Building a Better Mousetrap, The Yooper

Build the Perfect Mousetrap

Mousetraps invented in the 1500’s, and emerging in the 1800’s the design we know today. The Mousetrap has been a necessary evil to get rid of those pesky critters who end up doing potentially severe damage to equipment not to mention the health risks.

Here in the Midwest as the camping season ends there comes a time to winterize and put our campers and other recreational equipment in storage until next season.  This dormant time gives an opportunity for rodents to make their way and their homes in places not welcomed. I am going to help you stop these hideous beasts for getting to your equipment. 

List of the things you will need

My Yooper trap is a variation of a basic design. Build what suits your needs and your ability, the mice do not care

1-5 Gallon Bucket

1-3/8  Wooden Dowel Rod 14 inches long

1-20 to 24-inch long board used as a ramp

4- 3/8 ID washers large enough to slide onto the rod

4-Cotter Pins

5-10 Tywarps (alternative to the pins)

Peanut butter

An Empty 16.9 Fl oz water bottle label removed

1- Gallon of RV Antifreeze 

How to assemble the Yooper

Drill two 3/8 Inch holes directly across from one another, approximately 1 inch down from the top of your bucket

Test fit the dowel rod making sure it slides into both holes

Drill a hole slightly larger than the dowel rod in the bottom and top of your bottle. Tring to center them as best as you can.

Test fit the bottle on the dowel rod. It is crucial the bottle spins smoothly.


Next install stops on the dowel rod. These stops prevent the rod from coming out of the bucket and secondly keep the bottle centered inside the bucket on the rods.

I used washers and cotter pins for a more permanent finished product, but using tywraps positioned tightly on the rod with the washer where the pins would be will provide the same effect.

The washer and cotter pin method is just a matter of drilling a hole of a slightly bigger size as your small pin in the center of the rod. The holes placed as follows:

1/2 inch from one end of the rod and install stop.

Then install the rod into the bucket. Make the next stop cotter key hole, so the rod is held firmly in the bucket then remove the rod do not install the stop. Next put the bottle on the rod in the center of the bucket. Drill holes positioned to keep the bottle centered but not to snug as to not allow the container to spin. Install all the stops to your yooper trap.

Next, attach the ramp so the mice can have a way to access their food source. I drilled two small holes through the ramp and side of the bucket then placed a thick wire such as a coat hanger and bent to hold. You can use any secure method to attach the ramp to your bucket.

Final Step

Bait your trap with peanut butter. Spread a generous helping of peanut butter in the middle of your bottle all the way around the bottle. 

Place your trap inside or out and pour the one gallon of RV antifreeze in the bottom. Reason for the RV antifreeze One it will not freeze, and when the mice fall into it, they die and get preserved not allowing them to smell.

How it works

As the mice invade your space, they smell the peanut butter. Needing food all the time the mice make their way up the ramp and out to the bottle to eat. The container rotates the mice fall into the bucket and drown, done no resetting needed and the Yooper works for months just empty once and awhile

Heres to good trapping

Pat Director of Touring


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