Introduction: No-See, No-Touch Rodent Death Chamber

Picture of No-See, No-Touch Rodent Death Chamber

If you're like me, you experienced a childhood trauma that left you with an unreasonable fear of dead animals. Then you wisely bought a hundred-year-old house, which sometimes is visited by mice. How will you get rid of the unwelcome guests without coming face-to-face with their disgusting little corpses (which give you the jibblies)? You'd build a no-see, no-touch rodent death chamber.

(You consider using poison, but you realize it would be a mistake. They usually crawl into the walls to die, but not always. Sometimes they die in shoes or coolers or under your sofa (see "childhood trauma" above). And the whole idea is to get rid of them without having to see them. Ever.)

Step 1: Gather Stuff

Picture of Gather Stuff

Paper grocery bag
Spring-loaded mousetrap (the killing kind)
Strip of paper (not pictured)

Sharp knife
Glue gun

Step 2: Prep the Mousetrap

Picture of Prep the Mousetrap

Glue a 1cm wide strip of paper to the top of the trap, right next to the locking arm. The paper should extend up the entire length of the trap.

Lift the kill bar and feed the strip of paper under it.

Step 3: Prep the Bag

Picture of Prep the Bag

Stand the paper bag on one of its narrow sides. You may need to reverse-fold the creases to make it stand open.

Cut a horizontal slit in the bottom of the bag, near the bottom edge where it is resting on the table. The slit should be slightly wider than the paper flag that is glued to the trap.

Step 4: Mount the Trap in the Bag

Picture of Mount the Trap in the Bag

Hot glue the trap inside of the bag on the narrow side which is now the floor of the death chamber. Position the trap so that the flag is directly under the slit. On the trap that is not set, the kill bar should point toward the opening in the bag.

(This and many subsequent photos were taken through a cut-away portion of the bag for demonstration purposes. You should leave your bag intact to protect your sensitive eyes from having to gaze upon dead rodents.)

Step 5: Set the Trap

Picture of Set the Trap

Bait the trap with whatever you want. Peanut butter works well.

Set the trap in the normal manner, then feed the end of the flag through the slit so that it is looped over the kill bar.

Tear off the flag so that only a few centimeters extend out of the bag. This will ensure that the entire flag is pulled inside when the trap is sprung.

You might want to fold a handy entrance ramp at the opening for your mice guests. You want to make it as easy as possible for them, right?

Step 6: Wait for a Critter to Meet Its Doom!

Picture of Wait for a Critter to Meet Its Doom!

Put the prepared death chamber against the wall in your basement, attic, or wherever you find signs of mousey activity. Check the death chamber daily, but to NOT look into it! Simply glance at the flag on the back. If the flag is still sticking out, leave it alone. If the flag is pulled in, the trap has been sprung.

Step 7: Dispose of the Whole Death Chamber

When the flag is no longer visible, carefully (so you don't accidentally see inside) pick up the bag and fold over the top a few times. Take the whole thing out to the trash.

Repeat as necessary.

Some people will complain that you are wasteful not to simply empty the trap and reuse it. Those people are insane. Traps are dirt cheap, and you can make a new death chamber in five minutes. That's a small price to pay to avoid the jibblies.


studiohq (author)2012-01-03


Awesome instructible !

Very Useful, I would not have thought of that!

Gonna try it!

anibioman (author)2010-10-31

this is great i got all the mice out of my house using no kill traps and releasing them at my high school not in it just on the grounds

beehard44 (author)2010-08-20

does anyone know where to buy rat traps here in Makati, Philippines? i have been using rat poison but want to see the rats suffer a little by getting trapped. It seems that the rats here are used to being chased down by cats and running from human visual.

alaskanbychoice (author)2010-04-10

Great Instructable for the squeemish.

getthim (author)2009-07-16

very useful

blindflacker (author)2008-10-17

Great idea. I had to buy one of those grabber arms just so I can handle the trap and I hate looking at the mouse when their eyes bug out from the spring.

suerose (author)2007-11-15

this was sent to me by a friend who knew i needed it.

musicalbee2003 (author)2007-08-30

Fear of dead animals + infestation = need for havahart trap, or visit this sight,

truovrld (author)2007-08-24

I think you've managed to build a 'better mouse trap.' Way to go! I, too, have a traumatic story dealing with dead mice.

nedfunnell (author)2007-08-20

Clever... but seriously, this is ridiculous. Get over your fear and just empty the trap. When did it become acceptable to be a pansy? My intent is not to insult you, but it's not okay to carry irrational fear to this extent. Suck it up, get over it, and empty the mousetrap. It's not that hard.

danakayama (author)2007-06-22

Examining the corpse of a trapped mouse gives you valuable information, such as general health, parasite load, sex ratios, and breeding status. If I had not known that the dead mouse on the counter was a lactating mother, I would not have known to go and find the orphaned mouse babies. They are little, but still stink when they decompose. Besides, in a culture that glorifies 'guilt-free' killing, experiencing the frisson of guilt invoked by the deliberate death of a mouse is real and good.

