Designs for homebuilt traps?

Hi, I’m interested in making my own traps, can anyone suggest links to good designs preferably using recycled pallet wood etc.

What are you trying to catch? Making boxes for traps is easy enough but the actual trap mechanism is easier to buy

Thinking of making traps for rats, possums etc. for other volunteers to install.
I agree about the simplicity but I’m looking for suggested dimensions for different boxes for the target species.

Hi Roger

For rats, stoats, weasels, ferrets and hedgehogs you can use the DOC series of traps. Check out for DOC 150,200 and 250 box sizes. Drawings of each box under each of DOC150 tabs etc.

You can buy stainless steel or zink plated and stainless treadle combo traps from the maker CMI Springs in Penrose Auckland -

Bunnings and other DIY centres have glavanised mesh and staples for box ends.

For Mice rats weasels you can use or box of similar design. Note cats will drag this size box around trying to pull out dead rats so best to tie to a tree or pin to the ground.

Victor professional rat trap - with the yellow trigger plate are the best dont use the basic Victor which has metal tab instead of yellow trigger. Grantley imports can assist with traps

No sure what boxed trap you would go for to catch possums. I shoot or leg trap, and have a few Timms and Possum Master traps around when not on site. Check out for a list of possum traps. Sentinel might be a go for your team…others here may have better ideas on that.



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great run down Paul.

Key Industries, and Pest Control Solutions are also a good source of Victor pro rat traps. Both of them & Grantley tend to be the best prices by a long shot. Grantley also trades as

Also great you’re keen to recycle, but be wary of this - Pallet wood is only heat treated, so won’t last well in the bush. Keep an eye out for old fences being dismantled, or ask around tradies as they’ll often have fence offcuts. Anything 15cm wide, and > 42cm long wil be useful.

You can also do a coreflute trap box - see the ratkillsystem pdf Paul posted. I’d go longer on the box though, 40cm+, especially if there’s pet cats around. You want the internal height to be 14cm, so allow a little extra for attaching to the wooden base. You can get that with 40cm wide, which should mean you can get 3 widths out of a large sheet of coreflute (i.e. 1.2m wide), depending on where you scrounge it from.

I reckon rats engage the trap better if they’re all the way in before finding the trap. For the same reason i set the victors at the back of the wooden boxes too (no baseplate).

Lots of other good replies here.

I just managed to eradicate mice from a 2.1Ha predator fenced site by using classic wooden mouse traps (48c each from Bunnings warehouse - 140 of them) housed under recycled 3l plastic orange drink containers from our local recycling ctr, put through my bandsaw to leave a flat base from the mouse sized opening, and secured in place with a staple made from #8 wire bent to shape by hand.

Took me about 300 hours over 4 months but cash outlay was under $300 (including replacing a bandsaw blade). Had 117 traps at peak (quite a few failures, but relatively low rate in thr grand scheme of things), 250 mice caught in total, 23 on the peak night. 3 jars of Pics peanut butter used.
Using clear plastic bottles means checking traps is quick, just a glance tells you if they have been set off.
Bycatch was minimal (3 skinks and about a dozen snails).
Ants were an issue in some places, but borax sugar mixture in old beer-bottle tops solved that - only about 10% of trap sites had the issue.

Near the end had one blackbird figure out how to get a free feed of peanut butter, but it wasn’t an issue overall. It only happened because I hadn’t flattened that trap site well enough, and there was a small depression allowing the blackbird to get under the plastic and worry away at the trap until it work it out from under the cover (got trailcam footage of it performing this trick).

As others say, depends what you want to get, and how much you value your time ;), and how much you want rid of whatever you are trapping.

Is there any chance you could email me a photo of your mouse trap and plastic cover?