Introduction: Live Catch Trap

Picture of Live Catch Trap

this a live catch trap for a small nuisances such as the mouse, rat and is very simple and effective ....enjoy!

Step 1: Step 1

Picture of Step 1

You'll need:
coffee can
1/4" screen
old scissors or diagonal cutter
slip-joint pliers and/or needle nose pliers
bamboo/wood skewers (from the grocer)
small screws
light wire
light drill

Step 2: Step 2

Picture of Step 2

You're going to be mounting a mousetrap to the open end of a coffee can as shown, so that the hinge is right at the top edge of the can.You can use two or three small screws to do this, as shown. By pressing the trap against the partially driven screws, you can easily mark the trap for drilling pilot holes. You'll need these to avoid splitting the wood when driving the screws.

Step 3: Trigger

Picture of Trigger

Before mounting the trap to the can, you're going to bend the bait/trigger loop out of shape a bit.
Note: Don't bend anything outside the yellow ellipse, if you can help it. Otherwise, you'll have to perform some painstaking tweaking of the trigger when you've finished the trap.

...when the trap is set, a length of the skewer will stand straight up in the hole, with a tight fit.
You'll put the skewer piece in later.

Step 4: Step 4

Picture of Step 4

Once you're content that you haven't screwed up the trap's trigger with all this bending, press a drop of glue into each hole, and mount the trap to the can.
Note: It's also possible to do the following steps before mounting the trap to the can; it's a matter of whatever's most convenient for you.

Step 5: Step 5

Picture of Step 5

Place a piece of screen under the snapper as shown. I'm using a skewer to keep the spring of the trap from bending the screen until it's attached.
Note: On this particular trap I mounted the screen at a 45 degree angle; usually I've mounted it so the warp and woof run parallel and perpendicular to the surface of the trap. Whatever catches your mouse will work fine.Use light wire to attach things. Twist it tightly with a pliers.Secure each corner of the snapper, then lay your twists down flat against the screen so they don't get in the way when you set the trap.

Step 6: Step 6

Picture of Step 6

Don't forget a couple twists of wire at the root of the snapper, to secure the screen there.
When you start trimming the wire around the edge of the can, notice that there's a minor issue right next to the trap. A portion of the screen has to be bent a bit so that it's actually inside the can. This is because it's beneath the hinge and is actually rotating outward when the trap closes. If you don't do this, thing's will bend weirdly when you try to open the screen to set the trap.
As you're securing things with the wire, you'll want to pay attention to where the retaining wire loops over the snapper. You can't let the screen obstruct its action. You can always trim out a piece of the mesh, if you need to.Whack on one end of the skewer piece. Shredding it a bit makes it hold your bait very well.
Note: Our infestation made it obvious what would make the best bait. The buggers had chewed on a Hershey's dark chocolate bar, among other things. I'll give 'em credit for good taste. So I used a lighter and melted a bit of the chocolate bar, applying it to the skewer along with some always-reliable peanut butter.

Step 7: Step 7

Picture of Step 7

Insert the skewer piece in the trigger, and make final adjustments as needed. Smear just the top of the skewer with goodies, and leave the can in a tempting spot. Along a wall is always good. Inside a cupboard, as needed. On a pantry shelf, if your mice are climbers. Wherever you find their poop!

Step 8: Finish It Up

also if you want you can use a 5 gallon bucket and a rat trap for larger game such as cats ,racoons(small ones) and armidillos! feedback is encouraged!=)(but use it humanely because it is a live catch trap for a reason!)


OolongJ (author)2017-03-08

Not your idea tho

DDW_OR (author)2016-03-22

i like the idea of using a rat trap as the trigger. will be using a stove pipe to trap a skunk.

the pipe will prevent the skunk from lifting its tail and spraying. and the solid walls will prevent spraying.

rasqual (author)2013-02-18


I'm flattered, but it would have been a courtesy to at least say "a tip of the hat to Scott," since you used no photos of your own, and cut and pasted my text verbatim.

