How to catch mice with just a glue trap and a cardboard box. Truly the best mouse trap I have seen.

This post will show you how to make the best mouse trap with just a cardboard box and a glue trap.

In 2004-2005 I lived in inner city North Philadelphia doing community service for the surrounding area. While living there, I experienced a mouse infestation like none I have ever encountered before. Making matters worse was that each house (much like the houses in San Francisco) were row homes, homes sharing walls between them interconnected like. So if one house had mice, it was likely the other homes connected on that block would eventually have mouse problems as well since their walls were all shared. The first month we lived in the house, we just purchased glue traps from the corner store and set them out near walls and corners in the kitchen. It wasnt long till we found that the only mice we caught were the really young inexperienced ones. On several occasions we witnessed older mice jumping over the entire glue trap or running around it when scampering away from my screaming female roomates!

One can only handle seeing mice all over the counters, furniture, and food for so long. After three months of sitting around and indirectly providing only smart mice for natural selection to the mouse population did I decide there had to be a better way. After all was said and done, we bumped up the catch rate from 6 mice in the first three months, to 58 in the remaining 6 months. The trap was so inexpensive and effective, I was going to patent it until I realized that to do so was around $7,000. Anyways, if you want to catch mice 1000x quicker and more effectively than just using regular glue traps you need to make just one simple change. Make an enclosure out of a used cardboard box and immediately make a better mouse trap!

Best mouse trap

From the picture above, you can see its nothing more than a cardboard box with the bottom of the box cut off making it have a total of 5 sides instead of six. There are then two holes made (on opposing sides), that are opposite each other. The key to this box is the cardboard flap which allow the bait to be suspended above the glue trap.

This is what the enclosure looks like

The dotted line is where you place the glue trap. The premise is that the mouse will enter the enclosure after smelling the peanut butter which is applied on the flap suspended above the glue trap. The mouse will attempt to jump or stretch to reach the bait, and inadvertently step or fall onto the glue trap. My finding is that this works extremely well, however, during the first week, there was little success. It wasn’t until the second week sometime and after reapplying peanut butter two times did the trap really start catching mice. I found that the oils from the peanut butter soaked into the top of the box drying out the peanut butter. It wasnt until the third application where the box then smelt entirely of peanut butter (increasing the draw for the mouse to enter), and where I no longer needed to reapply the peanut butter because of it drying out. In fact, I only occasionally needed to reapply the bait as the box now smelling of peanut butter was really attractive to the mice.

In this particular photo, we caught all these mice in one day.

I also believe the size of the box makes a difference in relation to the glue trap. There might need to be empty space around the trap inside the enclosure, and just enough space above the glue trap for the flap to hang down where the mouse still has to stretch and reach for the bait. I believe the original box I had used was a size of 7.5″ x 5″ x 3.75.” The glue traps were about 4″ x 3.5.”

I also experimented with other types of traps to see if I could figure out why this trap was better than others…

I tried to replicate the concept of the enclosure without the enclosure.

In the photo above, I tried to see if the bait suspended above the trap would still work without the enclosure. After a few weeks, we were only able to capture one young mouse and I chalked it up to a failure. The lesson I learned was there was something involved in the enclosure which provided a sense of security or helped relax the mouse enough for it to enter (possibly because it was dark inside the box further concealing the trap, and they could see an exit on the other side of the entrance which gave them assurance of an escape route), and I believe coupled with the super saturated smell of the peanut butter (from the oils soaking into the box), it provided enough oomph for the mouse to be baited.

I mentioned previously that I wanted to patent this mouse trap, but who would buy a trap that was just a cut-up box? Well, I had to get a little bit more creative and came up with the idea of an enclosure with an integrated glue trap which could be folded up for sale, and “popped” back into form when ready for deployment. The top portion of the box would open and allow for the bait to be applied onto the flap. The trap would be made entirely of some recycled cardboard, and allow for easy disposal should a mouse be caught. One wouldnt have to even see the mouse or touch anything except the enclosure once the mouse was caught.

My idea for a fully enclosed disposable glue trap complete with handle and sticky trap for easy deployment and disposal.

If you have any questions, or even want to know more about this mouse trap, let me know. Being that i submitted a provisional patent which I let expire, I dont believe this idea can be patented any longer. Therefore, why not put it on the internet! Enjoy!

P.S. If you happen to make this trap and have success, please send me pictures and write me a note!


30 thoughts on “How to catch mice with just a glue trap and a cardboard box. Truly the best mouse trap I have seen.

  1. Spencer

    Thanks for that. We haven’t tried that yet but we will. We thought we were just going to have to live with our genius mouse. what should the dimensions of the box and the distance of the flap be from the top and bottom?

  2. john

    what was the brand of the glue trap you used because the one I have the mouse seems to be able to get out of it. I can see its foot prints on the glue trap.

  3. bc

    One question – do you tape in the cardboard flap, or is it part of the box already? Do you have to crease it so there’s a spot for the peanut butter (from the drawing, it looks like there’s a fold)? Thanks for the article!

