallow a mouse whole.

Catch Multiple Mice in Less Space

Since I first wrote this article in 2012, I’ve observed numerous new mouse trap designs come to market. But very few can catch multiple mice without being reset.

My favorite so far is this mouse condo design. It’s tiny – way smaller than the bucket mouse trap – and cheap. It doesn’t need to be reset, and can hold numerous mice. It’s also got a big window so you can see when the trap is full. Best of all it’s (mostly) made from metal so it’s durable.

This trap is a “humane” trap – meaning it doesn’t kill the mice. You’ll have to drive them out to the landfill or something to release them. Or feed them to your snake.

It’s also the best performing humane trap on the market, although it still doesn’t perform quite as well as kill traps do. If you want to try it out, here’s the link to the Amazon listing.

Mouse Trap Links:

  • Mouse Roller” – one company made the dowel portion of the mouse bucket trap for you. Outer sheath rotates along a central axis. Make sure you have the right width bucket though; it apparently won’t work on standard 5 gallon size.

  • Live Catch Cage Trap – a very popular no-kill trap that doesn’t just catch mice. Works on rats, squirrels, weasels and moles. Might catch your pet too, but it won’t hurt them.

Posted on by

282 thoughts on “Mouse Trap

  1. Pingback: Build A Self-Resetting Mouse Trap | Lifehacker Australia

  2. I would let the water out, drowning them seems quite a long and nasty death; simply shoot the mice through the head. Nice trap though I am certainly going to try it on the mice eating the pet food in my shed.

    • I’ve used a different trap for squirrels and had to drown one. It was over very quickly, 30 seconds or less once she was under water.

      • I am over run with chipmunks. I just placed poison pellets at different locations around the outside of my house. Trying not to put it in areas where my pets or the neighbors pets will go. Unfortunately after reading about the poison NOT causing thirst for them to run to the nearest lake or river, I was very upset. Apparently these little rodents will die under my floor boards and in my attic. I think I’ll try the bucket next. A “chip and dip” would be the best thing to name it.

        • Please don’t poison rodents; sick, poisoned rodents will poison predators that eat them such as owls and hawks. (I used to use mouse poison in our crawlspace until I found out).

          • According to all credible sources I’ve checked, this is not true. An animal would have to consume 15 to 20 whole poisoned mice to adversely affect them.

          • A friend’s cattle dog almost died (poison was warfarin), but her shepherd was ok. Both ate poisoned mice.

          • SORRY not so. Owls an some large raptors (hawks), large Herons and Egrets eat whole rodents. Not all baits are the same. Some would require eating several to be lethal while others are fatal with one poisoned mouse. Even “non lethal” ingestion causes enough illness to cause discomfort/anorexia leading to death by starvation

          • One other thing you can use is Root Beer the mice and rats can not digested the gas from the pop and the wander off and exploe gas built support and the can’t burp boom they are dead save for dogs too trie it

          • Don’t listen to the no poison people. They haven’t done their research. Poison meant for mice is not strong enough, even in quantity, to harm other animals. Poisons such as these are designed to work on specific animals just like ant and roach poisons only kill ants and roaches. People are afraid to use that around pets to. Many people just make their own conclusions with out getting the facts. I have been a professional exterminator for over 40 years. Follow label instructions and you’ll be fine. That is why companies put them there in addition to government laws…

          • Actually, mouse poison is deadly to dogs.
            Go online to ANY dog site and ask how many people have had dogs that have died or gotten very sick. It causes renal and liver failure. Very painful and expensive to treat. For more than a 1/2 oz.per pound consumption, the fatality rate is around 55-64 % (depending on which study you read)

          • People draw their own conclusions.
            Animal lovers especially. Everytime they find one of their dogs sick or dead from licking up the antifreeze they left spilled in the driveway,or coming home sick after roaming the neighborhood, they blame the neighbors for deliberately poisoning their dog with rodent poison. Ever pet owner has a neighbor poisoned my dog story.

          • Ok… about that poison not being harmful to raptors, dogs and other animals.
            How about you eat some… and I’ll base my opinion on the effect it has on you?

          • I put out poison for mice that night a kitty caught and ate a mouse and died a very painful death.

          • Most of today’s poisons will NOT transfer like that. It is activated when the rodent eats it and will only be active for a short time. I do see that I am commenting on an old post but felt the information is relevant.

          • Thank you for bring up this very important and valid fact. I too learned of it not so long ago. This is why I don’t feel it should be added in the article about feeding your pet snakes these mice, BC… you never know.

          • Please post this: Rat and mice poison DOES kill dogs, owls, vultures, skunks , coyotes and and cats. It just takes one pellet to kill a dog. My dog ate one and was at Conejo Veterinary hospital for 4 days, getting transfusions and all kinds of treatments to save him! Ultimately, it cost over $3,000.00 .
            These poisons are passed on into the food chain as EVERY one who can read knows.
            Please post this so naysayers are warned that they have not done proper research and are giving out false and very dangerous information!

        • don’t use poison, use the bucket method with water for rodents. chipmunks are packrats and will store that poison underground where other animals may come into contact with it. I use the bucket with water and feed and at the end of the day, dump it in the woods and start over. It worked like a charm.

          • I just read your post from a year ago, and just wanted to let you know a chipmunk is not a pack rat, two different species of critters.

          • They are still a rat with a fuzzie tail . They store food , dig holes and destroy bulbs just like rats

          • Just wanted to know if I can use a quick kill method no water or liquid of any kind just a metal bucket or barrel a nice cord wrapped around the bucket with some screws so the bucket gets electric current and wood pole and PVC tubing so the rodents fall and get shocked to death.

          • These are pests, which carry disease…..NOT pets!! Big difference. Kill all the pests before they have a chance to kill humans!!!

          • Sure Judy, feel free to come get all the wild mice and rats at my house. *Smh* Hiw do you rehome a pest? This suggestion makes no sense.

          • Re-home them? Please get real and realize they are disgusting vermin that can ruin, destroy property, pets and human life. Come off your rainbow, pretend dreamy world and get in touch with reality.

          • What makes these people think humans are so much more important than other animals?

            They were here first, and we came along and ruined the planet for EVERYONE.

          • Rehoming deer mice and house mice? HAHAHA. Amazing what some people come up with. I bet Judy sends her pesky ants to the “ant farm” too

      • Trevor… Thank you so very much for posting this with pictures and being so thorough in your explanation. It’s an absolutely brilliant idea. We have mice and rats in the garage and NOTHING seems to get rid of them. I’ve tried the bear claw looking traps that have interlocking teeth and the traps are set and the bait is gone… without catching the mouse or rat. i think you’ve actually presented something that’s finally going to work for me and i can’t tell you how much it’s appreciated.


        • Our garage mice would jump right out of a 5 gallon pail. We found taking a full sized outdoor plastic garbage can and throwing some horse sweet feed in the bottom worked better. They jump right in and can’t get out. And others follow them right in. Just needed a ramp – no special top rig.

          BTW we figured this out every time our horse feed got low.

          • if they r jumping out thats amazing but either put really thick syrup or cut like 8-10 inch hole in lid and put it on and try it cause that makes it damn near impossible maybe even oil or cooking oil my friend told me he was using a fry daddy plugged it in let heat for about 15-20 then dropped in his food but when he was getting his food out he had a very disgusting surprise & for all u wierdo’s who ask no he didn’t eat it lol

          • They didnt chew thru the bottom? We are having issues with them chewing thru everything.

          • Because mice can chew through plastic, when we had horses, it was suggested that we use a small metal garbage can for the grain. Just understand that if the grain is moist, eventually the bottom of the can will rust through and the can will need to be replaced. Ours lasted about 2-3 years.

      • Why do you want to kill squirrels and chipmunks Even Rats like they deserve to live too I understand you don’t want them in your house but the most humane way to get rid of them would be my vote

    • Shoot mice? Are you nuts–or sarcastic in the extreme? I hope the latter. I really, really do. It paints a pretty juvenile picture: you, sitting there in your wife-beater, plinking away at 30 mice in the bottom of a bucket, as they twitch and squeal (the ones you don’t quite hit perfectly in the head because they, ummm, run around).

      • It’s sweet you care so much about mice. Why don’t you give them some nice hugs, so I can watch your liver fail from leptospirosis.

        • You mention that my spread diseases humans spread a lot more diseases in any case no one is disputing that you need to get rid of the mice it was simply saying to shoot them and then that way was torturing the mice your comeback like give a mouse a hug was ridiculous every creature on this Earth lives breathes eats mates plays xcetera we already know that the human species is by far the most evilest there’s nothing wrong with being humane

      • To Dianne D. Your comment is GREAT! I laughed my head off! Shooting mice?! How’s about those of us who live where you can’t just fire off a gun whenever you feel like it and not get a zillion cops at your door. Plus, it’s expensive to buy a gun just for mice. I hate guns too.
        And as for the guy underneath, ‘Aeon”, RELAX! You go hug a mouse.
        BUt for good old Trevor, 30 seconds is L-O-N-G time! Did you sit there and time the ‘death’? Gruesome to say the least. And it seems you and the squirrel were on a first name basis, being that you knew it was a “she”. Hold your breath for 30 sec underwater and see how it feels!
        BUt back to Dianne D. You’re comment is too funny and ONLY a woman could be this rational. I happen to be one too! A woman, that is!

        • We have a mobile home in the country that mice were getting into. I found mouse dropping in the kitchen, inside drawers, and food and droppings in between the bedsheets- creepy. So it is all out war for these buggers. I made 5 of these buckets. I placed one in the garage, one under the crawl space, one in the kitchen, and few other prime locations. I put peppermint deterrent sachets from the hardware store under each pillow- suppose to deter the mice. I bought 10 reg victor snap traps, and poison!! And I bought Cab deterent- pine sent for the guest bedrooms.
          Tune in to see what worked the best!!! I forgot that one chewed through my favorite shirt!!! NO mercy! Only thing I won’t use is sticky tape or glue traps that is just mean. Besides my dog would probably get into it.
          FYI- The bait poison is in a pet safe area, in between the the walls.

          • please, please do not use poison, many owls and hawks and other good predators die when they eat poisoned mice.

          • Ruby please just stop ok it’s part of life ya know sometimes others have to get hurt inbthis case animals die due to another’s punishment for being a pest for example humans right have unprotected sex with one another so one human couple party and etc have multiple partners and catches HIV and don’t know right away so they one day still not knowing settle down with another human and have sex the other human gets it and eventually dies point being the end result human #2 dies from #1 humans punishment for having unprotected sex see part of life right and we scream don’t have unprotected sex all the time for years guess what no one listens !!!!

          • Like you we also live in a MH and are surrounded by fields. Our 1st year here we tried the poisons and learned fast those are a horrible idea!! Not only could it have made our pets sick or have killed them if they had gotten a hold of the poisoned rodents but when they die under the floors, in the ceilings or in the walls it SMELLS SO BAD!

          • I’m with Ruby…please, please, PLEASE DO NOT use poison. I have managed Vet clinics for years and when a cat or dog gets a hold of a mouse or a rat who has eaten poison it is a horrible, ghastly death for these animals. I applaud the fact that you were trying your best to place the poison in the right spot. But when the mice or rats eat this poison it is NOT and instant death and they can easily wander outside/inside and be eaten by another animal. Please everyone…NO POISON.

          • The mice can and will take the little poison pellets and move them to other places to stash them. They end up in places that are then no longer pet safe areas!!! This is serious if you have pets that you love.

          • IF you use poison between the walls, there is a high risk of the rat dying there and you will have a dead smell in your house for months and will want to move out….For those of you who don’t want to kill the rats, remember what caused the black plague?

        • I have caught quite a few mice in the past using the good old snap traps. I was getting tired of setting the traps (takes me 3 tries usually to set the trap)… so I tried one of those plastic ones that you put the bait (peanut butter) inside and just pull up on the leaver. Unfortunately I had to misses (mice got away) and one where the mouse had its snout caught. It was in real pain. So I filled a can with water and put the mouse and trap in. The mouse only lasted about 20-30 seconds. I don’t like it, but it was drown the thing, squish it with my boot or feed it to my over enthusiastic cat! My cat and I are about par right now so I didn’t want to give her the lead.

          My boot is still clean.

          • We caught several mice recently with some small humane traps with peanut butter in them. Then left the plastic traps on window sill in the sun and within hours the mice died — either because the trap acted as a greenhouse of sorts and they overheated, or perhaps they starved or they had heart attacks. But we didn’t need to take them to some other part of town (where they’d likely reproduce)

          • I used a 22 with snake shot. no holes in floor or wall. a good cat is best.
            ps. I saw a house built in the high desert destroyed by pack rats. the living room ceiling was sagging from the weight of the nest in the attic.

          • What is being advocated is HUMANE TREATMENT if you have to kill something. There is no good reason to prolong a terrifying and painful death for any creature. Personally, I live trap mice and relocate them, and I also relocate packrats and rattlesnakes. But I realize that others aren’t willing to go to the trouble to do this. So…..if you are determined to KILL the mice, find a method that is as quick and pain-free as possible. Drowning fits this fairly well (a snap-trap gives a better death, but has other drawbacks). Really people, there is no excuse for torturing anything.

      • Cover the bucket with a plastic bag, turn it over to trap the mouse in the bag. A good, hard swing at a cement walkway will put them out of your misery. You could always set them free several miles away

      • Just wondering what you pictured him using to shoot the mice in the head with?? I was just about wetting myself at the picture you created. :)

    • Putting a coupla drops of dish soap in the water allows the mice to sink, therefore eliminating them almost completely without suffering…they sink. Their buoyancy is less with the soap in the water.

      • the soap will also keep them from climbing out of the bucket as easy. tried it without water they just eat a hole in the side of the bucket and escape.

    • nooo. knit little ymakas and march them off to alttle gas chamber. or better still bake stuff them, like the romans did

    • I know not a lot of people WANT to kill things but you may have to. Kids, pets, and the filth. But try electricity. Do the trap add water. And then when you catch them zap the water.

    • I see there’s a problem about shooting mice , rats ,c hipmunks,squirrels, and whatever else your trapping in a bucket of water…..if a person with a loaded gun has trouble committing a clean and effective kill ,get closer , or get a different gun……a sawed-off shotgun might help … those who have troubles shooting varmits ……. grow-up

  3. I’ve been using this mousetrap since 1976 when I learned of the technique from a ranger at the Low Divide campground in the Olympic National Park in Washington State, USA. I typically use a wire coat hanger to mount the can, rather than a dowel, but whatever works. Also, it is important that the can is mounted low enough that the mice can’t simply reach down and grab the peanut butter from the end of the ramp, but high enough that they can’t grab the can from the surface of the water once they’ve fallen in.

  4. I did this 30 years ago at summer camp in WA state. Drowned 21 mice in my first year as a counselor.
    We used empty frozen orange juice cans with the end put back on and wire coat hangars. Then we put tape around the wire a little ways away from the can ends. That way, the can could spin freely, but not be scooted to the edge of the bucket where the mouse might escape. Worked great.
    We didn’t use any ramps either.

  5. Pingback: Samooczyszczająca się pułapka na myszy lub szczury | Lifehacker Polska - usprawnij swoje życie

        • Uh yea guess you don’t give a crap about innocent animals getting the poison and suffering and then dying a horrific death? your pets,neighbors pets? even if they don’t lick the bucket and most cats and dogs will especially when rats or mice are in it how are you going to dispose of the antifreeze when it’s done? because all it takes is a dog or cat to walk in it and get it on their paws then lick if off? things people don’t think about when working on cars either.

          • I used two fifths of Burbon once o a whole bucket full mice. Then I turned them all loose. They all got arrested for DUI and did six months for first offense, no license or insurance. As part of their probation, they weren’t allowed back in my bucket. Never saw them again, problem solved.

  6. You know, oddly enough something like this was mentioned in the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. Apparently you’re supposed to let them starve until two are left and they become mouse-eaters.

    Good movie – the reference makes much more sense in context…

  7. I did this in my apartment in NYC a few years ago and caught 10 mice in one night, it was so gross i moved next day. I hung a piece of cheese over the bucket and they just kept falling inside it.

  8. Old school this is, We call it an Adirondack mouse trap.. yeah, I live in the Adirondacks :) These are usually seen in hunting camps..

  9. “I’ve gotten a lot of messages from upset animal lovers who protest that drowning mice is cruel. ”

    Here’s a message to upset animal lovers… mice are vermin that carry hantavirus among other things they’ve been known for wiping out entire human populations for the diseases they can spread.

    Enough with your nonsense… be happy you’re part of a group of top-level predators that know how to control vermin populations.

