How to make a multi-catch rat trap

Written by cody sorensen
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How to make a multi-catch rat trap
Rats can't resist an open container with something delicious inside. (sacred rats drinking milk image by Vladimir Melnik from

If you have a rat infestation and you are looking for an alternative to poison, but want to be able to make multiple catches, then a multi-catch rat trap is the way to go. Poisons kill rats, but then the decomposing rats leave horrible odours within walls and hard-to-reach places. Avoid this stench by using a trap that can catch and kill dozens of rats each time you bait it. This method is called the bucket trap and drowns its victims.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Plastic 5-gallon bucket
  • Electric drill
  • 1/2-inch drill bit
  • 1/2-inch wood dowel, 14 inches long
  • 227gr aluminium pop can
  • Hammer
  • 3/4-inch steel punch
  • Tube of adhesive
  • Caulking gun
  • One 2-inch by 4-inch board, 24-inches long
  • One piece of carpet 4 inches wide and 24 inches long
  • 2 gallons of water
  • Jar of peanut butter
  • Butter knife

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  1. 1

    Locate the bucket handle hinges on each side of the bucket. Drill two holes through the plastic directly above these hinges on each side of the bucket with an electric drill using a 1/2-inch drill bit. Poke the wood dowel through the two holes to see if it fits. Remove one end of dowel from hole and leave it in the bucket.

    How to make a multi-catch rat trap
    The grey bucket in the foreground shows the handle hinge. (rain buckets image by nastos from
  2. 2

    Place the pop can on a hard surface, tab down, and punch a hole through the bottom with hammer and 3/4-inch steel punch. Slide the free end of the wood dowel through this bottom hole through the can and out the tab end. Poke the wood dowel through the empty hole in the bucket and then centre the pop can in the middle of the bucket. Spin the can on the dowel with your hand to make sure it spins freely.

    How to make a multi-catch rat trap
    Here is an example of the tab end of a pop can. (pop top image by Ray Kasprzak from
  3. 3

    Load a tube of adhesive in to the caulking gun and squirt a bead along the entire length of the 2-inch by 4-inch board that is 24-inches long. Adhere the carpet to this board with the shag side of the carpet facing up. Lean this board so that one end is on the rim of the bucket and the other is on the ground with the carpet side facing up. This will act as the bridge for the rat to climb up to the edge of the bucket rim.

    How to make a multi-catch rat trap
    This is an example of a caulking gun. (glazier image by Greg Pickens from
  4. 4

    Place the bucket trap in the area where you desire to trap rats and then fill the bucket with 2 gallons of water. Bait the trap by covering the aluminium pop can with peanut butter using a butter knife.

    How to make a multi-catch rat trap
    Here is an example of a smooth peanut butter perfect for bait. (peanut butter on a cracker image by robert mobley from

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