  4. Blog Master Post author

    Hi! There should already be a flap if its a cardboard box. You won’t need to make a crease, I didn’t do it on my original enclosure. Just make sure to keep the flap reasonably higher up over the glue trap so the mouse needs to stretch and get off balance in order to get to the bait. This ensures the mouse will likely step on the trap with it hind legs.

  5. Denise

    thanks for tip with using box with glue board. we caught him last night. it took one hour to get him.

  6. Ric

    Thanks worked very well even though my box was too big, he ate all the peanut butter heard me and got scared…so I added one more mouse trap and caught him an hour later when he went back

  7. mousehunter

    Hi, I came across this in the midst of furiously searching the internet for the holy grail to catching a mouse. I live in NYC and I swear this mouse goes right around my bait traps and glue traps. Hasn’t even touched the bait. If this trap works I will be a believer. Will let you know my progress.

  8. james in ireland

    We laid out loads of the normal traps but caught nothing, so we got a pack of 24 glue traps OF THE INTERNET [20 pound sterling for 24] and caught 2 in 1 night though in over a week we caught nothing despite there been 20 glue traps in the house and I continue to see mice. I have baited the traps today with peanut butter and nuts so hopefully catch them. I swear there are so many incompetent builders and general cowboys in the industry these days, the houses I have lived in across cities like London and Dublin are fill of holes. Mice seem to get in everywhere, I’ve even heard people in London just say they accept it as there’s nothing that can be done and some landlords renting don’t give a dam about the condition of their premises.

    As for glue traps I would strongly advise getting the expensive industrial strength 1s of the internet, some store ones and cheap ones are complete rubbish in my experience and the stick wears off- to test a good trap the stickiness should be extreme and adhere strongly to all surfaces, you get what you pay for as they say.

  9. Nichole

    Thanks for this! Living in NYC we have had several tiny mice in our apartment over the years. We saw a mouse last night move from behind our couch and under our bedroom door. We quickly set up sticky traps and I put a bit of left over lemon bars that I made, in the middle of the trap to bait him. We woke up this morning to the mouse trap down the hall! He got out of the trap but left behind fur and no lemon bar. . My boyfriend and I made two enclosures! Will let you know if this works for us!

  10. Lindsey

    For the occasional times, when a mouse has somehow gotten into the house, I have had great success using large glue traps for rats. I use these because they are about 6 times the size of the standard mice glue traps and they cover a greater surface area. And, the glue is extremely sticky since its designed for rats. The correct placement is critical for successful trapping. I usually try to observe where a mouse moves and then place the trap at that location, quartering off a larger space with objects (anything disposable to obstruct a mouse’s path) so as to direct the mouse to follow a route over the glue trap. I don’t bait the traps. I have tried other mouse repellants and traps, except for bait station traps. These include peppermint oil, snap traps, live traps, sound emitters, etc. Glue traps may seem cruel, but they are effective. They have worked perfectly every time.

    I don’t necessarily like using these traps but I also don’t like the serious health and damage issues caused by mice. Anyone that doesn’t want to find a live mouse struggling to free itself from these traps, should try another more humane solution.

  11. jai Pkomando

    Chgo Metro, USA
    Over the last 20yrs , after trying professionals with no success, I’ve caught 7 mice at house #724, 6 at house #1401; 9 at house 21W (1st time); 2nd time is NOW ( fall 2016), over the last week catching 3, and a new one that popped up is still evading me. Over the yrs I’ve observed the following about mice:
    1. They seem to prefer running on TOP of the baseboards along the floor, or back of kit counter; … (not on the counter-top, or on floor adjacent to the baseboard).
    2. They come out any time of day, though mostly when they think we’re not around.
    3. I’m continuously told mice like peanut butter. NOT my mice! I keep finding little round chewed out holes in bags of instant maple-n-brown sugar oatmeal, or certain types of tortilla chips, while the PButter is left untouched. Ruffles and Ritz etc. are also not appealing … to mice, that is. (Apparently I’m NOT a mouse. I love Ritz n Chips).
    4. A tactic I use to command mice to a specific area is… duct tape. Take a 3-4″ strip, twist it over on to itself forming the shape of a cone. Then place the cone on top of the baseboard (floor or Kit counter). Place it in a way where the mouse has to jump down to get around it… Of course when they drop down, they find they happen to step down on to a soft glue trap.
    5. As stated in some of the above comment feeds, those expensive, bold looking, rat/mouse glue strips, do not work for the most part. I seek out the plain white strips, that fold into a small triangular box. I don’t fold into a triangle, but leave it flat on the surface (NOT ADVISED if pets, kids, or uncoordinated spouses are, or will be present).
    6. This last mouse seems to have been informed of my tactics and is avoiding the complicated array of my obstacle course. My last and 1st sighting of this mouse was 12 hrs ago… running along top of the kit counter baseboard; got blocked by one of those cone-ducts, reversed and came back down the counter behind coffee maker and dropped down between stove and counter. Seeing it’s path, I’ve designed a menagerie of glue traps, bait, dead end paths etc. I saw no evidence of the thing this morning. I’ll give it another 48 hrs.
    6. This will be the 4th mouse during this episode over the last week. If I don’t have it by Sat, I will try the above mentioned drop-lid box. I don’t want this being a octtamom mouse, having to “treat” 8 more of these 2 weeks from now.
    7. (Hope this mouse likes Jiff)

  12. Charlie

    This device works, I have caught two mice in the last two nights. It took a day for the odor of the peanut butter to circulate, since then it has produced, awesome invention and thanks for sharing.

