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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

<p>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)... ?</p>
<p>Btw i wasn't thinking of a 'humane' release for cockroaches... </p>
<p>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...</p>
<p>there must be some sad creature out there that looks on cockies as a feast... make friends with them :p</p>
<p>Huntsman spiders eat cockroaches apparently</p>
<p>Chickens love to eat roaches. They chase them down.</p>
<p>If that be true and you eat chicken, then you know that your eating that cockroach too.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>some lizards eat them</p>
<p>Diatomaceous earth does the trick. It scrapes through the ant exoskeleton and turns their innards to mush. </p>
<p>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 &amp; pours in the DE.</p>
<p>Great tip. </p><p>I did a google search and found &quot;food grade&quot; used by farmers for about $30 US dollars for 50lb sack. (They put it in grain sillos)</p>
<p>Diatomaceous earth can be found at some pool supply stores. They use it in some pool filters instead of sand.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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 &quot;No Pass&quot; 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. </p><p>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.</p>
<p>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. <br><br>Gonna check out the diatomaceous stuff. Amdro does OK too...</p>
<p>delightful lol</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>I heard talc on the sides keep a lot of bugs from climbing. very slippery.</p>
<p>that's not a silly idea... :) </p><p>however i love the idea of a device like the one the OP constructed, so simple but 'prof brainstorm'ish'... lol</p>
<p>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</p>
i imagine the smaller german cockies won't be any different... i'll try this one. <br>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
<p>I make two types of treats for my six-legged &quot;friends&quot;. One is a borax&amp;sugar solution and the other is bacon drippings&amp;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.</p>
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.
<p>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.</p><p>The &quot;Childproof&quot; 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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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. sandracharlotte9@yahoo.com</p>
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.
<p>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.!!</p>
<p>Easy ! Agent Orange &amp; Napalm.</p>
<p>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. </p>
We have that problrm here in the USA, but we call them politicians...
<p> Making a trap for cockroaches is very simple if you can obtain some &quot;diatomaceous earth&quot; 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... </p><p> 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.</p>
<p>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...</p>
<p>Borax works on their insides. It is insoluble in their gut and the crystals slice up their gut, painful but effective.</p>
<p>painful to a cockroach? hahahaha</p>
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'<br>the method of action of D E is particularly devilish guaranteeing a slow miserable termination :(
<p>I have no problem with slow miserable termination (with extreme prejudice) of cockroaches. I hate them as much as squirrels maybe more.</p>
<p>Borric Acid..... Borax </p><p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boric_acid" rel="nofollow">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boric_acid</a></p><p>It will not kill on contact, but it will wipe out the roaches over time. </p><p>We had them in an apartment 30 years ago, the place was filled with them government housing apartment complex, we tried everything, after I put this down they would not come back. Right now we live by a wooded park some times they come into the house in the spring when they are really active, those that enter do not exit, when I laid about 3k square foot of hardwood floors I put boric acid under the edges behind the baseboards. It kills ever bug that gets into it. Roche s tend to look from tight places like that. You'll want to vacume up the dead bug parts you can see some people with asthma can get sick from breathing the airborne dust from the decomposing body parts.</p><p>Roche's are bad news and anyone can get them no matter how clean you are, and my house is clean.</p><p>I do not spread incidences outside my home, because it kills the good bugs too.</p><p>We still get ants and Terro takes care of them about the same way. Its borax in a sugar liquid form carpenter ants love to get into they eat it and return to the colony with it and it kills all of them.</p><p> if you wanted to kill the mouse beside trapping it you could add borax or boric acid powder, it would stir it up and breath it in. I'd rather end the mouses life because they will just come right back in the house if you don't. And they mate like mad.</p><p><a href="http://www.history.com/topics/black-death" rel="nofollow">http://www.history.com/topics/black-death</a></p><p>A good reason not to let Mice go.</p>
<p>The Charleston SC (USA) not so little cockroaches can fly, and fly right at you they will!</p>
<p>please can send me instruction apart from videos</p>
I don't have instructions except for the video which pretty well explains how to make it. Since there is different shapes of pop bottles around the world, it makes it impossible to make instructions.
<p>Clever, clever. Well done. A better mouse trap.</p>
<p>Wonderful idea and explanation! Thank you, buddy :-)</p>
<p>That is such a good way of catching mice because they don't get killed, and does this work for rats because they're much bigger!</p>
<p>What a wonderful video - I loved the instructions written on the cardboard. So well done.</p>
<p>Any ideas about crickets? Here in LA we have rats, mice, roaches, squirrels and lizards. The rodents prefer to live outdoors. On the two occasions when a rat got into the house I got rid of it by leaving a door open for a while. The red squirrels here are fun to watch and never come in, the roaches are easy to catch but rarely come in. The lizards are friendly and only come in by mistake but the crickets are a real problem. </p>
<p>Ingenious little trap though I don't see the point in sparing the pest to continue breeding unless you're planning on driving 100 miles and setting it free at your mother-in-law's house... </p>
<p>(or her). Very, very clever design -- elegant simplicity. Gongrats!</p><p>--Terry</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: how to make, how to build, how to do it yourself, create, invent
More by chrisnotap:How to clean Apple Ear Pods. Multi Cat Self Filling Water Dispenser Diy Simple Soda Bottle Mousetrap 
Add instructable to: