Introduction: Coconut Mouse Trap

Did you ever try to catch a mouse with a coconut?

Let me guess. 'NO', probably - set aside why the hell someone would even think about doing such a thing.

Well, actually, I do. And let me tell you, there are even many ways to catch mice with a coconut!

There's the brutal method, for example - which also works for rabbits, goats or even small tigers. It's very simple: try to get as close as possible to your target and launch the coconut as hard as you can. If properly done, you'd be able to make this a winner. If not, I hope you're a better runner than a launcher.

Then there's the patience method. Cut the nut in half, remove the bounty-stuff, put a snack in one half and stay calm & quiet, as long as it takes. The mouse will come, no worries, to steal that tasty snack from you. Sure. All you have to do is smash the second half of the coconut as fast as you've ever done on the first half - hollow side on hollow side, otherwise you'll have mouse-mash - to trap the animal.

There's also the vicious method - which I'll explain more deeply here. In this method there's no throwing technic needed, no agility required and there's no danger to hurt the animal. It's just basic craftmanship and a few crazy shortcuts.

What you need for this project is ridiculously simple: a coconut, a clothespin, an empty plastic tube and a bit of cord. And a pot of peanut butter, of course.

Important detail: this is a life-trap. Goal is to catch the mouse alive, not to hurt or kill it. Its concept is inspired on a very old - and very effective - design (see picture). Mickey will come, guided by the flavor of the snack hidden in the trap. He will enter the trap, and see that the only obstacle between him and the snack is just a ridiculous piece of cord. He will destroy it, of course, activating the mechanism which will close the door behind him.

I love these traps. With the ol' design I catched many dozens of mice - with the coconut the fun has just started. But it works, wonderfully! Every day I take my box filled with mice and go to a farm a few kilometers away to set them free. A life is a life, and if it's not to catch it for food there's no reason to take it.

Step 1: Coconut All the Way

You need that coconut. The bigger the better.

Clean it up and drill two holes in it. One at the top, one at the tip.

Remove the meat and done you are.

Step 2: Forget About That Clothespin

Initially I wanted to hack a clothespin, but I realised very fast that this was just a stupid idea.

So I went into pingpong balls. Less cool, much more effective.

Attach a small, but strong, spring to the ball - screw it just in the ball - and attach the other end to the coconut. The keyword here is precision. The ball has to be pushed firmly & tightly to the hole. No error tolerated, otherwise Mickey will escape and your trap will be his best joke.

No ball? You can make a small door with a tiny hinge - Hobbit-style - if you want.

Step 3: Talking About That Tube

Medicine tubes are the dreamed objects to use in this project. I got lots of headache, so finally I found a way to recycle all those empty tubes.

Exit the stuff that will keep the pills dry and cut 1/3 of the lenght. Use some tape to screw it tightly in the tip of the nut.

The only thing that needs to be done is drilling a hole all the way through the coconut AND the tube. Work precisely, and take care not to drill your hands - talking about experience...

Step 4: Lets Find Mickey

Time to arm the trap!

  • insert a piece of cord all the way through the trap, attach it to the ball and pull the ball backwards.
  • attach the other end to the tube
  • fill the small canister at the top of the cover with peanut butter - the best a mouse can get
  • close the cover and put the trap at a strategic place - mice tend to follow the borders

Mickey will come, enter the trap, bite the cord and get himself trapped. Awesome, and effective!

Can't wait to free the next one.

Comments

author
grannyjones (author)2015-01-04

i can understand a farmer, seeing someone releasing mice onto his farm, using a firearm in an extremely unfriendly manner.

author
bricobart (author)grannyjones2015-01-04

Haha, the last farmer has left this world a few years ago - only abandoned buildings, rusty gear and beautiful silence!

author
grannyjones (author)bricobart2015-01-04

----but the farmers leave poisons for the creatures that invade the land. If you care for the mice, move them to a wilderness, or better yet keep them in your home, and feed and live with them. They live where there is food, and we have food. You must feed them to keep them away from harm.

author
mikeb9 (author)grannyjones2015-01-05

acctualy being a farmer my self we arent llowed to leave poison for rodents or vermin of any kind because it could not only harm them but food and watter supplys for people

author
bricobart (author)mikeb92015-01-05

Like it! How do you handle any rodent visitors, btw? Speedy dogs?

author
mikeb9 (author)bricobart2015-04-10

we spread mint leaves and things around areas we dont want them

author
bcavaciuti (author)grannyjones2015-01-05

Mice are pests.

This means they are not desired by humans to have around their homes or farms due to disease, food thievery and chewing destruction which when coupled with electrical cables can be very costly and a potential fire hazard. This is why we don't generally keep/feed them.

If a farm is abandoned then it is practiacally wilderness, a large stretch of unoccupied land.

author
grannyjones (author)bcavaciuti2015-01-06

i was being sarcastic about keeping the vermin as pets. I have killed many mice, but my cats have killed more. They are foul creatures who should be killed at every opportunity--unless they can serve in a laboratory.

author
bcavaciuti (author)grannyjones2015-01-17

I usually put (sarcasm) on the end just so people can tell when I'm being sarcastic on the inter webs.

I wouldn't go that far O.o they are still part of the natural ecosystem and its more our fault (by providing motivation for them to breed and live near us by keeping food and waste insecure and available) if they get out of hand and spread disease.

In the wild mice fulfil a very important role by creating the link between plants and predators. The diverse range of mice species sustain many different and beautiful predators like Raptors (Buzzards, Tawny owl), stoats, weasels, foxes, without mice these would massively decline in numbers, possibly one problem with mice is the decline in habitat for predators so the mice population isn't kept in check.

They also being herbivores help manage greenery and grasses by dispersing and eating seeds. I'm from England so am only really familiar with their impacts here but I am sure they hold great importance in america as well.

author
bricobart (author)grannyjones2015-01-05

Wilderness is a big word where I live. Most mice I catch are the so called 'house mice' (Mus musculus), which live in urban areas. They won't survive elsewhere. In parks, bushes, forests & fields there are other species, like the Wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus), Common voles, Bank voles etc.

At the time I did a lot of catch & release to determine local diversity. Incredibly interesting. Even with many bites in my fingers.

author
bricobart (author)bricobart2015-01-05

Here's a Field vole (Microtus agrestis) - a very snackyvorous species.

DSC02254.JPG
author
cpolvoorde594 (author)2015-02-01

How big are the holes?

author
abkb1234 (author)2015-01-09

change of plan im using a juice bottle

author
abkb1234 (author)2015-01-09

this is a really cool instructable im going to try it with a shoebox . thx for the inspiration

author
abkb1234 (author)2015-01-09

this is a really cool instructable im going to try it with a shoebox . thx for the inspiration

author
Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2015-01-07

Ha ha!! Lets talk to Disney Studios , they ought to upgrade their Tom & Jerry Show using this new Gadget ;). Great Job done my friend :)

author

In that case, I should make a gunpowder version! ;)

author
bricobart (author)bricobart2015-01-08

The explosive stuff, I mean. Not the green tea. ;)

author

Oh come on, you can make an explosive green tea too ;)

author

ha ha :), that would make an awesome coconut Bomb ;)

author
Ninzerbean (author)2015-01-07

This was a great read - well done!

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bricobart (author)Ninzerbean2015-01-07

Ha! Thanx!

author
Jobar007 (author)2015-01-05

If a mouse is food, they are plentiful. FWIW, chickens *love* to eat mice.

Awesome idea and great execution my friend.

author
bricobart (author)Jobar0072015-01-06

Thanx mate, I'll give that mouse vs chicken release a try! Do you think it will be like a bunch of lions chasing an antilope or more as two dogs fighting for one bone? ;)

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Jobar007 (author)bricobart2015-01-07

Knowing chickens, a bit of both...

author
CarmelitoAndrade (author)2015-01-06

Great idea, you should try an video tape a mouse getting into the trap..That would really be awesome !!

author

Oh yeah! Any experience with a movement-detection-system on a gopro?

author
Ironwave (author)2015-01-04

This is really cool.
It is also the smallest coconut I have ever seen.
Nice work and pro life too.
Neat man, neat.

author
bricobart (author)Ironwave2015-01-05

Thanx mate! When you live at the end of the coconut-chain (in europe) you only get the smallest versions - the big ones are already taken ;)

author
Dr Collazo (author)2015-01-04

I'm confused, along with Warholm. Can't mice squeeze through any space they can fit their scull through? Or is that just rats? The mice don't just go around the string?

author
bricobart (author)Dr Collazo2015-01-05

They bite it, every time again! That's why that tube needs to be small enough - just the diameter of a mouse in fact.

author
sgfx (author)2015-01-04

Plaease DON'T USE peanut butter!!! Believe Me..

If for some reason the mouse get out of the trap, (Mice are smart that way) it will poo a stream of diarrhea all over the place that smells and looks like maple syrup. (no kidding). We used a different humane (live catch) mouse trap that failed and our closet and my record collection was covered in this sticky "maple syrup" then i put two and two together and was disgusted at what we found.

Use mouse bait. it is cheap and can be found at most stores like walmart.

author
bricobart (author)sgfx2015-01-05

Never heard about that! The crazy thing is that the mice doesn't touch the butter at all, they're too busy finding a way out! I know it sounds like a bad joke, but the only price they gain is a one way ticket to my neighbour... ;)

author
Warholm (author)2015-01-04

Why does the mouse not just go by the cord?
How many mice have you caught with this design?

author
bricobart (author)Warholm2015-01-05

I really have no clue why the mouse doesn't go by the cord - sounds crazy but they just bite it every time. With this coconut I'm at five catches now, but with previous designs - wooden box with two compartments, I catched them by the dozens!

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