    • People are upset because they have a conscience. You don’t. I can’t even get my head around drowning any animal. And where do you draw the line? Would you drown your neighbor’s cat,…cuz it did something u didn’t like? Their dog? Rodents “dream”, their noses twitch, as do their feet,…(just like a dog). I’ve watched Chipmunks romp and play in the yard, and we feed them on our porch. All rodents “can” cause problems,…but many of believe, every reasonable measure should be taken first before resorting to something that horrible. They “feel” the same terror you would feel,…gasping for air,…as they tire,…and eventually die. Another question,…would you feel some anxiety about letting your kid watch an animal die like that??? Another myth about rodents is that they are all the same,…they all carry a ton of diseases. That is patently false. Some do,…and it depends on the environmental factors. I’ve heard people say,…”Oh,..Squirrels are just rats with a bushy tail”,…as thought that somehow gives on license to be ruthless and cruel with them. I had a neighbor who was a dick,…shooting squirrels not 50 feet from my back door,..when I realized it was happening,…I went out,…and watched this squirrel dragging his hind quarters across the yard,…(his playmate),…watched from a tree trunk,..20 feet away. Apparently, neighbor questioned what he was doing,..and stopped. I got a “have a heart trap” and relocated roughly a dozen squirrels. Problem solved for the most part. Relocation is not always an option,…but u can get creative with trying different things,…for instance,…we feed chipmunks a modest amount of sun flower seeds,..and have had no problems with them eating tulip bulbs etc. Once could try putting food at the far end of the yard maybe,….campers do that for bears to keep them away. But mostly,…this is a matter of conscience. If you tell us,….you can watch some animal,…fight for his life in a bucket of water,…and “feel nothing”,…and are utterly “indifferent” to what’s happening,…maybe you fall into the (1 out of 100) American category,…that of Psychopath. There are usually alternatives to something as barbaric as drowning. You say you don’t understand animal lovers being bothered by this,…well,…maybe it would help,…doing that in many states is illegal. Its illegal for a reason. Think about it.

      • You’re one of the only decent and kind people posting here. The rest of these bloodthirsty cruel neanderthals posting makes my skin crawl. No wonder the world is in the state it is in with all the violence.

        • If you knew one person who had died because of hauntaviris, you might feel differently about trapping mice. I live in a rural area and as long as the mice are doing their micey thing and living outside of my home (or car) then I don’t bother them. But once they are inside, threatening my health by defecating all over inside (I really just did have an infestation in my car, stunk so bad!), it is game on. A pest is a pest. If I were to trap them and take them out to a field, they would likely become someone else’s problem. While I don’t “enjoy” killing mice, I don’t appreciate them in my space either. I don’t suppose you think that cats are cruel for killing them?

          • Cat’s will play with them, kill them and leave them on your door step. Cat’s are bloodthirsty Neanderthals. That’s all there is to it. Pyscho kitty Qu’est-ce que l…?

        • Matthew Knigt and Alex, if you love mice so much post your addresses on here and that way people can bring/send you their mice. I have a mouse/mice problem right now and I am willing to go out and buy a live mouse trap like “mice device” ONLY if you are willing to post your addresses so I can send you the live mouse/mice I catch. If you do not post your addresses, i will CONTINUE to use my bucket trap!!

          • Mathew Knigt and Alex,excellent question,i was actually thinking that same though i did get a good laugh out of this all,in all actuallty it really isnt a laughing matter if your dealing with miceevery single day.we live off a dirt road,we’ve been here 5 years and never had a mouse problem like this children and i arent filthy people,so why the mice are so out of control in our home is a question i cant help but take a little personal.anyone who believes mice are on same level as a cat or a dog obviously havent personally dealt with the issue on hand.tonights is going be my first time using the bucket remedie,wish me luck…

      • relocation may make YOU happy, but it puts YOUR problem in MY back yard. That cute skunk, or raccoon, or what ever, comes to MY place and eats MY chickens, or ducks, or what ever, tears them to pieces, causes them pain, eats their babies, eats their eggs, that fox, or coyote, (that just bothers you) comes and kills or maims MY livestock and terrorizes them UNTIL I HAVE TO KILL THEM!!

        Relocation is not the answer, it just relocates a problem and makes it another persons problem. The mouse that broke into your home is going to look for another warm building to live in, probably some one else home. It isn’t afraid to put the mileage on to find it!

        Oh, and if it is carrying any diseases, parasites, etc.. it shares them along the way, with you, all the animals it lived with, and all the animals it will come in contact with as it relocates to its new home.


      • Matthew, I hope you didn’t wear your fingers out with all that typing. Because hears the deal. When I have to clean a cooking utensil that was put away clean because there are mouse turds stuck to it, I don’t care how they die. Simply put, if one mouse can get in my house and deficate on my stuff, then a relocation trap is pointless. They come in, they die. And if its from drowning while I’m sleeping in bed, well lets just say I won’t lie awake thinking about it.

        • A mate of mine back here in finland came up with this instant relocation AND getting rid of rodent type of trap. Consists of a small explosive say a blank 8mm round , a rodent sized hole in the (verandah) wall , some McGyverish imagination and the trigger mechanism and so on. Go figure out?

      • Hi Matt,
        As much as you want to show compassion on mice, you better start confronting the other animals that eat them. What’s worse, struggling for a minute or two while drowning, or getting ripped apart by a hawk, or crushed by a cat, or toyed with by a dog until dead? There is no mercy in the natural world. When a cat catches a mouse, it doesn’t think, “now how do I let this little mousie die in a peaceful way, so I can grind it into mush?”

      • glad to know there are others out there with a semblance of compassion. these critters were here long before us, and are way more important in the whole scheme of things than humans (who have managed to fuck up just about everything we’ve done to this wonderful planet). Pandemics and disease are nature’s way of population control, regardless of species. Think the universal chaos revolves around the human race?

        I’ll rescue all the little critters I can, and let “mankind” take care of himself.

        • “these critters were here long before us.”

          I see this idiotic statement all the time. I’ve never seen a fifty-year old mouse. If it comes in, it dies. Period. Stop elevating vermin and scum of the earth to human status. They are not.

          • Humans would have gone extinct long ago if we did not build communities and eradicate threatening species. When people live in A/C homes, drive to work, watch TV at night, and pull their dinner out of a refrigerator…They forget this important detail. Not to worry, these people will wake up if push comes to shove. They will backtrack on their tree hugging ways if they ever become hungry enough to kill and eat an animal with their bare hands.

      • Believe me, if these people had chipmunks or any vermin get into their home and take up residence, destroy their belongings, eat their food, crap all over the place, they would kill the little buggers as well. They can cause lots of damage, to wiring, drywall, you name it.

      • If a human enters my home without my knowledge or permission, eats my food, craps everywhere and becomes a general nuissance in every sense of the concept, then, yes, I’d kill them with no remorse….lol The last time I met someone so defensive over rodents, I quickly realized that they’re as bad as anyone, killing any insect or arachnid they see on site, when those things are harming them in any way. I’ve no problem with that, mind you, I just find it ironic that they believe that they alone should determine what it is and is not ok to eradicate from a home.

      • I totally agree with you..I could never watch any animal die that way. How horrible. I know mice are considered pests by most people but I own one that I found outside and have fed it since it was 2 days old. They have feelings are are smart little guys..they do not deserve to die that way. Get a humane trap and relocate them. So sad the way people think nowadays. And people think animals are the problem..humans are the worst kind of animal/pest.

        • Feeding it since it was 2 days old, eh? Did you have the pleasure of watching it be born and waited 2 whole days before you started feeding it…what? Mouse food? Have you ever actually SEEN a mouse at 2 days old?! *SMH* People are fucking idiots! I’m sure you also vote liberal and are a vegetarian as well, right? Hopefully, nobody you know ever dies from Hantavirus…oh, but mice were here BEFORE people, so they’re much more important right? You’re an idiot that is part of the problem in this world today…we’re all screwed.

          • What does being liberal have anything to do with killing vermin? I vote liberal, I’m an atheist, I’m not a tree-hugger, and I’m a meat-eater, and I don’t hesitate to kill rodents and other bothersome vermin. Where did you get political affiliation from all this talk of mouse traps? If all conservatives’ (il)logical reasoning is as bad as yours, we’re all screwed.

          • I am a female republican that eats meat. I came to this post to find ways to get rid of mice. I realiI’ve that they have to be killed in order to get rid of them. It’s very logical. It’s what has to be done. 100% with you.
            I do feel bad for the mice though. Yes they carry disease, yes they could eat my wiring and cause a house fire. Yes I have to kill them. Still I hate that I have to.
            Killing them quickly is the most humane thing to do. I think what bothers me is that you dont have any problem with the killing. The crude language is what is offensive. Just kill them and get it over with. Your attitude about it is the shame. Do they need to die? Yes. Can’t you just be civil about it? Some of us agree with your message, your delivery needs work is all.

