A (much) Better Mouse Trap

About: Hi I'm Michael! I love all things Science, Engineering, & 3D Printing. If you've enjoyed my work then I've love to hear from you!

Have you ever had a mouse problem, but wanted to get rid of it in a humane way? Well now you can do it in style!
My goal here was to make a mouse trap that was effective, humaine, GREEN, and less than $0.50, ( the price of the traditional wood mouse trap).
Well this baby does all of the above, and is a cool conversation piece!

SO now that your all hyped up about making a better mouse trap, Ill get right into it.


Assorted rubberbands (3 wide, medium length, 2 small bands, and 1 long thin band)

a two liter soda bottle

a 1/4" dia dowel rod, ( no more than a foot long needed)

3 cd's ( use some old cd's or games you dont like, they will be ruined here)

electrical tape

super glue

a large paper clip


A dremel tool is all you need, with a small sander and a drill bit.

a drill with a 5/16" bit AND a rat-tail file

razor blade or scissors

diagnol cutters, (something to cut dowel rod)

needle nose pliers

Step 1: 1. CD Preparation

Now keep in mind when chosing your CD's, they will be ruined here. (But you know its worth it!)
I used 3 old CD's i burned bad music on to a long time ago.

First you use the electrical tape to cover the hole on one CD. Tape on both sides and make it strong!

Now, because the tape makes the surface uneven, use more tape around the CD face on both sides to make it as level as you can.

Use the superglue (or whatever kind you have) to glue the other two CDs to the first one. Put one CD on each side so that you cannot see the tape.

let the glue dry

Now use your dremel sander or just a rattail file and put groves/slots into the side of the CD. This is to keep the rubberbands from moving around. Put a total of 4 grooves into the CD stack at 90 degree intervals, (4 grooves evenly spaced around the CDs)

Step 2: Bottle and Trigger Preparation

use a marker to mark where you will cut on the bottle. I cut mine at the point where the bottle stops getting wider. i.e. where the derivative of the slope of the bottle is zero ;) try to cut it so that the
halfbottle will sit Level on the table.

Use tape to cover the bottom of the rim where you cut the bottle. This will stop you from hurting your mousey, and cover sharp edges while you work.

Now we need to use the drill and cut two holes in the bottle, they need to be straight across from each other so a dowl rod can slide through snugly. I cut mine 2.5 Inches from the lid of the bottle, using small bits working my way up to a 5/16" bit.

Ok, bottle is done, time for the trigger. Get out your dowel rod and push it through the bottle. cut the dowel rod so that there is around an inch of excess sticking out from either side of the bottle. ( i cut mine too short in the photos)

Now remove the cut rod from the bottle and get your paper clip and needle nose pliers ready.
You have to use the pliers to bend the paperclip around the center of the rod in such a way that it does not spin freely around the rod. I squeezed it on and used glue to help hold it in place.

leave enough extra clip length so that you can bend in into an L shape. Bend it so that the clip sticks as far away from the rod as the side of the bottle will allow. Bend the tip end of the p-clip into a loop to hold the bait (peanut butter is best).

Put the rod back into the bottle (from the inside) and use two little rubberbands on either end to keep this from falling out.

Now measure and cut off 3.5 to 4 more inches from your supply of dowel rod. This will be the trigger. I shaved down on end of this rod to a dull flat tipped point.

Step 3: Final Assembly

GEt out all your rubber bands. Use the three Medium leng, wide bands and strap them together by wrapping them around them selves. Method shown in picture. This makes 1 long rubber band.

Tape the center of this rubber band to the center of the bottom of the CDs.

Now get out your long rubber band and your bottle's cap/lid. I used a metal eye bracket, but you can use tape, you want to attach the rubber band to the lid.

Tape the rubberband to the center of the bottom of the CDs, like the other rubberbands. Now use some more tape to level off the botom of the CDs so they dont rock when you set them down.

Wrap the thick rubberbands from the bottom onto the dowel rod that is through the bottle.

Screw the lid back on with the thin band on it.

Your done. to bait, put some peanut butter on the loop of the paper clip

To set, put the 4" pointy rod between your index and middle fingers, pointing up. Use that hand to hold down the CD's and the other to pull up on the bottle lid. Place the pointy rod under the horizontal rod and on top of the center of the CD hole you covered with tape. It will be kind of tricky at first, but remember, the more precarious the position of this rod, the easier it will be for the mouse to set off the trap.

When you have a mouse, just pick up the entire bottle by the lid and open it up into the woods far away from your house. And run water over the CD surface if the mouse pee'd onto it, they do have the potential to carry diseases and such.

Step 4: Video

just me giving a little explanation and setting it off



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    21 Discussions

    Plo Koon

    7 years ago on Introduction

    The wooden mouse trap IS humane. It insures a quick and almost painless death (as long as the mouse dies instantly).


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This works if you have mice on an elevated surface like a counter, costs you nothing, and is humane. 1) Cover one end of a toilet paper tube with tape. 2) Place bait in tube on the side with the tape. 3) Balance the tube on the edge of a counter. 4) Place tall box or trashcan below tube on ground 5) Catch mice!

    3 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    this I have to try! I accidentally caught some irritating chipmunk this way when a few seeds fell onto a piece of wood over a bucket of water. Thanks


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    yea i saw this as an instructable already. It made me laugh because it is so effective and sinple. I dont really however want to encourage mice to get on top of my countertop.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    haha yeah you definitely don't want to entice mice on to your counters. I myself had mice on my counters and this method worked wonderfully. I didn't realize someone had done an instructable on it I'll have to check it out

    yea i particularly like the Tipping acivated traps. I designed mine specifically for the Klutz rubberband contest. I have yet to put it into my shed to field test it, but i have no doubt it works fine. Only problem with designs like this, its not easy to mass produce, i would cry if someone said, "cool, ill buy 10"

    4 replies

    Naaa! I prefer shooting them with a mini cannon. POP! and its over. (the cannon uses paper to kill the mice.) sorry its just after wasting time transporting mice far away from the house you really dont care if they die. too many to be nice to


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    what about a 1 inch O.D. PVC pipe as the barrel of a marshmallow musket (the pressurized kind) then shooting it away? i know it sounds horrible but after a few infestations you know they're irritating
    It's just at first when you think of the poor rat but after a while your thinking changes to rambo mode

    mini cannon ehh? That would be one heck of a shot! id like to hear more about that. If you like that sort of stuff you should check out my instructable on "the evolution of the spitball cannon"


    9 years ago on Introduction

    i dont get how this is so inexpensive---you get everything -materials and tools from a dumpster????

    2 replies

    9 years ago on Step 4

    could you please give a format that can be used by pces for the vid?