What’s worse than having diseased rodents in your home? The expense needed to get rid of them. Traps. Poison. You know rats are cautious creatures so it’s possible they could avoid your traps for days, and while you wait for your investment to work, these clever creatures could be turning your home into a breeding ground as you sleep. The rats comes out to the trap that you strategically placed in the corner where it was forced to walk. It takes a minute to breathe in the fresh aroma from the cheese you placed ever so gently on the trigger switch. Then, it makes its move.
All of a sudden, the rats reaches out, grabs the cheese, steps off the trap, of course looks at you and gives you a wink, then heads on his merry way.
It’s happened too often and more times than not, we find ourselves without a rats trap in the first place while they have infested our cellars, attics, garage, cabins, you name it, they just waltz in like your crazy Aunt and Uncle, no heads up, no doorbell, just one day you get a, “Oh hey, didn’t see you there.”
Look at traps the same way you would with your mother’s brisket, and know that sometimes the best trap is a matter of wits. If your opponent is smart, then you be smarter. We’re about to show you 15 Genius DIY Mice & Rats Traps You Can Make At Home.
DIY Mice and Rats Traps
1. Buckets And Bottles
This is one rats trap I use when I want to catch several mice and I am not going to be around for a little while. Many times we would use this at my hunting cabin in the foothills of the Adirondacks when we would leave for the week and come back to a bucket full of mice.
Basically how this works is the rats makes his way up the ramp, through the hole and because you put the peanut butter on the far end of the can, he is forced to step on the can, which will spin, ultimately leading to the mouse to fall into the bucket where you have water deep enough that the rats will drown.
- 5-gallon bucket or larger
- Water bottle, soda can, or pvc pipe
- Wire hanger
- Sticks to use as a ramp
- Water (or no water for catch-and release)
- Drive a stick through the opposite ends of the water bottle (Or whatever object you chose to use. It should be cylindrical and easy to roll.) Drill holes in two sides of the bucket near the top where you can slide the hanger through. Fill the bucket with water. (optional) Set up your ramps, and then bait the rolling mechanism. You’ll have rats climbing up to get to the delicious bait only to be dropped to the bottom of the bucket!
2. The Bucket With A Plate
Similar to the one above, you need a ramp onto a five gallon pale for the mice to make their way up to the bait. In this trap, we have swapped out the spinning can for an unbalanced styrofoam plate. Once the weight of the rat touches the plate, it will automatically dip, dropping the rat into the bucket before springing back into place. It closely resembles the first two bucket traps we recently discussed, and is a popular choice for catching rodents on a budget.
- 5-gallon bucket or larger
- Paper plate
- Wire Hanger
- Material for ramps
- Water (optional)
3. The Rolling Log
You’ll quickly notice how handy buckets are for homemade rat traps. The rolling log trap is similar to the bottle trap in that the “log” spins, dropping rats and mice down into the bucket. This is a cheap multi-catch option that won’t break or wear out easily and can be used again and again.
- 5-gallon bucket or larger
- PVC pipe
- Wire hanger
- Wood to be used for ramps
- Water (optional)
4. Water Bottle Trap
If you don’t have a bucket at your convenience, fear not! There are plenty of clever ways to catch rats with everyday items, as you’ll see with this water bottle trap. The rat’s curiosity will eventually get the better of it, and when that happens, it’s as good as caught!
The video below shows an empty bottle, bigger than your average 20-ounce soda bottle and square much like a Fiji water bottle, set up as a rat trap. Now the video is set up for a rat which explains the reasoning behind the larger bottle, but I can imagine the trap in a smaller version would work just as fine for mice.
The concept here may seem complicated but it’s actually quite simple. On either side of the trapped door, is two rubber bands pulling at the door which is being held up by the trigger. The trigger is the red twine that runs to the bait in the bottom of the bottle.
At about 5:45 of the video, you can see how the bait is set up with a small needle or maybe a toothpick that goes through the hole and held up by the red band. The rat, or mouse, enters in through the trapped door, pulls at the bait, which releases the tension by releasing the line to the door, and the rubber bands pull the door shut holding so much force as to keeping it closed.
- Rubber bands
- Bait (peanuts work)
- Chopsticks (you might have saved from the last time you ordered takeout)
- Plastic water bottle
5. Bucket & Paper or Cardboard Tube
This is probably the easiest of them all to make! All it takes is paper. Well, alright, some tape too, and definitely a bucket or trash can for the rodents to land in, but that’s about it! Just fold the paper, bait the end, and hang it halfway over a ledge. By the time the rat realizes that the bottom won’t hold its weight, it’ll be too late. Keep in mind that rats and mice are amazing jumpers and could free themselves depending on how large the container is, or if there’s water in it.