        • For those Gina followers to be. If you want to have it as a pet, that’s fine, good for you. But don’t be so quick to judge the human hunters and protectors living in your society. They come in handy when you need them most. I am a father with two beautiful daughters. It is my job to protect my family, if I deem a rat in my house is a threat to my child’s health then it’s my duty to kill it. Your alive right now because some man like me was one of your ancestors and he protected his family no matter what.

          • Bad Chad — shut up about “being the protector”. That’s just macho drivel and penis gazing. I kill mice pretty regularly — including babies when I find a nest. There is no place for them in my house or shop. But I’m not going to go off on some ridiculous tangent about “man the hunter and protector.” Good grief.

      • I fill it with kitty litter so they don’t drown. Then I take them outside, squirt some lighter fluid in the center, drop a match in, and then slow roast the little buggers. You should hear them scream. “Matthew, please save us!”

      • I used to feel very bad about killing mice. When we first got infested I cried when a snap trap only partially worked and a mouse flopped around my kitchen for five minutes until it died. Now we have mice that are too smart for those traps and have caused incredible damage and mess. At this point I think I could stomp one if I could. I might cry later but I would do it. This rental house has been a nightmare.

      • Young man you have not studied much history have you. Check out the Black plague. I would hate to think if times get bad that you would have to be the one that feeds a family. There are things in this life that you have to do that are hard to do and this is one of them ( very small one). Get ahold of yourself. Get a reality check. If you cant get over killing a mouse how in the world would you be able to shoot a deer for food for your family. I catch my mice and feed them to my chickens, over in a second. Recycling right.

      • Look Mister: Mice and Rats are capable of carrying a butch of diseases! Ones that can kill you. Rabies for one – if a human is bit by an infected animal there is only one way known to cure that human. Shots directly into the stomach. Plus the other diseases listed above! and more. Look fine I get that you are an animal lover. I am too. But mice can have up to 40 babies in one year and it only takes a few months before their babies are having babies. So use your multiplication knowledge. Second do you want your family, friends, other animals to come in contact with these vermin. I would think not, and if you do well then you are cruel. Do your research before speaking on what is cruel. Have you ever watched or known someone with a virus, bacteria or any other disease created by mice/rats?

      • Weather its a mouse, your cat ,your mother ,or your child. If i catch them tresspassing on my property or invadeing my home. They will be drowned! They stay in there homes and pay for there food like i do then we dont have a problem. And for you to sit here and say that its cruel for us to drown the mice is just immature and ignorant. If i read one more comment from any braindead lowlife that thinks we should simply set free robbers and theives then im gunna drain all the water out of mine and put neuratic acid in….just enough to get there feet wet if you know what i mean

        • I bet the mice were there before your home was built. So perhaps you are true trespasser. The point is not whether mice are a health hazard to humans no one here is really arguing that. The point is that being threatened does not automatically justify any response. Humans carry disease and also carry weapons and use them to harm and kill other humans. By your argument and other similar ones posted here, I can go to hospitals and kill anyone with a condition that threatens me or my family. I can kill them, according to you, in any manner i see fit. by extension of your argument, police can kill anyone breaking a law, I mean speeders threaten my life, in whatever manner they choose. You take us back to the middle and dark ages, it did not work out too well such that we decided to go another route. but perhaps my little brain just does not understand – “fear, threat – kill”, perhaps history is wrong and we should go back to just reacting to threats with no regard to the bigger picture. What could possibly go wrong? Certainly other nations with nukes and biological weapons would understand our little experiment.

    • amen to that. i got squirrels eating my house…i mean they have chewed hunks out of my concrete foundation. they are eating my shingles and the wood joists in my basement. i have to get this under control i’ve tried live traps and they won’t go in them…so i’ve had it. i called ins and they classed my house as rodent infested and told me to do what i have to to protect my house but it was my problem…sf if anyone is interested…insurance is a joke. any animal lovers that don’t think i will kill any vermin found on my premises destroying my life long investment can kiss their own ahole. no suck it…would this trap work for them. i found this really strange trash can set up in my basement and i don’t know what it is for…seems the previous owner was battling them. this trash can has a large piece of round sheet metal over it with a buggie cord and chain attached to it from a beam and it covers the can. it’s much bigger than 5 gallons. these r big grey squirrels. one got caught in the gutter and died. i pulled it out it was huge with gigantic teeth and felt to weigh a good 4 or 5 lbs.

      • Put amonia bombs Rags in cheap dollar store tupperware without the lids soaked in amonia) out where they frequent. Set out some delicious oatmeal and fixall. when it gets wet it clogs up their digestive track. I trapped lots of squirrels by turning a regular rat trap, bait side down about a foot off the ground nailed to a deck post. Dispatched 1 to 2 squirrels per day using peanut butter as bait. Once the trap starts to smell like fresh squirrel they will trust it. Check it often and remove each kill so you can get more. They chewed through my roof. Stinkers. The score is now me 10 squirrels 0. Warning: they are vengeful and they remember who killed their brethren. You are welcome. :)

  10. “they’ve been known for wiping out entire human populations for the diseases they can spread.”

    really? name ONE verifiable example. just one. curious about which “entire human population” was wiped out… anywhere… ever…

    • Yup The Plague. It killed at least 75 million…READ THAT MILLION people. And very possibly that number could actually be doubled. That was in 2 years. We literally haven’t had that many people die that quickly all of the exact same disease um ever.

      It was at least 30% of the European POPULATION.

        • While washing one’s hands is not a bad idea, it would not have saved them from bubonic plague which was spread by mice/rats carrying fleas who carried the disease. All these compassionate folks are clearly city dwellers and once you move outside the city limits, it is a whole different world. Mice/rats can decimate a garden or other plantings, moles can tunnel under trees and eat the roots of plants and trees until they die and all of them carry diseases. When it is your garden to feed your family, your fruit trees or other farm product, the mice/rats/moles and other vermin have to be eradicated. If you want to be critical about methods of killing…try peppermint oil on cotton balls in your kitchen or barn and taht will not kill mice or rats…but it will keep them from coming in the house becuase the menthol quality of peppermint oil repels them. A cotton ball of peppermint oil in the cabinets and drawers, behind the frig, etc. They will nto come near the kitchen. Refresh the cotton balls with several drops of oil every month and you are good to go.

          • I tried this, apparently the mice that have taken over our home wear gas masks! Cause they were not detered by the peppermint oil on cottonballs! They simply jumped over them or found other routes to get reach their destinations! the bucket idea seems like the best… only I need to keep them in the bucket- they jump out- and alive to feed my friends snakes!

    • I think the bubonic plague qualifies. 1/3 of the European population in the Middle Ages and rats were at least partially responsible.

    • Aaahhhh, he is nice and friendly to the mice. Feeding them some food. i like that. i have been feeding mice every time i winterize the cabin. I think i will try the bucket method and give them some thing to drink. the anti freeze is cool and will not let the water freeze solid.

  11. Pingback: help pack rats invading - The Goat Spot - Goat Forum

  12. How long does it take for one of these to work? I’m asking as I put one in my shed, where I know for a fact there is a “colony” of mice living (as evidenced by the noises and the mouse droppings all over the place and the stench!) and yet they seem to ignore my lovely baited trap. Is it because there’s easy pickings elsewhere close by?

      • Hi Trevor,

        I’m using peanut butter on a 200ml coke can. I smeared quite a liberal amount all around the can so there would always be something on top.

        • Peanut butter should work great. I wonder if your resident mice are already eating so well because of other “easy pickins.” You have an access ramp for them right?

          • I took a photo:
            Just excuse the mess, I’ve been avoiding diving into that for far too long :) I placed it next to the crate so they would be able to get to it in a more “natural” way.
            The shed is right next to a small chicken coop which has an automatic feeder based on your design so the grain is easily accessible. I wonder if that couldn’t be causing the lack of interest?

          • Wouldn’t surprise me. Chickens are messy and will scatter their food everywhere if the feeder tray is too low. If they’re doing that, try raising your feeder and/or shortening the height of the flow hole.

            I would also try different baits. If the fish ain’t biting on worms try grasshoppers, right? Maybe something smellier like tuna?

          • Thanks for the help Trevor, I’ll smear some Tuna on top of the peanut butter and see how it goes. I’ll post again to let you know if it worked. By the way I used an old wooden drawer which I stood the drum in for the feeder so the sides are about 10cm tall, with a gap of maybe 2cm between the side and the drum, and yet they still manage to scratch the food out!

          • Please do! I’d love to see your chicken feeder as well.

