10 Homemade Mouse and Rat Traps

by Vern Evans

This is an updated post on Homemade Mouse and Rat Traps. Our first post was published several years ago and we will continue to update as we learn about new homemade rat traps and ways to keep mice out of our food storage.

A mouse or a rat in your food stores can really ruin your day. These rodents carry disease, can gnaw through almost anything, and can fit through extremely small openings. The cool, dark, dry storage areas that we keep our food in happen to be the holy grail for a mouse or rat. If unnoticed, a rat or mouse could wreak havoc on your food storage in a short time.

Catching them is pretty easy using mouse and rat traps. The spring-loaded ones work great, and they have all sorts of “humane” traps and glue traps available at most hardware stores. But we all know that life doesn’t always work out where you have everything you need. If you find yourself with a rat problem and need to get rid of them fast, try one of the ten traps below.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

1. Paper Rat Trap

This is one of the most common homemade rat traps. You can also use paper towel tubes instead of paper. To pull this one off, you need some paper, a raised surface, a trash can, and some tape.

2. Cup Rat Trap

If you happen to have one of these cups around, this makes for a pretty effective trap. It makes for a great trap because it is a mobile carrier as well. You can catch and release if you really want to with the rat trapped in the cup. Even if you don’t, having the rodent in a container makes it much easier to deal with once it is caught.

3. Bowl Rat Trap

Similar to a deadfall trap, the bowl trap is pretty common and easy to set up. It is easy for bait to be stolen if the bowl is not big enough, so be sure to pick one that is big enough to trap your target rodent.

4. Cable Tie Rat Trap

This one required a little ingenuity to come up with, and it requires a lot more materials. It appears to work pretty effectively in the video. It is not too humane, but it is also not messy. It is a neat concept if you happen to have the tools to pull it off.

5. Spinner Mouse Trap

This clever spinner trap is easy to make using a bottle, a bucket, some wire, and peanut butter. Mice are like little fiends when it comes to peanut butter, and they can’t resist getting themselves into a bad situation. 

6. Walk-the-Plank Mouse Trap

This one is similar to the first trap, but it is a better build because it reloads itself. If you have some wood and screws it is not that complicated to build and it can continuously put in some work with a 5-gallon bucket.

7. Cannon Mouse Trap

Okay, this guy gets really into catching mice. Technically this canon is homemade, but it would be a project to create it on your own. This more or less made this list because of the entertainment value:

8. Bucket Lid Mouse Trap

This trap highlights how mouse traps don’t have to be complicated. Mice and rats may be able to navigate a maze now and then, but they also go head-first through a flap with no way out:

9. Balloon Mouse Trap

You might have mixed success with this one, depending on what type of balloon and how inflated it is. Mice and rat claws are pretty pointy, and can pop the balloon as soon as they set their little paw on it, sending them running from the trap.

10. Flip & Slide Mouse Trap

You can emulate the method with a bucket and some things around the house, but if you want to skip the hassle you can pick up a Flip & Slide mouse/rat trap for pretty cheap on Amazon. The mouse goes past the fulcrum and slides in, like the walk-the-plank trap, except the entire lid is sealed in case there are multiple mice or rats inside.

The Final Word

A simple homemade rat trap could keep your supplies safe and disease-free. They are easy to make and there are several methods to pick from. While a store-bought trap, such as the classic spring-loaded rat trap works just fine, it doesn’t hurt to know how to get things done with the stuff you already have around your house.

Here are some other reads our subscribers have found helpful:

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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