I’ve loved every second since we moved to “the country” last year.  Caring for our livestock (What? Chickens are livestock), starting the garden, walking our woods, harvesting apples, mowing with the boy, feeding hand-split wood into our stove on a snowy day… it’s all been grand.

Of course, that’s me talking.  If you ask the Wife, she’d likely point to a few gripes.  Today’s post highlights one of those, just so you don’t think everything is Norman frickin’ Rockwell all the time over here.



We’ve had mice.  Not an enormous infestation by any stretch, but in the last year we’ve caught several and have “detected” a couple others that have obviously gone to that great big cheese wheel in the sky.

After asking the neighbors what’s up, they chuckle, shrug, and say it’s part of the life and we better get used to a little scratching in the walls each year when the temperature drops. Of course that doesn’t make Joanna feel any better.

So out of love for my woman, and no desire to co-exist with Minnie long term, I cashed out bookoo bucks for an exterminator service to take a walk around and put us on a pest control program.  I then fixed some small issues like door weather stripping and set out a few commercial traps.  For months we thought our furry little friends had moved on to greener pastures.

Then a few nights ago, we heard it again.


Jo was not pleased.  I was not pleased.

This. Meant. War. 

I decided $#!t needed to get real. Only the heaviest duty, homemade, redneck looking mouse trap would do.  (Yes, I admit it, with darkness falling at 4:30 PM and the ground covered with snow, I’m sometimes looking for projects.)  Take this, Mousey!


Our primary problem area is an outside water closet that houses the furnace, water softener, hot water heater, etc.  I’m betting it’s too easy for them to come in where the well pipes enter from underground and I’m not sure how to seal it off, so I wanted something that could catch multiple critters at once if needed. The beauty of this setup is it can keep on keeping on without needing to be reset after one little guy loses his battle with Mr. Snappy while his buds scurry away.

Plus it was free since we had all the materials needed, thanks in part to a perma-stocked mini fridge. Want a Midwestern Mouse Terminator of your own?  Read on.





  • Five Gallon Bucket
  • Wire Clothes Hanger
  • Empty Aluminum Can
  • Scrap Wood or Similar for Ramps

The Haps: (can a guy say that?)


Snip off the long, straight section of a wire clothes hanger.




Drill two holes on the opposite sides of a five gallon bucket.



Procure an empty aluminum 12 ounce beverage container.


DIY Selfie is optional.  (As an aside, this was my first ever selfie and I’m now thinking about uploading at least 24 a day since I know the internet needs more of that kind of thing.)

Drill two holes on opposite ends of the empty can.


(As another aside, please note order is important to these instructions. Alcohol consumption leads to the drilling, as you’d expect.)

Thread the wire hanger through a bucket hole.

Thread the wire hanger through the can.

Thread the wire hanger through the second bucket hole.



Bend the ends of the wire hanger to keep it in place.


Ta da.


Spread a thin layer of peanut butter all over the can, making sure one side isn’t heavier than the rest.

Lay a couple ramps leading to the bait.

Wait for hungry vermin to climb the ramp, walk onto the wire hanger, try to set a dainty foot on the freely spinning can for a PB feast, and spin off, falling into the bottom of the bucket.

Adding three or four inches of water to the bottom of the bucket is optional depending on whether you’re a cold blooded killer of mice or a rodent relocation specialist…. Or maybe depending if you’re Ann looking for some new Dangerous Food ideas.

Here… Mousey mousey mousey…



Question of the Day: What do you like least about where you live?



  1. I did something very similar, but the mouse easy jumped out of the 5 gallon bucket over and over. They’re incredible athletes.

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  3. I hope for your guys’ sake they aren’t rats…those guys can swim. My parents’ home had field mice that would invade the walls and attic during cold months…I don’t miss that at all. I very much appreciate living in the city now…but now I have mice in my composter. I think they’re following me. Ugh.

  4. So, has it worked? It’s a clever idea! For us…I like least that I have to worry about so many rules/etc., but at the same time, I think our particular street isn’t picky, so we could get away with more.

    • I have no idea. I haven’t been brave enough to check for smelly dead mice yet.

    • Sadly (or not?)… no results yet. On the one paw, I want to see this beast in action. On the other paw, we don’t have a huge problem and only detect a little something every six months. So I probably would be pretty freaked out if I saw we caught a whole rodent civilization the first couple days. That would mean we have a serious problem.

  5. UPDATE: We had our first victim. I awoke Christmas Eve morning and found the rascal. Maybe there’s something to that “Not a creature was stirring…” line.

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