            Good luck man. I guess if all else fails you can get a cat :)


          • Haven’t managed to get the tuna yet, been a bone of contention with the wife lol. Thought about a cat but between the rabbit, chickens, birds and koi I didn’t think it would fit in too well. Anyway, here’s a picture of the very basic feeder: It almost exhausted my DIY skills :)

          • Ah ha! I see the seed everywhere. I bet a couple cinder blocks underneath your drawer would really help with that.

            Smoke those mice out! :)

  13. Your problem is the walls of the round black can and walls of the square drawer have way to much room between them and the corners! Your chickens just push their bodies/heads into the space and fling out all your food. I’d makeup a round high edged saucer maybe from a galvanized tin or so.
    Good Luck

  14. I use a five gallon plastic pail. Use a board to make a ramp that just sits on the top edge. Spread peanut butter on the inside of the pail just below the ramp. Put the peanut butter far enough to make the mice stretch to reach it. Put 6″ or so of water in the pail. In cold weather, use antifreeze to prevent water from freezing and to keep down the odor of dead mice when you can’t empty the pail for awhile.

  15. The water also keeps mice or young rats from simply jumping back out. A good healthy mouse can sometimes jump high enough to get out of a 5 gallon bucket. I used to raise them and would put them into a holding bucket while cleaning the bin. The occasional one would make it to the top rim.

    Water deep enough they have to swim means they can’t push off of the bottom to jump. I caught a half-sized rat in a water pitcher that was 1/3 full of water! It fell in trying to get a drink I guess and was still paddling around. Since it couldn’t push off the bottom, it just swam in circles.

  16. I have been using this trap for years. it works great but as with any of your mouse traps, the little darlings are usually smart enough to figure out after 2 days not to go near it so take it down after 2 days and try again in about a week. Also. I smear a thin layer of Peanut butter all the way around the center of the can about an inch wide and stick a few pieces of dry dog food in the peanut butter. Gets um every time!

  17. It doesn’t seem terribly humane to me to leave them to drown…I’ve got nothing against killing pests (if they’re actually being pests, anyway) but I’d rather they not suffer unnecessarily. That said, this could be a good alternative if you left out the water, and checked it often–then dispatched the critters with a pellet gun. I can’t use normal spring traps because I have curious dogs, so might consider this if I found myself with an infestation. Luckily, mice don’t really bother me in the yard and they don’t dare come in my house with two rat terriers on patrol.

    • I don’t get all these folks who think drowning a mouse or rat is inhumane. They don’t know any better, they just swim until they can’t, and then they drown. All instinct. Just like the instinct to squirm when a hawk picks them up and carries them away in it’s talons, to feed them to its young.

      And the picture of some idiot shooting mice in a barrel, thinking it’s the “humane” way to kill a bucket of mice, hilarious! As a child I once had a rat caught in a garbage can, half paralyzed from poison. I shot it with my bb gun as my sister watched. The bb bounced off it’s skull and hit my sister in the face (as the rat’s eye also was popped out of its socket, then popped back in, ewww!) A garden hose was used to dispatch the rat, drowning him by keeping his head under with the force of the water. Much more “humane” all the way around than another bb attack, and safer for any bystanders!

    • Squirrels are up during the day like people. I didn’t know this until one made a condo out of an old big flat screen tv box we keep in the shed. It was on a high shelf next to my bedroom wall. I could here him scrabble out in the morning around 8 ish and back to the condo for sleep around 9 at night. He kept regular hours.

  18. I have seen mice jump from flat on the floor to the top of a countertop (3-4′) so it would seem to me a dry bucket would not do much good.

      • The so-called “poison” usually sold for killing rats and mice is a bait-food with a high-concentration of WARFARIN in it (also known in medical circles as HEPARIN and COUMADIN). Warfarin, when used MEDICALLY, is a BLOOD THINNER that prevents things like blood clots that may cause strokes and heart attacks, etc. In the much higher doses used in “rat poison,” however, it “thins” the blood to the point that arteries and veins actually begin to dissolve and the rodents slowly die from internal bleeding (and anything that may subsequently eat them can die the same sort of death).

        On the other hand, I once had a serious problem with some outside-the-house rodents that were digging so many partially hidden holes in the yard I was twisting my ankle just walking or cutting the grass. I live-trapped and relocated many, but I also dispatched a few, included one that I drowned to see if that was humane, or not. At the time I was afraid drowning would be a cruel drawn-out process and almost didn’t do it; but I needed to know. So I watched (I had it in a live-trap and was able to put the entire trap under water — I could re-locate only so many). I was rather surprised. Once it went under, it took a single breath and then went unconscious almost immediately. Folks have estimated 30 seconds. I would say it was more like 5 seconds…

        Of course rats or mice that are in a tub where they can swim are going to swim and attempt to stay above water for along time before they finally go under, which, in itself, may be cruel. Yet I have an infestation in my own home regular traps aren’t addressing, so I think I must go this route, as well. Putting some dishwashing detergent in the water will make it more difficult to swim or stay afloat, and impossible to get traction to climb out. Using antifreeze should lead to an even much faster kill, as antifreeze is reputed to “taste good” to animals but shuts down their kidneys (so I’ve been told, anyway — told it’s been used to poison animals for a long time — never tried it, no plans to).

        All I know is that in addition to the little house mice, I saw a LARGE “sewer rat” in my little office here several months back. At the time I WAS using glue traps, and it was caught in a rat-sized one, which was somewhat smaller than the rat, actually. It was rolling back and forth trying to get free, and I tried to poke it with something to kill it, but didn’t have anything effective. The next day, I came back with something better, but it had moved the glue trap under some cover, when I move the cover with a stick to try to get the glue trap back where I could dispatch the rat, it finally worked itself FREE of the trap. Turned out it rolled back and forth on that trap SO MUCH that it covered it with rat fur, yet still had plenty remaining when it got away. I have no idea if that rat left the way it came, or if it’s still hiding somewhere in my house — but it was as big as, or bigger than a squirrel.

        Will I drown a threat that big and NOT feel guilty about it? Damn right I will!

  19. love the bucket traps, i just put grain in the bottom. we let our rat terrier “play” with them. he loves mice friends. he will even check the bucket for more :)

  20. I love all the mouse banter and could not agree more with the vermin fact!, Our society has devoted so much time and effort (Hey Mickey!) “humanizing” the “cute/ poor / innocent little creatures” that the fact that there is a danger involved has a tendency to be swept aside. I doubt that those who feel they are harmless would think so If they were to witness the horrifying death(s) brought about from mice, rats and the like. Certainly there is a degree of sadness surrounding the demise of any creature, but if one had to choose between the pain and suffering of the wee mouse, or that of a fellow human being, I believe the latter would survive (although there are some human beings that be categorized as vermin!). Several comments had me giggling!, as I am in a constant battle with mice out here “on the farm”, I do appreciate the solutions recommended . Thank you

  21. I use the bucket method. I put birdseed on the bottom and make sure to check the traps daily. I release the mice far away from the house. If they die they stink. Another reason to never use poison traps in the house. Mice will die in the walls—and stink. Gotta watch my 2 chihuahuas, they know the mice are there and knock over the bucket to chase the mice. Oh yeah, adult mice can jump out of a 5 gal bucket. The babies stay on the bottom. I sometimes put the lid on the top with a 1″ space on the top so if they jump in they have a harder time jumping out to the rim.

    I have to switch to peanuts, peanut butter, seed. Our mice like a varied diet! But I catch them steadily in the bucket!

  22. These are all SO much more complicated than necessary.
    – Cover the bucket with a sheet of newspaper and affix it in some fashion: large rubber band, string, whatever. Mice weigh almost nothing, it doesn’t have to be a drum tight surface.
    – Cut a hole in the center of the paper, I made mine about 2″ x 2 1/2″, no measuring, no “trap door”. Mice go down holes all the time, inside a hole is a SAFE place to a mouse.
    – Toss a few sunflower seeds (for birds, not salted for people) in the bucket and a couple on the paper. If you don’t have sunflower or other bird seed, just use some cereal or bits of bread.
    – Put the bucket where you see evidence of mice with a cardboard box about half the height of the bucket next to it if you like so they don’t have to “work” too hard for their snacks.
    – Move the mouse somewhere else in the morning.

    I have put a mouse outside the far end of the barn 4 days running (as of today), about 200′ from the house. What I don’t know is if it is the same mouse or a different one every day. I tried spraying a little yellow paint as the mouse ran into the grass this morning though I have no idea if any got on it. But if I find a mouse in the bucket tomorrow morning with yellow on it’s back, well, I guess I’m just providing snacks and a daily “joy ride” to a single mouse.