So as you can see here, you take an empty toilet paper roll and crease one side so it fits flat along the edge of a table or counter top. Balancing may be difficult at first, but that’s the concept to making this work. Once you find that sweet spot, place some peanut butter or some cracker crumbs at the end of the tube. The key is to making sure you have a tall enough bucket or bin below to where the mouse will fall as it reaches the end of the tube. Simple, cheap, and efficient. My kind of mouse trap.
6. Bucket & Spoons
One particularly clever solution requires only a large bucket, a spoon, and some peanut butter. Put a dab of peanut butter on the handle of the spoon and balance it on a countertop with the bucket underneath. When the rats runs out to get the peanut butter, it will fall into the bucket along with the spoon.
Check out the comments on the original reddit thread for more tips.
7. Shoebox Traps
The idea is the shoe box, looks like a shoe box. You cut a hole out of the top of the shoebox and tape two pieces of paper to form a trap door. We placed a little bit of cracker crumbs on our trapped doors with some peanut butter smeared very lightly to prevent it from weighing the door down and it worked great.
Take a look at the video and I’ll wait to say it with you when you come back. “Why didn’t I think of that!”
8. The One-way Door
This is an innovative take on an old idea. Inspired by an antique mousetrap that operated as a one-way door, the mice are baited to travel through a hole, but are unable to return through the same entrance due to wires protruding from the hole. Sounds gnarly, but actually the wires leave the mouse completely unharmed through it is decent through the hole. It’s only when the mouse lands, does it realize that the wires prevent it from returning. This is a simple mousetrap that can easily be converted into a trap for larger rodents and can be used multiple times.
- Tools for cutting
- Galvanized wire (or paper clips)
9. The Mason Jar
There’s no limit as to what you can use to catch rats. Maybe you’ve got mason jars leftover from projects or gifts. Good news! Even these can be converted into live-rat traps. A single catch-and-release method, but hey? It works.
A mechanically simple trap that works well and guaranteed to catch mice alive. Just check your traps regularly.
- Mason jar
- Scrap metal
- Gorilla Glue or Rivets
- Tin snips
- Paper clips
10. The Cable Tie
You’ve still got a whole bunch of options! Like for example, this neat cable-tie trap. We know it requires a tool, but it’s not what you think! In this case the tool is being used as a weight, which is what pulls the cable tie together, essentially trapping the rat.
- Cable tie
- Monkey spanner
- Cable staple
11. Simple Bowl Trap
Try using a glass bowl as your main catcher. All this trap requires is a few household items and a delicate touch, and you’ll have a super simple, but effective trap on your hands! If you’ve got a really curious rat lurking around, this might be the perfect way to catch him without all the fancy crafting.
- Glass Bowl
- Thick Board
12. The Fan Trap
Bet you never imagined using a fan guard to catch rodents, but why not? It’s the perfect cage just waiting to be discovered. This is one of the easiest traps yet! Since the fan covers a larger area than the bowl trap, it’s more likely to get a catch in a shorter amount of time, and who knows? You might even end up with more than one rat.
- Fan guard
- Zip tie
- Fishing wire
Best Rats Traps
A plank rats trap, its design is somewhat similar to the model above. Yet, the utility that it has to offer is pretty much the same. The dimensions of this particular plank rats trap are that of: 10.2 x 3.7 x 2 inches. What sets this plank rats trap apart from other such designed rats traps is the fact that it comes with a ramp included. The ramp is foldable and thus, easy to store. The plank for this rats trap is made out of premium quality Oakwood to account for greater durability. It uses a bucket trap mechanism system and thus, avoids the use of toxic chemicals to kill. An auto-reset feature allows one to capture more than one rats at a time. Thus, in every sense of the word it’s an effective and efficient rats traps.
- Easy to set up
- Auto-reset feature, allows you to catch more than one rats at a time
- Made out of top quality Oakwood, water resistant and durable
- Use bucket trap mechanism that doesn’t use toxic chemicals to kill
Here’s all the proof you need to know that you CAN handle a rat problem on a low budget. Multi-catch to single-catch—from rats, to mice, or even other rodents, you can create the perfect trap using items that you probably already have on hand.
Of course, if you’d rather not deal with the catching process at all, it’s always a fine idea to call in your local pest control. The team at Green Rat Control are experts on catching rats and will gladly take care of the critters for you.