Jawatech (author)2007-05-12

lol @ "WELCOME"

Wonderground (author)2007-03-19

Very clever, however why not kill them at all, there are many means to capture them. Problem:Fear of dead animals. Illogical solution:Convert living animals into dead ones, however shield from sight. Logical solution:Capture animal and release away from infested area.

infested area: your evil neighbors yard where they will kill them Besides some people dont even want to see mice.

armindilo (author)2007-03-19

It is a neat idea. However, I would be one of those people that says this is a very wasteful method. Something about filling landfills with bits of wood and metal just so you don't have to clear the trap doesn't appeal too me. Maybe I just love the environment too much.

mdmoose29 (author)armindilo2007-03-19

that darned thick metal wire and wood that doesn't decompose.. whispers (u forgot about the paper bags and spots of hot glue) atleast a dump is designated for trash.. in my neighborhood the workers tend to push all the trash into a pile and bury it in the yards.. it makes for nice sink holes in the years to come.

armindilo (author)mdmoose292007-03-21

Wood in a landfill doesn't compose. Also it has nothing to do with how big or small the garbage is, its the fact that it's unnecessary garbage. The idea of a landfill is really dumb anyway, it can be used more efficiently, but I guess some people love polluted drinking water, no big deal.....

Vendigroth (author)armindilo2007-04-14

the pthalates give it extra flavour....

jtobako (author)2007-03-19

the only problem i can see with this is 'false positives' increasing the cost.

randycox (author)jtobako2007-03-19

The traps cost less than a buck a piece, and for me it's totally worth it. I suppose if you have a sensitive scale, you could record the "before" weight of the bag, then weigh it again after the trap is sprung to determine if there's a little "something extra" in there. :)

Andrew546 (author)randycox2007-03-19

Unless your trapping anorexic mice, I think you'll be able to tell if its a false positive or not just by holding it. just make sure you get a fell for how much the trap + bag weighs empty, so you can compare it to "full."

henryj (author)Andrew5462007-04-12

How about mixing a "live trap" and automatic potato gun? That way it will shoot the little rodent into the neighbors yard. If he is lucky and has lived a good rodent life, maybe he will survive to try it again someday. Just an idea to keep the wheels turning.

Erik Lindemann (author)2007-03-26

Now a better idea, while still using your flag technique, would be to have the trap pull a drawstring that shut the bag when it is triggered. That way you can be extra sure you wouldn't look inside.

randycox (author)Erik Lindemann2007-03-26

Excellent idea, Erik. I wouldn't want to use too much of the trap's energy to accomplish tasks other than killing the mouse, though. It would either have to be a very simple and "light" mechanism to close the bag, or the springing of the trap could trigger a second spring-loaded mechanism to close the bag. Really, if it's got an automatic bag closer, it really doesn't need a flag, right? I will think about this more.

Erik Lindemann (author)randycox2007-03-26

As will I.

Stev0lution (author)2007-03-21

Anyone who eats meat should be able to look at a dead animal. Do you eat meat? Pretty wasteful as well. The flag idea is a good one, but still for a pretty vegan-tastic device. Keep on makin.

Robyntheslug (author)2007-03-20

How about a catch and release trap? you can make them with stuff you find around the house (maybe I'll do an instructable and use my pet rats as an example!)

crapflinger (author)2007-03-19

so it would be safe to say thatthisinstructable is not in your favorites list? (or anything else canida posts for sure)...hehe i'd love to hear the background of your dead things aversion

jtobako (author)crapflinger2007-03-19

that's a nasty trick, at least warn them that it's the taxidermy one.

crapflinger (author)jtobako2007-03-20

wasn't meant as a trick...sorry...DON'T CLICK MY LINK IF YOU HAVE A DEAD-THING-AVERSION...sorry

Calltaker (author)2007-03-20

Neat idea. I count myself fortunate to not need to use wood and metal traps any more. Between a Chihuahua and a Golden retriever, I never have to worry about mice, the Chihuahua renders it living impaired and the retriever takes it outside and dumps it, after that the neighborhood stray cats remove it from my property. Mother Nature is a wonderful thing :) Overall, though, well done instructable!! ~C

jackfr0st (author)2007-03-19

ha ha lol. nice strongbad / homestar runner refrence :D

austin (author)2007-03-19

Wait so how do you trap anorexic mice? Ive got a major problem with them running around my house eating nothing

John Smith (author)2007-03-19

Nice. Now, I want to see a giant version for raccoons.

randycox (author)John Smith2007-03-19

For raccoons (and groundhogs and possums), I have to catch them live and release them. But they haven't invaded my house; that's a capital offense.

frank26080115 (author)2007-03-19

That's the most creative idea I've seen this week!

jeffreyf (author)2007-03-19

The flag idea is really clever!

Weissensteinburg (author)2007-03-19

This is a great idea...i'd definitely use this, if I had mice.

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