    • My understanding is that if you want to go to the trouble of releasing captured mice you need to take them a mile or more away to be sure. 200′ just isn’t very far at all. Even if the same mouse doesn’t come back it is probably still in the area making plenty of new mice to invade your home.

  23. How about filling the bucket with carbon dioxide from a soda streamer?! That way they quickly die from suffocation and there is now mess with antifreeze or other liquids. =)

  24. worked nice but i didnt use any liquid in the bucket to drown them. i noticed a few small mice died and a larger mouse was still alive eating them. i ended up throwing in firecrackers to kill the mouse. over a few hours later more mice dropped for the party and i had to get even more firecrackers. :)

    • HA! I got a real good laugh out of that, thank you!

      Mice and rats are a GREAT source of protein for my chickens. Whenever I trap them, I tear them limb from limb (don’t worry, they’re dead already) and feed the various partses to my chickens. They go absolutely nuts! Running to and fro with their prize in their mouth, clucking eagerly, with everyone else giving chase!! It’s more entertaining than Monday Night Football! My rooster once swallowed a WHOLE mouse in one fell-swoop!! Now THAT was impressive! MMMmmmm, tastey!! Here mousie mousies!

    • I’ trying the bucket tonight for the first time. I have had it with spring traps and I have Olympic mice that jump over the glue traps. And the smell of moth balls is killing ME. I think the firecrackers are just what the little f#*+?!s deserve. Mini rat bastards! Kill, kill, kill!

  25. I use a 3lb folgers coffee can and three roofing nails. No bait. The nails rattle around in the metal can when you have a mouse in it, so then I go check it out and take the can out doors and throw the mouse out and stomp on it.Don’t ask what the mouse likes in the empty can, cause I don’t know. I live in and earth burmed home and we catch shrews in the same can. I think they like the smell of coffee and they can’t climb out and they don’t jump out?

  26. Listen last year my sisters mother in law died from the hanta virus. It was sad…kill the mice and spray areas with bleach that mice have been .be sure to cover your mouth and nose .do not inhale fecal matter.

  27. I did this with the soda can idea, but I used two soda cans a little closer to the edges. They fell in nicely. Then, because of personal choice, I drilled a 1″ hole in the bucket bottom, and put a 1″ plastic tube in that hole. The tube was run out to the edge of my shed, and through another 1″ hole through the wall to the outside. That way, they critters, and their odor, were redirected out of my shed. It doesn’t solve the problem, but at least they get some exercise. It’s like an amusement park ride for them I guess. Seriously, outside the shed was a bucket half filled with water and another pop can. So it was more of a water ride for them. Also, a very simple and fairly quick alternative is to simply put mouse poison in the bottom of the bucket. Or several traps. And another solution is to line the bottom inside corners and edges of the shed with aluminum flashing.

  28. That’s so cool! Helpful for our school assignment! I also like how it doesn’t have to hurt them… I wouldn’t put water in. I would let them drop a small distance and then I would set them free in the bushes down the road. I hate killing mice, or any creature at that.

  29. Looked for info about buckets & rats and found this one. Reason being that I have found 4 rats drowned in the chickens water bucket in the last few weeks. There is no poison out at the moment but wondering if the fact that it is a black bucket shaped rather like a large plant pot. Wonder if they can’t judge the depth with it being black and then can’t climb out because of the shape. Might make one or two more lethal by floating peanut butter on a small plastic lid.

  30. Interesting ideas. For the plant and square bucket. I’d use a bit of string to secure the planks to the bucket and still allow them to tip, and maybe a weak spring on the underside to return them to normal position after the weight of the mouse has been dropped off.

  31. Too complicated-put some water in the bucket and enough sunflower seeds (they float) in to make it look like a solid surface. The mice jump right in. I caught 21 in 2 weeks in my garage this way.

    • wow that’s great, I’m trying this once I have another mouse problem! I assume the seeds are the bait too? That’s brilliant.

  32. I don’t care how slighted people feel that mice dare to explore their natural environment and want to eat and reproduce… How dare they! Thing is, we’re the intelligent animals (or at least should be)… we understand pain even when it’s happening to others. So… there must be a more humane and quicker way to kill them, other than drowning. How about putting poison in the bucket?

  33. Does anyone know WHAT KIND OF BAIT to use on the can to trap a MOLE that is living in the basement inside my house? I saw it running around one morning near my cat’s food bowl. When I was not there, the mole went into my cat’s food bowl, ate all her dry cat food, and then crapped and peed in the cat’s bowl. Disgusting! Now I am also worried that the mole may have given some kind of disease to my cat because she has diarrhea. Please give me some advice!!!

    • Hummmmm?
      “maybe” bait it with what its eating already.
      Crush up some dry catfood & mix with a small dab of peanut butter.
      Place it on the trigger of the ole snap-trap.
      Set trap.
      Note: Do NOT try to bait trap “after” setting trap.
      Replace cat.
      OR if you’re an Animal-Rites activist…
      * make a sign and march in circles, chanting slogans.
      * Give the mole a 30-day eviction notice.
      * charge the mole 3X the rent.
      * inform the mole how he is contributing to Global-Warming…..
      * convenes the mole to become a vegan

    • That is a cheeky mole. Teasing and disrespecting your cat. I never heard of such a thing. Google real mole slippers, it will make you feel better. :)

  34. All you need to do is place a bowl where the activity is with a small amount of antifreeze. They leave and die in two hours or less. No need for these contraptions. Mice can smell the sweet liquid and drink it.

  35. I’ve been using the bucket out at my farm and caught 123 rats in one night. All drowned. I finish planting corn/maize and they are right behind digging up the seed and feeding. Quite expensive considering cost of seed, labour, fuel etc. I have been using 10L buckets, but this article just gave me the idea to use a 200L drum and go really big. I will buy four tubs of peanut butter. It’s all war. I have to prepare a deep pit to bury the buggers! I will definitely try to drown every last one of them!

  36. The bucket method works but I do feel a little bad about drowning them. If you use salt water and run a low current through it with a cell phone charger or something similar they pretty much get zapped as soon as they hit the water. Just a tip.

    • Whether it be poison or electrocution I still stand by the tried and true ‘bait & wait’ method of dealing with vermin. However this bucket method has cut down on my cost of ammo lately and spared up some free time for me and the Mrs. I have tried the stripped cell phone charger method and it seems to work great for those “Olympic swimmers” you get from time to time. Thanks, Jenny.

  37. I once was harvesting canola and low and behold, I watched a little bird perched atop the swath. I thought it would fly away but no, it rode right on through into the combine.. I was grieved. Poor little thing. I thought I would stop the whole operation.. We can’t be combining grain if we’re killing harmless little creatures! That’s just not right, I thought. But as I considered, it dawned on me that if we were to stop growing grain, not only would people suffer from lack of proper nutrition, but the little farm mice running around in the bin yard would also go hungry! So I’m a little torn about what to do! Should we quit harvesting grain (which would mean no more bread and cookies) and save the little birds, or take the chance of making the mice go hungry??

    Sincerely ivotewekeepthebreadanddestroythemice

    • I say we train the mice to alert the birds to danger just like in Cinderella. Problem solved. No animals were harmed while writing this comment- not even mice.

  38. Anti freeze is poisonous and it tastes sweet. Do not use in your bucket if small children, wildlife or pets have access to the bucket.

  39. i got squirrels eating my house…i mean they have chewed hunks out of my concrete foundation. they are eating my shingles and the wood joists in my basement. i have to get this under control i’ve tried live traps and they won’t go in them…so i’ve had it. i called ins. and they classed my house as rodent infested and told me to do what i have to to protect my house but it was my problem…sf(good neighbors..right) if anyone is interested…insurance is a joke. any animal lovers that don’t think i will kill any vermin found on my premises destroying my life long investment can kiss their own ahole. no suck it…would this trap work for squirrels?. i found this really strange trash can set up in my basement and i don’t know what it is for…seems the previous owner was battling them. this trash can has a large piece of round sheet metal over it with a bunggie cord and chain attached to it from a beam and it covers the can. it’s much bigger than 5 gallons. these r big grey squirrels. one got caught in the gutter and died. i pulled it out it was huge with gigantic teeth and felt to weigh a good 4 or 5 lbs. if anyone has any suggestions besides live trapping that will work…or spraying fox piss..i need them dead…they seem to have been here a while and they are fighting me. and i’m not calling an exterminator i can’t afford it.

