This is a simple duct tape trap that I have used to catch mice and to deter larger critters such as squirrels, opossum and raccoons. At the end I show a more elaborate version where I laser cut a large sheet of adhesive tape.
Step 1: Current Methods
All current methods have drawbacks, especially if there are pets and children around:
1. Deter/Repel: Let your neighbor deal with it.
2. Catch/Release: Let people that live near the park deal with it.
3. Snap Traps: Does not kill 100% of the time, so animal is in pain (broken limb, crushed jaw).
4. Poison: Death by internal bleeding or intestinal blockage. Animal can die in an inaccessible area or be consumed by another animal or pet.
5. Water Traps: Death by drowning.
6. Electric Trap: Does not kill 100% of the time; expensive.
7. Glue Traps: Animal remains alive.
8. Pet dog or cat: Not an option for everyone.
NOTE: Regardless of which method, it is important to check traps daily not only for humane reasons, but also because a dead animal can quickly create other problems.
Step 2: Materials
1. Duct Tape
2. Coins, rocks, etc. to weigh down the ends
3. Bait (Here I also included a bottle cap to hold peanut butter)
Step 3: Lay Down the Trap
NOTE: To avoid getting the trap stuck to itself during transport, it is better to build it in the final location.
1. Lay down a strip of tape. For smaller traps, tear the strips lengthwise to create narrower arms.
2. Add a penny to each end.
3. Continue to add strips to create desired pattern. A 4-arm or 6-arm design allows the mouse to enter further before getting stuck.
4. Add bait to the center.
5. Optional: Add a strip of tape to secure the trap to the floor (not shown).
CAUTION: As with any trap, be aware of other animals, pets or kids that could be harmed. For outdoor use I position them along suspected travel routes (along fences and bushes) without bait.
Step 4: Laser Cut Version
As you can imagine, the arms get entangled when lifting the trap, so I created a more elaborate version by laser cutting a pattern onto an adhesive sheet. Leaving the paper backing around the outside allows me to pick up the sheet.
Step 5: Does It Work?
Yes and no.
1. I have caught mice, but similar to glue traps, it does not kill them, so someone has to do the dirty work.
2. Larger critters can escape, but they often leave behind a ball of tape with some fur attached to it. Definitely gets them thinking about coming back...
3. Mice learn quickly, so you must vary the size and shape of the trap if not successful initially. You may even need to try a different brand of tape as the mice begin to recognize the odor.