Attribution, man. It's what netiquette's made of. ;-)

joejoerowley (author)2007-11-24

You guys are so immature. This almost entertaining, but mostly sad...

i agree

robert (author)2007-11-13

for nuisance pests that do damage ...cats, you can give them to the pound or animal control smae with racoons< give them to animal control or rele4ase them into the wild away from your house is humaine

turner22 (author)robert2009-02-12

screw you dude if you give them a nice home wit unlimited food you're doing them a favor, tard. raccoons are some of the friendliest critters out there. go sit on an egg.

some of the frendliest critters out there? BULL-SH*T
i have a whole list of things screwed up with that but i was hoping to sleep before 1:00 am.

mettaurlover (author)turner222009-02-17

unless you piss them off. then theey get nasty.

QSDR (author)2012-07-19

great way to re-distribute the potential energy of the trap, excellent.

foxpaw159 (author)2012-05-10

Considering that I have had two "musicides" in my house recently, I think I will try to make this live-trap. I'd much rather relocate the furry critters to better surroundings than dispose of their sad little corpses each morning. At our old house, the cats did a pretty good job ...

0087adam (author)2009-08-18

lets see a picture of ur catch

Davetech (author)0087adam2009-08-26

I've never seen one try to push the wire open... they just try to gnaw their way through the wire. It doesn't work.

DIY-Guy (author)Davetech2010-11-01

A pest control salesman once told me that if a mouse can get their head through anything their whole body can pass through as well. Sometimes even as small as a hole a pencil or pen could pass through.

This wire mesh might be better if it was smaller, with a tighter weave.

Have you noticed how long it takes for a mouse to try and squeeze out?

eBandit (author)DIY-Guy2012-05-06

I think their bones can flex or something (except skull). Unless that is a myth. But they can fit through the tiniest of places and seem to surely fit through anywhere their head will fit.

mcaliber.50 (author)2011-04-15

you just gave me an idea! i'll use a rat trap, make a bogger box for it, and use it to trap rabbits and other larger animals GENIUS!

anibioman (author)2010-10-31

mice are so cute

canemaker49 (author)2009-01-27

I avoided stepping on a mouse in my home once, that same mouse got into my stove and chewed some wires causing a short circuit and almost burned my home down. I say DEATH TO ALL MICE who enter homes. I would squish that mouse every time if given the chance again.

amr9000 (author)canemaker492010-01-19

 how do you know the mouse didn't know any better? you may have put your house over theirs or their ancestors.. what does that make you to them?

marxdarx (author)amr90002010-02-25

I belive that it makes canemaker49 the mouse overlord.

Landlord if mice could pay rent.

amr9000 (author)marxdarx2010-02-25

 well if it was a fair fight based on breaking and entering, or "enter homes", then I'm sure humans would share the majority of the casualties.

ilikechemicals (author)amr90002010-07-05

cane maker49 should just buy a cat or adopt one from the pound my cat kills all the pest around my house includeing mice, rabbits, squirrels and even an opposum one time

canemaker49 (author)amr90002010-02-25


bluefly1215 (author)2010-03-11

this is very funny. toss that bugger in the can. :) 

mr. clean (author)2010-01-17

i think ill try the 5 gallon bucket thing im going for a fox

DavidNZ (author)2009-12-10

hey I think this is the best instructable i've seen so far =)

mowie (author)2008-06-19

nice work funny story one day I opened my door to find a mouse so I got a mouse trap and set it up I didn't catch any mice for weeks and one day I went to check the trap and there was a dead snake in it the mouse trap had broken thru the snakes stomach and the were about five half digested mice on my flood

Country dude (author)mowie2009-09-05

how big was this snake? 5 MICE!!!

mowie (author)Country dude2009-09-18

It was a king brown snake wikipedia: Pseudechis australis, the common King Brown or Mulga snake, is a highly dangerous species of snake found in Australia. It is one of the largest venomous snakes in the world, the second largest in Australia, and capable of producing large amounts of venom. Despite one of its common names, King Brown, it is part of the Pseudechis (black snake) genus. I did not take the pics below

DBLinuxLover (author)mowie2008-10-03

way TMI dude.

Kendallkip (author)mowie2008-09-07


Country dude (author)2009-09-05

now ladies lets talk about the instructables. sorry robert they just had an argumenton on your instructable good jobthough im going to try this trap

0087adam (author)2009-08-18

how clever and devious is this design, use a coat hanger to reinforce the edges of the screen to insure against escape.