  40. Please, please do not feed the captured mice to your animals. While you’re not be using poison, your neighbors might be. Also, captive snakes should never be fed wild caught food. The mice carry germs and diseases that captive bred snakes have no immunity to, plus you really don’t want to bring those diseases into your home. That’s probably why you have the trap set up in the first place. I know chickens, cats, dogs, etc will eat what they can catch, but the chances of fatal poisoning are much lower than if they’re fed a steady diet of it.

    Just my $0.02.

  41. I like the trap, never tried something similar before but it looks pretty effective. I know many people will complain about drowning them, but.. definitely there are nastier ways to get rid of them.


    • Try a bucket with several 1in holes towards the bottom to allow only mice to come and go. Place mixture of corn meal and fast setting drywall powder in open container. Mice will eat ,leave and get plugged up with non toxic mixture .try 75% grain and adjust accordingly . Mixture has to stay dry. Try any finely ground grain. I Used oatmeal at first, but they tend to pick out the flakes ,but the fine powder was left in their fur and they left major tracks on the way to their habitat . I’m sure they got dosed during their grooming sessions. Next i Am going to live trap the mice and feed them the mix so I can monitor effectiveness of this procedure and to obtain proper mix ratio , let me know the outcome of anyone’s experience with this approach

  42. Wo – WWiki states: “A Twinks is player character that is disproportionately powerful for its level, possessing potent items and high-end enchants that are generally way beyond the means of other players at that level. Once you know what is for sale pay attention to how long it has been up for sale, and pay particular attention to what is selling fast. Regardless of the method you pursue, just know that it will take time to build up your World of Warcraft gold these ways.

  43. I use HCL acid in the bucket. The acid works well because you don’t have to keep emptying the bucket. Also the mouse doesnt suffer as long as with water.

  44. Many years ago we used to catch mice with a Good’s potat chip can. Anybody remember them? They were about as big as a 5 gallon bucket but very greasy from those awesome potato chips. My parents would put cheese in the bottom and put the lid on leaving just a small part uncovered. The mice would jump up, (no ramps) jump in, feast on the cheese but fail terribly at escape because of the greasy can. They caught so many mice! My stepmother would then flush them down the commode. That was 40+ years ago.

  45. I have no guilt. 55 gallon drum, a hole drilled on each side and a can in the center. The pack rats have done so much damage. Fill the barrel with 6 gallons of antifreeze and build a ramp so they must jump to the can. Antifreeze poisons them. I have no mercy and keep it away from kids and other animals locked away in the barn. I don’t have to do anything and I catch a few a month. You can disagree but it’s cheaper than bullets.

  46. Hey, I was wondering if you knew of a non-toxic liquid that would not freeze, or evaporate, and also has antimicrobial properties.
    I have a cabin in the middle of Wyoming that you can only hike into. That being said, the cabin only has occupants in the summer and only 5 or 6 weekend through out the season. The last time I went the mice had taken over.
    This idea will work well to take care of the mice but once I have the drown mice I would want to dispose of them outside. I worry that other animals, birds, foxes would get poisoned by antifreeze if they ate them.

    • Why use antifreeze? So toxic? You could use vinegar if you are worried about them rotting, but on the other hand the pink RV antifreeze is non-toxic. Or heck, use saltwater. Don’t use the nasty green stuff, you will kill more than intended and it’s a horrible way to go.

  47. Why use antifreeze? So toxic? You could use vinegar if you are worried about them rotting, but on the other hand the pink RV antifreeze is non-toxic. Or heck, use saltwater. Don’t use the nasty green stuff, you will kill more than intended and it’s a horrible way to go.

  48. i grew up being taught that mice or starlings were fair game. they both are filthy creatures. mice and any rodents dont just stop and take a pee or poo they leave there poo where aver it happens to pop out and im betting they dont have bladders they just dribble. if it wasent for that fact .i would like them there cute and dispite there not learning to stay out of my living space or automobile or any number of nooks . they also knaw at everything . i had to rewire a motor home after finding wiring with the insulation knawed off and shorting out . there was droppings everywhere in silverwhere drawers cupboards the stove every where. snap traps only work a couple of times and the word gets out. a wind up live trap works a bit longer it had to be emptied often because the little fuckers would eat each other leaving a discusting mess. i use to put them in the toilet with some comet and they would do a nice job or cleaning that ring that forms on the water line trying to clime out . you think thats cruel or sick ? maybe but .they had to be drowned or they would swim back through the toilet the pipes are only wet when you flush . so the live wind up trap stopped being effective so than i would place a piece of aluminum foil in the kitchen with a dab of peanut butter in the center when i would here them on the foil i was ready with my trusty read rider bb gun which was a very effective mice whacker i would sneak slowly to the hole in the wall [a wall bar] take carefull aim Blam dead rodent. . i also used a piece of floor tile 12 x 12 propped up with a stick and a string tied to it . when i heard the pitter patter of mice feet a yank on the string and splat.. also very effective but messy . i found it very intertaining but it didnt slow the little fuckers down one bit. they would have little mouse orgies under my bed squeeling and squeeking all hours of the night . than play chace sometimes using my bed as an obstacle course. i caught two by hand under the sheets. if you have ever seen these mice [so called deer mice] up close there designed to reproduce often the males testicles are at least half there body weight and the females can have many offspring like 5 to 8 ?? every 25 or so days. they get pretty brave they would run accrost the living room steal o piece of dog food from the dog dish next to the sleeping dog while we were watching tv..when i moved from that place there was a big old desk on the front porch. when i opened the big file cabnet drawer it was full to the top with dog food probably 10 or 15 lbs .
    i dont normaly get a thrill out of killing anything even bugs but i have a new rule . if any creature violates my personal space uninvited steals my food shits and pisses everywhere . its a death sentence this also includes rat dogs and cats or any thing else . than i tried the 5 gallon bucket it worked for quite a while but mise learn fast.i think if you put a baffle above the warrer so the other mice couldnt see the dead it might take then a while figgure it out.
    well i was about to give up when while visiting a farm friend he had several betches of kittens i said ya set me up .i got a male and female that were half wild and ill tell you that is the only guaranteed way to eliminate a mice problem it was amazing they were one hell of pair of mice killing felines. thanks kittys they got fat quick and only mice i saw after that was the ones they would bring out and torturer for an hour that kill n eat em .so much for the mice now for the 15 or 20 starling nests in the eves of the house but thats another story . and for you animal lovers im glad you exist thank you but please rember were the top dog and the line hase to be drawn and its at my front door. felt good to get that off my chest.

  49. To all of you rodent activists, I work at a plant overrun with rats. Either way their death here will be an excruciating one, weather it be by poison or otherwise. A favorite pastime of mine has become finding a hiding spot of theirs and chasing one or two with a pump up sprayer of degreaser. After the degreaser has blinded them and they can no longer see, I’ll adjust the stream to a mist and see how long they can survive breathing the caustic foamy liquid. I try to make it quick, but sometimes some are more resilient than others and I have resorted to throwing them into a hot grease pit (somewhere around 280°) and that usually meets their demise. I’m x military with a tour in Iraq under my belt as well, i would have gladly done the same thing to a deserving Iraqi, as he would have possibly done worse to me given the chance. I may be sick in the head, but I embrace it. They are gonna die one way or another, by my hands or another’s. F’em

  50. I made one of these and they work great. I found out about these by chance. I noticed a funny smell coming from the basement and couldn’t figure out what it was. It turns out that I had a five gallon bucket down there with some water in it from when I was working on my well pressure tank that a couple of mice fell in and drown. They were pretty decomposed by the time I found them, thus the smell. This bucket did not have a ramp or bait but still managed to catch two. I didn’t even know I had mice but after finding the design for the bucket mouse trap on this site and building one I have caught 4 more. I am going to leave it down there indefinitely as it only takes an opening the size of a dime for a mouse to get in and it is almost impossible to find and seal all entrances permanently. I make sure to check it every day or so to dispose of the mice before they start to break down.

  51. Why not just put tomcat or another poison like that in the bucket? These kill the mice and helps destroy the innards pretty much eliminating the odor.

  52. Many years ago I had a job as a security officer at a large scrap metal yard. The mice there were openly indifferent to people. Scary. Any way, I would use my baton to knock them off my desk into a metal trash can that was about the size of that 5 gallon bucket. They would jump right back out again with little effort. So I’m skeptical that the 5 gallon bucket would hold them for relocation.

  53. I believe the water serves a dual purpose. It not only drowns them but also makes it really hard to jump out of the bucket.

  54. i read a lot of comments (but admittedly not all of them) and see some that say this works with rats. have many people had success? i dont need this for mice. and these rats are hella smart.

