Introduction: Improved No-Kill Plastic Bottle Mouse Trap

A field mouse made its way into our basement last month and soon enough it started doing all the annoying mouse things that mice do. Chewing through pasta packages and pooping all over were bad enough, but when the scritching and scratching and maniacal laughter started up in the middle of the night, enough was enough. Stupid possessed mouse.

I was inspired by this Instructable (Diy Simple Soda Bottle Mousetrap by chrisnotap) but unfortunately I couldn't get it to catch this critter. The time had come for some over-engineering!

Step 1: Original Version

It's a great design but when I built this version there was nothing to prevent the mouse from leveraging the bottle neck (and itself) clear of the cap. This mouse was smart. Too smart. The mouse dined a whole week on delicious peanut butter so something had to be done. I'm not made of peanut butter for crying out loud.

Maybe a longer necked bottle? Maybe a narrower gap or a wider diameter cap? Maybe, but I had another idea.

Step 2: Second Version Now With 100% More Magnets!

Much like juggalos Canadian mice don't know how magnets work either so I modified the trap to latch shut when the bottle's mouth swings down across the cap. Unfortunately I kept finding the trap sprung, the bait intact, and no demon mouse in sight. But oh the laughter... still piercing my eardrums, laughing... squeaking laughter.... GAH!

As is often the case with incremental engineering I ran into an operational issue. The magnets had an annoying habit of snapping closed as soon as the little bugger put its paws on the top of the trap. The trap was balanced well enough that any kind of momentum would swing the neck downwards and close the entrance. So a second super-duper technical enhancement was introduced. A roll of packing tape was balanced across the top of the trap to prevent the bottle from tilting down immediately. After the mouse enters the bottle starts to tilt downwards and travels a very short distance to rest up against the very slight weight of the roll of tape. After the mouse starts to eat the creamy delight it jostles the roll of tape off the top of the trap and CLICK! the trap swings shut. Demon mouse caught!

I won't go into too many fabrication details (or any for that matter) because Chris did a very thorough job. My version adds the magnets as shown in the pictures above. I also upgraded the bottle to a thicker PET version used for sports drinks. It is larger, made of thicker plastic, and has a wider mouth.


  • Everything Chris describes in this Instructable (Diy Simple Soda Bottle Mousetrap)
  • 2 appropriately sized magnets
  • Creative way to fasten the magnets to the bottle's lip and the trap's base plate (I used packing tape)
  • A counter-balance that would delay the trigger long enough to allow the mouse to enter the trap and take the bait (I used a roll of packing tape)

Step 3: A Video Is Worth 1001 Words

Happy mouse hunting!