Introduction: Coconut Mouse Trap

About: Failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success.

Did you ever try to catch a mouse with a coconut?

Let me guess. 'NO', probably - set aside why the hell someone would even think about doing such a thing.

Well, actually, I do. And let me tell you, there are even many ways to catch mice with a coconut!

There's the brutal method, for example - which also works for rabbits, goats or even small tigers. It's very simple: try to get as close as possible to your target and launch the coconut as hard as you can. If properly done, you'd be able to make this a winner. If not, I hope you're a better runner than a launcher.

Then there's the patience method. Cut the nut in half, remove the bounty-stuff, put a snack in one half and stay calm & quiet, as long as it takes. The mouse will come, no worries, to steal that tasty snack from you. Sure. All you have to do is smash the second half of the coconut as fast as you've ever done on the first half - hollow side on hollow side, otherwise you'll have mouse-mash - to trap the animal.

There's also the vicious method - which I'll explain more deeply here. In this method there's no throwing technic needed, no agility required and there's no danger to hurt the animal. It's just basic craftmanship and a few crazy shortcuts.

What you need for this project is ridiculously simple: a coconut, a clothespin, an empty plastic tube and a bit of cord. And a pot of peanut butter, of course.

Important detail: this is a life-trap. Goal is to catch the mouse alive, not to hurt or kill it. Its concept is inspired on a very old - and very effective - design (see picture). Mickey will come, guided by the flavor of the snack hidden in the trap. He will enter the trap, and see that the only obstacle between him and the snack is just a ridiculous piece of cord. He will destroy it, of course, activating the mechanism which will close the door behind him.

I love these traps. With the ol' design I catched many dozens of mice - with the coconut the fun has just started. But it works, wonderfully! Every day I take my box filled with mice and go to a farm a few kilometers away to set them free. A life is a life, and if it's not to catch it for food there's no reason to take it.

Step 1: Coconut All the Way

You need that coconut. The bigger the better.

Clean it up and drill two holes in it. One at the top, one at the tip.

Remove the meat and done you are.

Step 2: Forget About That Clothespin

Initially I wanted to hack a clothespin, but I realised very fast that this was just a stupid idea.

So I went into pingpong balls. Less cool, much more effective.

Attach a small, but strong, spring to the ball - screw it just in the ball - and attach the other end to the coconut. The keyword here is precision. The ball has to be pushed firmly & tightly to the hole. No error tolerated, otherwise Mickey will escape and your trap will be his best joke.

No ball? You can make a small door with a tiny hinge - Hobbit-style - if you want.

Step 3: Talking About That Tube

Medicine tubes are the dreamed objects to use in this project. I got lots of headache, so finally I found a way to recycle all those empty tubes.

Exit the stuff that will keep the pills dry and cut 1/3 of the lenght. Use some tape to screw it tightly in the tip of the nut.

The only thing that needs to be done is drilling a hole all the way through the coconut AND the tube. Work precisely, and take care not to drill your hands - talking about experience...

Step 4: Lets Find Mickey

Time to arm the trap!

  • insert a piece of cord all the way through the trap, attach it to the ball and pull the ball backwards.
  • attach the other end to the tube
  • fill the small canister at the top of the cover with peanut butter - the best a mouse can get
  • close the cover and put the trap at a strategic place - mice tend to follow the borders

Mickey will come, enter the trap, bite the cord and get himself trapped. Awesome, and effective!

Can't wait to free the next one.