  55. Hi Pam,

    came here for exactly the same reason and found you asked my question already.

    Mice do eat the corn but don’t kill my little chicken in their hatch boxes as it happnes now which drives me nuts to kill them by all means.

    Yes they are much smarter, they don’t eat poison whatever kind and sneak through the tiniest gaps to kill and escape.

    You posted a couple of month ago, no reply.

    So same fate for me probably too.

    Let’s hope the guy didn’t fell over a bucket ;-)

    At least I snatched an idea of using an anti-freezing pool from here.

    • Damian and Pam,

      The concept would work for rats. The size of the container would not. I would go with a galvanized metal trash can and put a small amount of oil on the bottom. The oil will be on their feet and make it very hard to gain purchase to climb out.
      I would then put poison in the trash can. They may not eat it when there are other alternatives, but when it is the only thing available, I think they will give in.
      You may want to try the rope design as shown above.
      The best bait is whatever they have been eating.

  56. What would you people do if you couldn’t torture small wildlife, twist the heads off puppies or abuse kids? Humanely releasing animals far from your house in a natural habitat would suffice.

  57. Interesting conversations….
    On the one hand, if poison is mentioned, then the “don’t poison” people mention that other things that eat the rodent can die also. I put antifreeze in this poison category as well. I say put the poison in the bucket and put a cover on it to prevent predatory animals from eating the caught rodents.

    If drowning is mentioned, the “be kind to critters” group will mention something about nature, or relocating. they may also mention that it is cruel.

    If you relocate a mouse out of his habitat, you have most likely become the cause of its death. Rodents have a limited habitat area in which they are familiar with their surroundings. Moving them to a forest puts them in an environment in which they are unfamiliar, especially with the predators in that area. You don’t actually think that the mouse or rat you relocated died of old age, do you?
    To the argument of humane vs. inhumane, how interesting that you would attribute morals to a basically amoral creature. While it has been shown that rodents dream, it has never been shown that rodents have morals. They are not necessarily concerned with the study in the right or wrong of things. While a recent study shows that some animals can show empathy and some form of fairness, they do not possess the “well developed and reasoned sense of right and wrong” (Prof Waal, primate behaviorist). Most of the recent examples of animal ‘morality’ are in human designed environments, not natural settings.
    If you are to argue what is natural, are we not a part of nature? Evolutionary theorists show that natural creatures have evolved their ‘rodent killing’ traits. Birds have better vision or hearing, snakes a sense of smell. If we are just animals in the animal kingdom, then the creation of the Bucket Trap is our evolution. It is true that most animals kill for food, however, they also kill to protect themselves or their immediate groups. The Bucket Trap is a way for humans to protect the same things. I have not read a single post that indicates they are ‘hunting’ the rodents for the fun of it. It does seem that most posts are of the self-preservation type. As it always has been, self-preservation will ultimately outweigh inhumane.
    While I empathize with your feelings on the killing if any living thing it seems that you are saying that you oppose it if you had to do it. So many of the advantages of human society come at a price of living things. They range from the cars you drive, the deodorant/perfume you may use, to the food you eat. Yes, food. Unless you grow all of your food, try asking the commercial farmer how they kill rodents, animals, and insects that threaten their crops.
    All-in-all, it is simple. You may not agree with my methods, and I may not agree with yours, but please reserve judgement on me until you know more about me, instead of judging me on this one thing in my life.
    As an aside, I will be using the bucket trap to kill mice. I don’t know if I will put water, oil, antifreeze or poison in the bucket, but I will put something. If I am going to kill them, then I choose to kill them outright.

    • Great post. I think i am like you in that I have a basic problem and love the basic solution. Not only that but I get to think about human nature, morals, philosophy, ecology etc. i catch and release and your “putting them in a different environment leads to their death” point is interesting. but really? It’s not like I am going from desert to the arctic, or even from prairie to forest. Also, i don’t find the morality of the mouse to be relevant. It is my morals that dictate the humanity or inhumanity of what i do with the mouse. Just as we have to decide what to do with the criminally insane. As for “are we not a part of nature”, you might be slipping into a “ends justifies the means” position. yes, we are part of nature but we have the capacity to make decisions well beyond that of other species. A snake cannot go to the grocery store so that mouse is life or death to it. While mice threaten us, we can remove that threat without killing it. Or we can kill it in a way that does not threaten others, or at least mitigate the threat by proper disposal of poisoned mice including antifreezed. Yep, all in all, it is just you and a mouse and the big picture there are far bigger things to worry about. But in the think global, act local kind of thing. I choose to play the karma game and kill things as infrequently as my morals, safety, and comfort allow. Don’t get me started on flies and mosquitoes though, my zen, my St Francis of Assisi teachings, my ecology education go out the window unless it takes advantage of the occasional chance I give it to go outside and feed a spider, bird or bat. First World Problems. Millions go hungry, thirsty, threatened by fatal diseases for lack of food, clean water, basic sanitary conditions and we debate how to get rid of mice.

  58. I live in a loft and am having problems with mice in my kitchen area. They are dodging the traps I’m leaving. Can this be used inside a small loft in my kitchen or is that gross. I really want those mice out of here!

  59. I used 3 of these a few years ago and got 27 mice. The anti freeze also helps to kill them faster since it is a poison itself but has a sweet flavor so they drink some of it and die faster than drowning.

  60. This is great I caught 22 with no water in the bucket. Then took the whole bucket to my x husbands new house and let them loose.

  61. works with small children too, little buggers running on my lawn! jk. I live trap mice with hav-a-hart (or heart?) but understand to some degree those who want to just catch and kill. The trap works pretty good but you only get one at a time so i am going with the bucket for the science and efficiency experiment aspect. funny story regardless of your kill or release position: Caught a mouse with peanut butter Took him to my release place, away from homes and businesses. Released mouse, like to watch them run away a second to avoid running them over with my car. Motion overhead…something came in front of my car. Hawk flies to pole snacking on a peanut butter flavored mouse treat. At least I contributed to the food chain and helped a bird stay alive. Presumably that bird catches lots of mice keeping those making their way to my house a little lower. I figured that mouse’s time was definitely up as it got two chances to escape death. maybe we should get hawks or falcons and tether them in the garage, crawl space to catch mice. Again, just kidding. I’d get a cat but my dog just won’t have it.

  62. My rats are smarter than all your dumb rats. They just set on top of the plastic edge (balanced) 90 degrees from the ramp and lean over the can and eat peanut butter. Would they FALL in better if I gave them some BEER first. Maybe its because these rats live in a college town,but the can style hasn’t worked on my fury ones yet. I tested the can and it rolls easy.

  63. Do any of you know what the inside of this bucket looks like whole a mouse is drowning? Me neither, my eyes tend to roll back in my head when I masturbate.

  64. I set up one of these bucket traps in my outdoor shed last night and found three dead mice this morning. I live in New England and have had ongoing problems with mice chewing the wires of my riding mower that I store in the shed over the winter. I’ve set countless snap traps over the years but constantly needing to check and reset these traps is not practical when the snow is piled up. I plan to put some antifreeze in the water to keep it from freezing. BTW, I saw a video on YouTube yesterday that showed how mice will eventually jump out of a 5 gallon bucket if there is no water in it so drowning is the only option for these types of traps. In our areas we have a big problem with deer ticks that cause Lyme disease, which are spread by mice so I have NO PROBLEM with killing as many of these critters around my house as I can.

    Thanks for setting up this web site. Very helpful.

  65. Why don`t you try some waterboarding on yourself, your wife, your children or anyone else in your family.

    Then you will find out what drowning feels like.

    Have fun doing it. Maybe you will feel or see some of the pain and fear the poor animals feel when they die.

  66. if the mice have eaten your dogs food and you catch them live, dont feed to pet snake. the red dye in the dog food is harmful to snakes. -pet store owner who has dealt with sad snake owners who fed wilds to their snakes

  67. Pingback: The Foolproof Way to Keep Mice and Other Pests out of Your Van • Vancognito

  68. Pingback: How To Build A Self-Resetting Mouse Trap – The Self-Sufficient Life

  69. Pingback: How To Build A Self-Resetting Mouse Trap - Survival Supplies

  70. Pingback: How To Build A Self-Resetting Mouse Trap –

  71. Never knew so many people liked insulting others because of how they get rid of mice. Even if you tell them not to you don’t know if they are still doing it their way.

  72. Pingback: 188: At War with Rats on the Homestead - A Farmish Kind of Life

  73. Pingback: Rodents - Pelican Parts Forums

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *