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How to Catch a Rodent with a Paper Towel Roll

If you’ve ever had a rodent problem, you know they’re not nearly as ‘loveable’ as Mickey Mouse—but that doesn’t mean you want them to suffer a slow, cruel death either. This method gets them out of the house humanely.


  • Step 1: Position trash can Put an empty trash can below the edge of a table or counter, add a garbage can liner, and fill the bottom with crumpled newspaper.
  • Step 2: Set the trap Place an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll on the end the counter or table, letting one side hang just a bit over the edge, directly over the trash can. Secure it in place with tape.
  • TIP: Put a crease in the roll before setting it down so the bottom lays flat.
  • Step 3: Add the bait Place some bait—like a dab of peanut butter or a piece of cheese, or both—at the very end of the roll, on the side above the trash can.
  • Step 4: Wait Wait for Mickey to take the bait. Rodents like food and love tunnels, so it’s just a matter of time before he sees or smells the treat, scampers through the roll to get it, and tumbles into the trash can.
  • Step 5: Relocate him Take the trash can far away, ideally to a wooded area, and tip it on its side, setting Mickey free.
  • TIP: Don’t reach in with your hands to remove your prisoner—you could get bitten!
  • Step 6: Repeat Repeat with a new paper roll. Rodents can sense the recent presence of a fellow rodent and might not fall for your little scam if you use the same roll.
  • FACT: The average pet mouse lives one to two years—while the average mouse in the wild lives just a few months due to predators.

You Will Need

  • A trash can
  • Some newspaper
  • An empty paper towel or toilet paper roll
  • Some tape
  • Some bait
  • like cheese or peanut butter

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