  13. Alazne

    This is horrific! Yes, they are pests you need out of the house… but torturing them to death (starvation or ripping their feet off) with a glue trap is thoroughly disgusting.

    If you can’t be bothered to use a live trap, athe least use something that kills them quickly and humanely.

  14. Arvy

    I feel sad for the mice, but I am more concerned for my baby who is learning to crawl. The mice have started walking around like they own the place.

    A whole bag of d-con poison has been eaten yet there are still mice in different areas. Last time I tried snap traps they licked off the bait.

    Whenever I catch a mouse in a glue traps, I take him outside in a bag and kill him as quickly as possible with as large brick. I know it’s absolutely disgusting, but it would make me sadder to have him torturing himself in a glue trap until he breaks his back or dies.

  15. Arvy

    I also wanted to add that I have not seen any mice after the bag of dcon, but I know they’re still there since the poison is still being eaten.

  16. no name

    I know these are efficient but they are very inhumane and painful for the mice if you are considering using these please try these other humane ways to use the glue traps.
    If you do use these please crush the mice’s head so they aren’t starving to death and ripping their own skin off trying to escape.
    You can also use these and go two miles away from your home and use vegetable oil to free the mice so they are unable to return to your house but also aren’t dying, They may still be injured but it depends.
    These two ways are more humane than just letting the mice bite off their limbs, let their skin peel off trying to live, or starving to death.

  17. Mouse torture

    Trapped rodents and other animals suffer immeasurably during the days that it takes for them to die. Glue traps rip patches of skin, fur, and feathers off the animals’ bodies as they struggle to escape, and many animals even chew off their own legs trying to get free. Some animals get their faces stuck in the glue and suffocate, which can take hours. And the screaming of ensnared rodents is extremely upsetting to people who are then unsure of how to “dispose” of these living creatures. Glue-trap manufacturers generally direct consumers to throw animals in the trash along with the trap, leaving the victims to suffer for days until they finally die of starvation, dehydration, or stress—a cruel fate.

    Glue traps also pose disease risks to humans. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Canada specifically warn against their use because of the threat of hantaviruses posed when terrified, ensnared animals lose control of their bodily functions. ((So If you got kids DO NOT USE!!!!))))

    In addition to being cruel, indiscriminate, and unsanitary, glue traps and other lethal methods never work to keep rodents away in the long run, and their use will actually backfire. This is because when animals are killed or otherwise removed, the resultant spike in the food supply causes accelerated breeding among survivors and newcomers—and this means increased populations! 😀

  18. james

    sounds like a good idea to
    there’s a specific mearsurement
    to have around the perimeter of the glue trap, as well as the height to reach the bait,when you use the box enclosure?

  19. v

    Hey so….i don’t like killing things, but I care more about my baby and the health issues mice raise and to be honest, I have tried live traps before and they don’t work. When I was in india, sticky traps worked brilliantly! However, cannot source for residential purposes in my country now. Thanks “mouse torture” dec 2017 for the comment explaining hantavirus. But until something more effective comes along – I’m gonna try this! I know it seems rough, but pretty sure people would feel differently if a disease outbreak occurred that was a result of mice infestation….oh wait, that’s happened.

    My point: do you need to bait above the sticky trap with a flap, or can you simply bait the sticky area? Or the inside of the roof of the box above the sticky trap area?? I’m gonna try this with a pizza box idea I also saw online, combining with your idea.

  20. Minnie Mouse

    My response to the commenters saying glue traps are in-humane. Mice don’t save for college. Mice don’t have purpose. They spread disease. When a family of mice peed on every square inch of everything in my out garage during a long winter, and we had to throw everything away, kill em all, whatever way works.

  21. Terrie

    I am glad that I found this online. I had read about using corn syrup as it is so sticky but I am going to try this as it makes total sense. The aroma of peanut butter definitely is a big plus. Wonderful and inexpensive idea to get rid of these pesky mice. When I see those droppings in my kitchen or anywhere in my house, it just infuriates me and we do not leave any food out. It is amazing what damage they can do, biting through wood and even tile!!! I even cover spots with stainless steel and they are still finding their way in. Thanks again. I will update on my progress!!!!

  22. fatih taÅŸdemir

    my house on some items have; paper, bag, cloth like. recent 1,5-2 year since still mices trying i them catching. a lot of method tried i. large mice still active.

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