Introduction: Diy Simple Soda Bottle Mousetrap

Picture of Diy Simple Soda Bottle Mousetrap

I have been staring at soda bottles for years and thought there had to be a way to make a mousetrap out of one. They're strong and lightweight and many others have come up with some pretty cool uses for them from funnels to scoops to bird houses. I wanted it to be friendly and humane. I also wanted it to be something anyone could build. It had to be simple to operate and easy to bait. I was able to achieve all of those goals all in one with my diy humane soda bottle mousetrap. It's amazing how simple it is and how well it works.

Step 1: Watch the Video

Watch how easy it is to make and bait . No slamming doors or tricky latches to set. The mouse stays very calm during his capture and it's very easy to release him.

Step 2: Parts List and Tools

Picture of Parts List and Tools


1) small soda, cola or pop bottle and the cap.

2) a small piece of 2x4 wood.

3) a metal coat hanger.

4) one screw

5) a clothes pin or paper clip

6) 2 pointy things (nails or pins)


1) a drill

2) a drill bit, one size bigger than a coat hanger

3) a drill bit one, size smaller than a coat hanger

4) screw driver

5) pliers

6) hammer

7) cutters

Step 3: Balance the Bottle

Picture of Balance the Bottle

First take the 2 nails or pins and gently lift the bottle and find where the balance point is by placing the pins at the same spot on opposite sides of the bottle. Mark the spot. Now make 2 more marks 1/4" (6mm) ahead of those marks towards the bottle opening (not towards the bottom) By doing this, the bottle will be balanced a bit more towards the rear. This is where you'll drill 2 holes that are one size bigger than the coat hanger rod.

Step 4: Build the Pivot

Picture of Build the Pivot

Take a pair of cutters and cut the bottom portion of the coat hanger off. Then cut that piece in 2, one piece longer than the other. Use the shorter one to put through the holes in the bottle and place it against the wood so as to have 1/2" (13mm) of clearance at the bottom of the bottle. Now hammer it into the 2x4 like a nail. Slide the bottle onto it and use the clothespin to hold it on.

Step 5: Bend the Rod

Picture of Bend the Rod

Take the other piece of coat hanger and bend a hook in it. Then bend it at a 90 degree angle. Take your screw and washer and screw it into the wood. Slide the hook under the washer and snug it down. We'll make an adjustment in a few steps.

Step 6: Drill the Cap

Picture of Drill the Cap

Now take the smaller drill and drill 2 holes in the side of the cap. If you're new at drilling, you may want to use a pair of pliers to hold the cap.Take the cap and wiggle and push and slide it onto the rod. (We want the hole to be smaller so that the cap is a tight fit and the mouse won't be able to move it)

Step 7: Adjusting

Picture of Adjusting

This part is easy. Move the bottle up and down with your finger. Move and adjust the cap so that it doesn't touch the bottle, but comes as close as you can get it, and that it's centred. You can loosen the screw and slide the coat hanger, you can twist the cap, you can slide the cap, it's adjustable in all directions! Remember that the coat hanger metal is pretty soft too. If things aren't quite aligned, just give it a bend to make it right. Once you play with it for a while, you'll get it perfect.

Step 8: Baiting the Bottle

Picture of Baiting the Bottle

Using peanut butter is best. Just a smidgen on the end of your finger is all you need. Put it in the top of the inside of the bottle as far in as you can reach with your finger.

Step 9: Placement

Picture of Placement

The best place to put the trap is along a wall since they don't like to travel across open spaces.

Step 10: Capture and Release

Picture of Capture and Release

Wait until he's at the bottom end of the bottle then slide the bottle off and screw on a cap. Now take him to where you would like to release him, undo the cap and lay the bottle on the ground. When he's comfortable, he'll leave the bottle.

Step 11: If You Missed the Video at the Start, Here It Is Again!

Happy Humane Mouse trapping! You'll find that looking at him up close in the bottle, you can't help but like the furry little guy!


ClaudioK3 (author)2017-09-25

Super, easy to make

ellens77 (author)2017-08-22

This is brilliant. I'm going to make this. If you set the mouse free and he comes back in for more PB, do you think he would learn not to go in the bottle the second (or third) time?

jeanniel1 (author)2017-08-22

How funny to read a mouse trap 'ible be peppered with so many cockroach comments! So, what about rats - larger bottle opening, and bottle?

insydney (author)2016-06-23

here in australia we have a big problem with cockroaches... i'm sure there's a simple solution lurking in here somewhere to catch the dirty little b***ards using a drinks bottle or similar ? obviously gravity won't be the key, maybe friction (or lack of)... ?

insydney (author)insydney2016-06-23

Btw i wasn't thinking of a 'humane' release for cockroaches...

Neither was I. A sawed off shotgun with fine bird shot makes too much noise, and stomping on them takes too long. Abd a blowtorch is a good way to burn down the building! Powdered borax does work...

there must be some sad creature out there that looks on cockies as a feast... make friends with them :p

geeser (author)insydney2017-02-07

Huntsman spiders eat cockroaches apparently

Ferntoe (author)geeser2017-08-21

Anything bigger than a soda can is one hell of a spider I don't want to be tripping over!

DanB306 (author)geeser2017-08-21

What eats Huntsman spiders?

NancyK63 (author)insydney2016-12-29

Chickens love to eat roaches. They chase them down.

Anthony. (author)NancyK632016-12-29

If that be true and you eat chicken, then you know that your eating that cockroach too.

NancyK63 (author)Anthony.2016-12-29

No, actually not. You are eating some few substances absorbed by the chicken from the cockroach. Did you know that the water you drink has touched fish sperm. Does that gross you out.

CurtR (author)insydney2016-12-29

some lizards eat them

Diatomaceous earth does the trick. It scrapes through the ant exoskeleton and turns their innards to mush.

Yes you pour it down their holes. It takes 2 people. One holds the roach still. The other uses a very small funnel, inserts it in the roach's anus & pours in the DE.

jwzumwalt (author)BainbridgeYew2016-12-29

Great tip.

I did a google search and found "food grade" used by farmers for about $30 US dollars for 50lb sack. (They put it in grain sillos)

Diatomaceous earth can be found at some pool supply stores. They use it in some pool filters instead of sand.

metqa (author)mid_life_crisis2016-12-29

Pool Supply DE is very dangerous to use this way. It has been fired so the silica becomes elongated strands instead of the small micro shards of the natural DE powder. These long strands can pierce and damage the lungs more than the natural unfired product and can lead to silicosis of the lungs. It is NEVER safe to use Pool DE to dust a house. It should only be use IN pool filters Under water. Thanks for the suggestion though, but only use Natural Unfired DE, It can be found in BigBox stores or at Feed Stores.

Drake88 (author)BainbridgeYew2016-07-05

Diatomaceous earth is GREAT for insect prevention. If your house isn't a large one(or if you are willing to go to the expense if it is), you can buy a large bag of the stuff and create a "No Pass" line against the edge of your house. The only problem is you have to keep it clear of debris because bugs can crawl over it on the debris.

I have heard of people using diatomaceous earth during the construction of a house, and placing it inside the wall framing. I suppose it could be added in later by making a hole in the wall and then using a funnel or pipe to pour the D.E. into the wall.

I was concerned with cockroaches, but in SC (USA) we have fire ants, and they bite you enough, it can kill a small person or someone sensitive to their toxin. That's good to know about the diatomaceous earth. I'm pretty sure Down Under in Oz, they have some pretty nasty ants as well as other insect life they have to deal with. I'm no fan of freaking ants either. I gotta keep my miniature Dachshunds away from their mounds tor they could get hurt real bad or killed.

Gonna check out the diatomaceous stuff. Amdro does OK too...

insydney (author)BainbridgeYew2016-06-26

delightful lol

GoWolves11 (author)insydney2017-06-19

You should, as cockoaches are good pets as you can see in my profile picture.

chrisnotap (author)insydney2016-06-24


SimonA2 (author)insydney2016-06-23

hahahaha. I looked for this before and what I can recall was setting up a huge jar and placing bait inside for the roaches. to prevent them from crawling back up, put vaseline on the inside of the jar.

tafelice (author)SimonA22016-06-23

I heard talc on the sides keep a lot of bugs from climbing. very slippery.

insydney (author)SimonA22016-06-23

that's not a silly idea... :)

however i love the idea of a device like the one the OP constructed, so simple but 'prof brainstorm'ish'... lol

MarkH555 (author)insydney2017-08-21

Use pet anti flee spray on the locations they're in. The pet anti flee contains fipronil. It will kill the pest for you in a breeze.

Bverysharp (author)insydney2017-08-21

Mix borax and golden syrup, put it on an old take-away lid or something like that, near the wall, or where they run, and Hey, Presto! No more cockroaches. Works for ants too.

bobwojo (author)insydney2016-12-29

We have that problrm here in the USA, but we call them politicians...

PatS42 (author)bobwojo2017-08-20

wonderful analogy

sgbotsford (author)bobwojo2017-08-20

and lawyers

and used care salesmen...

GoWolves11 (author)bobwojo2017-06-19


kimvellore (author)insydney2017-08-20

I had left a open glass bottle with sugary drink inside and next day found the bottle with many drowned roaches. You just have to figure out their favorite drink, maybe beer would work better.

jaatbuddhi (author)insydney2016-06-24

simply make a paste/dough of 2 parts edible flour, any kind will do you can use rice flour, wheat flour, all purpose flour, 1 part 100% boric acid powder and any sweet syrup in adequate quantity to make a play dough kind of dough. Stick bits of this dough undertaken the sink, near pipe joints, in the corners of the kitchen, wherever cockroaches are likely to be found. The roaches take back food to their colonies and when they eat this mix, they die and other roaches in the colony eat the dead cockroaches and they die too. Soon you stop seeing roaches in your kitchen. This works for our regular cockroaches that we have in India, don't know if this works with the German roaches

insydney (author)jaatbuddhi2016-06-24

i imagine the smaller german cockies won't be any different... i'll try this one.
i have tried something similar before for ants, using borax, sugar and various other tempting additives... never had too much success though. ants seem to have differing tastes or are simply crafty

AlfieE2 (author)insydney2016-12-29

I make two types of treats for my six-legged "friends". One is a borax&sugar solution and the other is bacon drippings&borax. Some species of ant like sweet, some like fat. Carpenter ants, for example, switch their choice at different times of the year. The trick is to not put in too much borax to keep the taste pleasant. Otherwise they might sicken on the return trip to the nest and getting them to dose the others there is the prime objective. 5% does it.

Daisytikityke (author)AlfieE22017-01-01

Seems like bacon drippings would make it very attractive to pets. Just a warning. It would be best to put the bait in a jar with a small hole in the lid so that the bugs could get to it but the pets can't.

AlfieE2 (author)Daisytikityke2017-01-02

Actually I put the bait into perforated plastic pill vials that I glue to 10x10cm. pieces of sheet steel. Outside I put a rock on the steel to keep it in place.

The "Childproof" lids on the vials make them quite safe but in any case that 5% borax mix is not very harmful to mammalian life in the teaspoon quantity I place in the vial.

Drake88 (author)insydney2016-07-05

You may be getting the mix a little strong on the acid side. I use jelly and borax in a 10:1 mix. If that doesn't seem to be working, I add a little honey using a restaurant honey condiment packet to my main mix and reset the 'trap', which is just a milk jug or a soda-bottle lid for inside use. For outside use I use the small 1oz lidded tubs they use at restaurants for condiments they can't get in the premade packets. I just use a soldiering iron to melt three or four little holes near the top of the tub, so the ants can get in and out. For roaches, you might want to use a larger container, because the container can get pretty weak if the holes are too big or too many.

netqueen9 (author)jaatbuddhi2016-07-03

Jaatbuddhi (in Sydney) I am going to give your remedy a try. I HATE roaches and Southern California has too many of them. Once they infest a home that's it! I worry though since I have 4 dogs--rescues--and 1 cat--lives outdoors--will your remedy be harmful in any way to my pets? PLEASE answer me.. Thank you.

Daisytikityke (author)netqueen92017-01-01

If you put the bait in a glass or tin that the pets can't chew through with small holes in the top it should protect your pets but allow the bugs to get to the bait.

jaatbuddhi (author)netqueen92016-07-03

the remedy is generally considered safe for children and pets around here. Also to be taken into account is the fact that we, our kids and pets have grown up consuming food, vegetables and cereals that have a much higher concentration of residual pesticides than is legally permissible any where in the world so their immunity levels might be different from those living in developed countries.!!

plasticbaldy (author)insydney2016-12-30

Easy ! Agent Orange & Napalm.

metqa (author)insydney2016-12-29

Insydey, I've seen a bug trap that was just a wide mouth jar with petroleum jelly spread about the tapered inside area. with a rough piece of cloth for them to climb up, and bait inside. the Cockroach can climb up and fall into the jar, but the petroleum jelly prevents them from getting back out. Even a very tall glass would do this as they have difficulty getting a grip on glass on such a vertical surface.

orwellfan7 (author)insydney2016-06-23

Making a trap for cockroaches is very simple if you can obtain some "diatomaceous earth" or some other kind of fine powdery substance. Once an insect gets the powder on its feet it is no longer able to climb smooth surfaces that are on the inside of many kinds of containers such as steel pots, plastic jars, paint spray can tops, etc...

I discovered this method by total accident. I was staying at a friend's place who was having an incredible problem with german cockroaches. Literally hundreds could be seen around his kitchen at night. Well, I bought a bag of diatomaceous earth from a local hardware store and sprinkled some around his kitchen for its killing effect (it kills insects by causing the water-retaining surface of their skins to wear away, causing them to die of dehydration). I noticed with much fascination and puzzlement that a frying pan was accumulating massive numbers of dead roaches. It became apparent that all the roaches that climbed onto and down into the pan were no longer able to climb out after getting the powder on their feet. Other powdery substances work just as well apparently. I noticed that champagne glasses on top of one of his cabinets were accumlating dead roaches too. The dust that had accumulated inside the glasses were having the same effect on their ability to climb out.

Diatomaceous earth can work to clog their breathing. just as powdered borax does. it may impede their crawling too, I never tried that. Borax is cheap...

CurtR (author)John T MacF Mood2016-12-29

Borax works on their insides. It is insoluble in their gut and the crystals slice up their gut, painful but effective.

SallyJ7 (author)CurtR2016-12-29

painful to a cockroach? hahahaha

insydney (author)orwellfan72016-06-24

i have heard of D E but never found any locally, it's highly recommended for fleas as well, always an accompaniment with 'mans best friend'
the method of action of D E is particularly devilish guaranteeing a slow miserable termination :(

About This Instructable




Bio: how to make, how to build, how to do it yourself, create, invent
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