Making a Humane Bucket Mouse Trap – How It Works!

Mice love to get into homes where it’s warm and there’s a convenient food source. It doesn’t matter how clean or tidy you keep your home, every type of dwelling, from shed to mansion can get their share of these little rodents. Mice have gotten a bad rep in the past, but today they are mostly nuisances, leaving tiny mouse feces in the corners, and frightening people. Usually when mice move in, you want to move them out as quickly as possible, but you want to do it more humanly than the typical snap mousetrap that can kill them.

bucket mouse trap

The solution is to build a humane bucket mouse trap. Chances are you already have most of the supplies at home. With the addition of some delicious food, you’ll have your mice trapped. From here, they’ll be ready to be transported to the nearest park or forest.

How Do I Know Mice Have Moved in?

Usually your first clue will be when you see tiny movements from the corners of your eyes. They’re scared of us, so they’ll try to move when we’re out of the room, or sleeping. If you have pets, your cat may bring you a gift, or you may find dead mice scattered around the room. Another clue is that you’ll see tiny little bits of mice feces along the corners of a room, or under furniture. If you see one mouse, chances are there is a family nearby.

What Kind of Foods Are Mice Attracted to?

The belief that mice love cheese comes from many of the cartoons from the past century. The truth is that mice love to eat almost any human food source that they can get their paws into. House mice do love carbohydrates, and this may be a better choice than cheese that can turn mouldy over time.

The following foods can be placed into a bucket mouse trap that you’ll be learning how to build from the instructions further down.

  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Thinly sliced cooked hot dog wieners
  • Thinly sliced cooked bacon
  • A drop of honey or molasses
  • Jelly beans
  • Pet food
  • Nuts or seeds

Do Mice Like Peanut Butter?

Mice love peanut butter, and one benefit of using it is that they can’t carry it away with them. Since peanut butter is so sticky, they have to eat it from the mouse trap. You may even catch two at a time.

Peanut butter can also be smeared on a mouse trap, which has the additional benefit that the greasiness of the peanut butter may also keep them from escaping from the trap.

1. How to Build the Best Bucket Mousetrap

Once you’ve figured out you have a mouse problem, you’ll want to learn about how to build the best bucket mouse trap. It’s simple, and you can use materials that you already have in your garage or workshop.

Supplies Needed for the Best Bucket Mousetrap

Collect together the following supplies.

  • 5 gallon bucket
  • A drill, battery or corded
  • Coat hanger
  • Wire cutters
  • Tin can or pop can that still has most of the top attached. The pop-top kinds of soda cans may be the most suitable
  • Permanent black marker
  • One long strip of scrap wood that is longer than the height of the bucket
  • Peanut butter

Instructions on How to Build the Best Bucket Mousetrap

Use the following steps to make your bucket mousetrap.

  1. Mark an X on one side of the bucket, about a half an inch from the top edge, and then on the opposite side.
  2. Using your drill and a drill bit to match the thickness of your coat hanger, drill a hole through each of the X’s.
  3. Take your tin can and drill a hole directly through the centre of the top, and also drill a hole in the bottom.
  4. Take the coat hanger and wire cutters and cut the bottom strip of straight metal from the V shape on each side.
  5. Feed the wire through the hole on one side of the bucket, and then through both holes on the can and then through the last hole on the bucket.
  6. You now have a tin can suspended from the wire and hanging from the bucket.
  7. The can should spin freely and move back and forth.
  8. Take your pliers and curl the end of the wire down on one side.
  9. Curl down the wire on the other side of the bucket.
  10. The wire should now be secure and not fall out of the bucket.

More Tips and Things to Remember

To set up your bucket trap, follow the next set of steps.

  • Take your peanut butter and rub it all over the sides of the can.
  • Make the peanut butter even, otherwise the peanut butter will drag one side of the tin can down.
  • Place your mouse trap in a spot where you think there are mice.
  • Use the long stick of wood as a ramp from ground to the top of the bucket.
  • Check your mouse trap on a daily basis.
  • If you’re trying to catch multiple mice, but don’t want to do a trip into the outdoors every day, place some food in the bottom of the bucket for the mice to eat.
  • Release your captured mouse into a forest, field, or park.
  • Repeat until you don’t see mice for several weeks.

2. How to Make a No-Escape Bucket Mousetrap

no-escape bucket mousetrapThere are many variations of this design. Basically, the mouse will fall into the bucket and not be able to escape. Here is the next best bucket mouse trap to build. This bucket trap is based on the idea that some mice may be able to climb or jump out of the usual bucket trap. In this no-escape bucket mousetrap, the wire screen will hold them inside until you can release them.

Supplies Needed for a No-Escape Bucket Mousetrap

Collect together these supplies to make the no-escape bucket mouse trap.

  • A five gallon bucket.
  • 14” x 14” screen or a size to cover the top of the bucket, with enough overlap.
  • Use window screen or fencing screen.
  • Black permanent marker.
  • Tin snips or wire cutters.
  • One long strip of wood.
  • 4” – 6” Long metal tube: source from plumbing shop or hardware store.
  • Peanut butter, quick oats, sunflower seeds.

Instructions on How to Build a No-Escape Bucket Mousetrap

Follow these directions to build the no-escape bucket mousetrap.

  1. Place the screen on the top of the bucket.
  2. Fold down the screen onto the sides of the bucket.
  3. This makes the screen easily removable.
  4. Place the pipe or tubing in the centre of the screen.
  5. Trace around the pipe or tube with your marker, drawing a circle on your screen.
  6. Use your tin snips or wire cutters, trim an X shape from inside the circle.
  7. Aim to go a bit smaller rather too large.
  8. Push your metal tube into it.
  9. The metal tube should be deep enough for mice to climb over and fall into the bucket.
  10. The metal tube should be suspended within the wire screen, as long as you didn’t cut the screen in the hole too large.
  11. If the metal tube refuses to stay, you can wrap some duct tape around the top so that it stays suspended above the hole in the screen.

More Tips and Things to Remember

Set up your bucket trap with the following steps.

  • Place the food in the bottom of the bucket.
  • Place the screen and tube in place.
  • Place the strip of wood as a ramp leading from the ground to the top of the bucket.
  • The mice will run up the ramp, across the wire screen, and through the tube.
  • They’ll have a hard time escaping, as even if they reach the wire screen, they won’t be able to catch onto the metal tube to climb back out.
  • Release outdoors.

Caught a Mouse Now What to Do?

After you have caught a mouse or two, you’ll want to humanely release it. Use these tips so that you’ll eventually have a mouse-free home.

  1. Don’t release the mouse directly outside your home as they can move back in again.
  2. Place your bucket of mice in your vehicle, and head several kilometres to a forest, park, or field.
  3. Empty the mice from the bucket.
  4. Take your bucket back home, and set it up again.
  5. Leave your bucket set up until you haven’t caught any mice for several weeks.
  6. Keep your bucket mouse traps packed safely away in your garage, shed, or basement, in the event that mice try to move into your home again.

Making your own bucket mouse traps is a humane way to clear out mice from your house, apartment, basement, garage, or any type of dwelling. It’s an affordable way that allows you to capture more than one mouse at once. The bucket will also give you a simple way to transport the mice to a suitable outdoor location where they can be released. Soon your home will be clear of mouse, and spotlessly clean!

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