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How To Make Live Mouse Trap With A Two-Liter Bottle

Mice enter the home in the fall and winter to seek shelter from the cold and to avoid natural predators like owls, hawks and foxes. They don't mean any harm, of course, but sharing your home with rodents puts your family at risk of a host of diseases, like salmonella and Leptospirosii. Getting rid of mice as soon as they are discovered—and before they have time to breed—is important. You can accomplish this quickly and easily with a homemade live trap made from a recycled two-liter soda bottle.

Making The Trap

  1. Wash and dry a two-liter soda bottle and remove the label
  2. Cut the neck of the soda bottle about 1-2 inches from the mouth and remove it from the bottle. 
  3. Make another cut on the bottle slightly below the curve to form a funnel.
  4. Place the funnel on the table with the smaller end pointing upward.
  5. Make several 1-inch cuts around the top of the funnel, shaping them into a pointed or spiked end. This should look like a spiked crown.
  6. Bend every other spike inward so they are perpendicular to the outside of the funnel. This deters mice from leaving the trap once they are inside.
  7. Position the funnel inside the bottom section of the bottle, so that the rim of the funnel aligns with the top edge of the bottom section. The funnel will be facing downward into the bottle.
  8. Tape the rims with packing tape or other sturdy tape.

Adding Bait

Mice are not picky eaters and will gladly devour bits of leftover food and crumbs found on the counter. Contrary to popular opinion, they are not particularly partial to cheese, but will eat it. They are more likely to be attracted to peanut butter, seeds or nuts, or even a little kibble from your dog's or cat's dish. 

  1. Select the desired food for bait.
  2. Drop the food through the hole in your trap.

Setting The Trap

Unlike complicated commercial traps that work with springs and trip wires, these traps are ready to go. Simply place them in the desired location and wait for the mouse to visit for his nightly meal. Here are some tips for picking a good spot:

  • Choose an area where mice are known to frequent, such as behind kitchen appliances or in cabinets.
  • Tuck the bottle into corners or between storage boxes if mice frequent your attic or storage room.
  • Place the trap in an area that is dark during the night.

Checking Your Traps

Even though this is a live trap, they must be checked often, as trapped mice cannot live indefinitely in the bottle. They may also panic when they discover they cannot escape through the hole at the mouth of the funnel. Some mice may chew the plastic or figure out how to avoid the spikes to make their escape. Disposing of them as soon after catching them causes the mice less stress and avoids dealing with possible escapees.

Releasing The Mice

The whole idea behind using a live trap is to spare the mouse his life. This means you need to be ready to transport him to a new area where he can set up residence. But beware! Unless you relocate the trapped mouse at least 3 to 5 miles from your home, he may return. The secret appears to be to find a location that he will actually prefer to your warm and cozy home.

Watch for signs of mice in your home by checking countertops, kitchen cabinets and drawers for droppings.Regardless of where they choose to nest and breed, mice will seek out food sources. Avoid leaving food products—or even crumbs—in living areas and bedrooms as these send out an invitation to hungry mice to stop and dine. If you cannot get rid of your mice with a live trap, contact a pest control specialist to find out about mice extermination options.