Ever 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!
Build a Bucket Mousetrap
So you’ve decided to take care of your mouse problem the bucket way!
You’ll just need a few items to make this quick trap.
Assemble your Soldiers:
- 5 Gallon Bucket
- Dowel – metal is best but wood will work
- Tin can
- Peanut butter
- Scrap of wood for ramp
- Drill holes at the top of the bucket, on 2 opposite sides
- Drill holes in the middle of each flat side of a soda can
- Insert a dowel through the bucket holes and the soda can holes, to end up with a unit that looks like the image.
- Bait with peanut butter and add a ramp for the mice to get up.
- 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.
The bucket mouse trap community has sort of split into different camps, each backing their own favorite design. At Five Gallon Ideas we stay out of conflicts like this, so we’ll give each design a fair shake!
The humane mouse trap
If you don’t want to design one yourself, you can simply order one off the internet. The advantage that such traps have is that they probably take up less space than the DIY examples we show you here. An interesting one we can recommend is a humane mouse trap that resembles a little house. This allows you to easily release these mice into the wild again.
A similar design uses bits of bungee cord and a yogurt lid to accomplish the same effect.
If Youtube comments can be believed, scaled up versions of this trap are being used for trapping rats. You’ll want to size it up to at least a 30 gallon trash barrel, or even go as large as 55 gallons. There are some really big rats out there.
Walk the Plank
This bucket mouse trap’s being used in a chicken house. Mice can be a big problem for chicken keepers since they love to fatten themselves on those expensive little chicken pellets.
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, clumsy as they are, will knock your delicate planks down.
But I’m showing you this so you can make a more useful bucket mouse trap. Observe that this bucket is square. That means it can actually be mounted on that 1×4 behind it. So you don’t have to have your bucket mouse trap on the ground, you can hang it up wherever you need it. Just don’t forget to empty it out regularly.
And did you know that chickens will eat mice? It’s scary to watch. I’ve seen a chicken swallow a mouse whole in under 2 seconds. I respect chickens a lot more now.
Update (Feb 2017): Just for fun, after you get rid of your mice infestation, you might wonder what to do with your spare mouse traps. Well, they can actually be used quite effectively to power tiny toy cars.