Duct Tape Mouse Trap

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Introduction: Duct Tape Mouse Trap

This is a simple duct tape trap that I have used to catch mice and to deter larger critters such as squirrels, opossum and raccoons. At the end I show a more elaborate version where I laser cut a large sheet of adhesive tape.

Step 1: Current Methods

All current methods have drawbacks, especially if there are pets and children around:

1. Deter/Repel: Let your neighbor deal with it.

2. Catch/Release: Let people that live near the park deal with it.

3. Snap Traps: Does not kill 100% of the time, so animal is in pain (broken limb, crushed jaw).

4. Poison: Death by internal bleeding or intestinal blockage. Animal can die in an inaccessible area or be consumed by another animal or pet.

5. Water Traps: Death by drowning.

6. Electric Trap: Does not kill 100% of the time; expensive.

7. Glue Traps: Animal remains alive.

8. Pet dog or cat: Not an option for everyone.

NOTE: Regardless of which method, it is important to check traps daily not only for humane reasons, but also because a dead animal can quickly create other problems.

Step 2: Materials

1. Duct Tape

2. Coins, rocks, etc. to weigh down the ends

3. Bait (Here I also included a bottle cap to hold peanut butter)

Step 3: Lay Down the Trap

NOTE: To avoid getting the trap stuck to itself during transport, it is better to build it in the final location.

1. Lay down a strip of tape. For smaller traps, tear the strips lengthwise to create narrower arms.

2. Add a penny to each end.

3. Continue to add strips to create desired pattern. A 4-arm or 6-arm design allows the mouse to enter further before getting stuck.

4. Add bait to the center.

5. Optional: Add a strip of tape to secure the trap to the floor (not shown).

CAUTION: As with any trap, be aware of other animals, pets or kids that could be harmed. For outdoor use I position them along suspected travel routes (along fences and bushes) without bait.

Step 4: Laser Cut Version

As you can imagine, the arms get entangled when lifting the trap, so I created a more elaborate version by laser cutting a pattern onto an adhesive sheet. Leaving the paper backing around the outside allows me to pick up the sheet.

Step 5: Does It Work?

Yes and no.

1. I have caught mice, but similar to glue traps, it does not kill them, so someone has to do the dirty work.

2. Larger critters can escape, but they often leave behind a ball of tape with some fur attached to it. Definitely gets them thinking about coming back...

3. Mice learn quickly, so you must vary the size and shape of the trap if not successful initially. You may even need to try a different brand of tape as the mice begin to recognize the odor.

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    6 Comments

    I agree it is inhumane to torture the mice with these glue traps, but when the mice are already avoiding the poison traps one has to come up with whatever one can... mice brings illness into your home (hopefully you remember your lessons about the black plague?if not then think about Hantavirus!) I simply let my yorkies sniff where mice have left their droppings and these dogs are so compulsive about vermin they will alert when they hear one and then start hunting until they find and kill it. I've watched my sons work in tandem with the dogs to get the mouse into a corner so the dogs can kill it. (WE try to remove the mouse from the dogs before they start eating it as I don't want my dogs getting disease from the mouse.) My dogs bring me any vermin they kill (and I take it from them if it's already dead and my dog get a thick juicy bit of bacon as a reward.) We usually opt for cutting the head off the mouse or rat as quickly as possible so it won't be alive being tortured. See this video about torture of a rat a glue traps:

    WE now use liquid foaming insulator that comes in an aerosol can - mixed well into a bit of steel wool and use it to block the hole they came in thru (they will try to chew their way thru the dried insulation foam, but the steel wool hidden inside cuts up their mouth and that kills them as they bleed. We've also usually dumped a bit of powdered mouse/rat poison in with the steel wool (it acts like a blood thinner and will cause them to bleed out.)

    Just saying that this is a very cruel trap. If you don't check it every day they will die from starvation or they rip themselves out some limbs because of panic. There are many countries where this is kind of traps are forbiden

    I am guessing when you find the mouse, it is still alive. I'm just curious, what do you do to finish it off? My friend suggested the least inhumane way is the freezer :-)

    looks like it may be a good any trap for use in my kitchen.

    Why the arms, or legs, instead of a solid sheet? Looks like making arms would seem to be harder to work with then one square sticky sheet setup. IDK

    1 reply

    Great question. The design was driven by my experience using it outdoors:

    1. Tape gets stiffer and less sticky at night (cooler), so the arms offer more flexibility than a solid sheet.

    2. The open structure does not catch the wind (like a blanket on the beach) when used outdoors.

    That being said, a solid sheet could still be a reasonable option for indoor use.