Davetech (author)2009-08-08

I prefer to catch them alive. Not because I'm squeamish... I hunt deer. But I have had regular traps wound mice and then they get away only to die inside a wall, under the fridge, wherever, and stink my house up until I go find the little %$@#&'s rotten corpse which I have to deal with. Same reason poison is a bad idea.

meddler (author)2009-08-05

I have been taught all my life that you kill vermin, I am not attacking your beliefs, but if vermin, mice, rats, etc come in my house, they die. I really don't have to worry to much though, the cats outside, and the ones inside pretty much eliminate any mice in the house.

torrey448 (author)2009-08-02

lol i thought it was soposed to kill them like flatten them but then i looked at it....

torrey448 (author)2009-08-02

dude.. lol its like a mouse waffle! but rly humane traps r beter it doesnt hurt anyone and u dont make like a big mess that YOU have to clean

mettaurlover (author)2009-06-23

wow. that's a lot of delay.

Davetech (author)2009-05-17

Ha! I built one and it works great. Caught two today. I just had to figure out that they didn't like peanut butter. Guess they heard about the salmonella scare. Anyway, once I tossed in a saltine cracker, they are lining up to get inside. Seriously though, I'm going to cut the other end out of the can and put hardware cloth on it too.. that way it doesn't look so confining. My mice didn't think to try pushing the "door" open. They only tried chewing their way out and chewing on steel wire got them nowhere (besides making a lot of noise alerting the Giant that they had been caught). They are now residents of the city park. Heh.

arentnancy (author)2009-04-09

squirrels can be shifted from an area with mothballs - might not be the most "green" method, but it got the family in my attic out - keeps neighborhood cats from scent-marking your house foundation too.

nc527 (author)2009-03-09

would this work with a squirrel?

bengerszewski (author)nc5272009-03-27

my thoughts exactly! my dog has been going crazy over a squirrel, but it keeps coming back!

crazyscott85 (author)2009-02-21

I saw you said a 5 gallon bucket for cats and raccoons ect. I go to Maine with my dad over the summer so, what would you reccomend for bears and mountain lions? Suggestions are appreciated.

Kendallkip (author)2008-09-07

yay! I caught me a racoon and kept it! (illegally XD) But i set it free.

MattandJora (author)Kendallkip2008-12-26

this girl i know found a baby raccoon on the side of the road, and it followed her home and her family kept it! they named it Zorro and they had it trained like a dog. literally it played fetch and followed them everywhere. it lived in the backyard until their neighbors called animal control on poor little Zorro...

Bubbler (author)2008-08-20

Dodgy, Bunnings in South Australia have a roll of this mesh for about ten bucks, fairly long but only about twenty CMs wide. Try the garden/nursery area. This is a good trap and could be used for safe trapping of animals. I prefer the trap to kill rats and mice though. I have complete control that way.

Dodgy (author)2008-07-19

Hi. Nice design, but where can I get the wire mesh? I am in Australia, and have tried my local Bunnings Warehouse (hardware store) and they have it, but in 5M rolls, at 90cm wide, which is about $38!! I only need a small piece of it. Any other ideas? I have 1cm mesh, but the wild mouse can be so tiny, that they can EASILY fit through the holes. Thanks.

picbuck (author)Dodgy2008-07-22

It's called hardware cloth, and it's sold by the foot in every hardware store in the world. Or...that was true when there were hardware stores. But in America we fell for home ripoff's smooth sales talk, and the hardware stores are no more. So now prices are up, and buying a five-cent washer to repair a faucet is only a memory. These days you buy a new faucet. So they got to you too, Australia? These Bunnings guys? And so it goes. Attention third-world countries. Don't let this happen to you! Buy your hardware at a real hardware store, and be glad you can.

Dodgy (author)picbuck2008-07-22

OK thanks! hardware cloth? Sounds like a fabric. as far as not being able to buy a 5c washer & having to buy a 15 washer assortment pack for $5... yeah we sometimes get that craziness here too. SOme hardware stores (the independent ones) will have a loose one, somehow, and let you have it for free! BTW: what we call taps, you call faucets.

krajesj52 (author)2008-05-23

Also, if you hot melt glue the skewer into the trigger hole there is no re-work of the trigger necessary. Faster and easier. Thanks for the inspiration!

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