How to Build Mousetraps Using Simple Machines

Written by daniella lauren
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How to Build Mousetraps Using Simple Machines
Instead of killing a mouse with a mousetrap, catch a mouse with a homemade humane mousetrap. (Sandy Jones/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The inclined plane, wedge, screw, lever, wheel and axle, and pulley, are known as "simple machines." They have one or less moving parts and frequently work with other simple machines to make something more complex, such as a humane mouse trap. You can build a humane mouse from some common household objects and two simple machines. When the mouse smells the bait, it will run up the ramp/incline plane. When the mouse walks into the toilet paper tube, it pivots creating a lever which pushes the mouse into the rubbish bin. The cooking oil on the inside of the rubbish bin prevents the mouse from crawling up the sides to escape.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Dustbin
  • Cooking oil
  • Cardboard
  • Empty toilet paper tube
  • Bait

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  1. 1

    Grease the inside of an empty rubbish bin with cooking oil.

  2. 2

    Set the dustbin in the middle of the room.

  3. 3

    Fashion a ramp out of the piece of cardboard. Bend the top so it has a small plane at the end and is shaped slightly like the number seven. Lean the ramp on the dustbin's edge.

  4. 4

    Flatten one side of an empty toilet paper roll so it looks like a tunnel with a flat base.

  5. 5

    Set the tube on the edge of the ramp's plane so that it hangs halfway off the edge of the ramp -- over the edge of the rubbish bin.

  6. 6

    Place the mouse bait at the end of the toilet paper tube that is over the edge of the rubbish bin.

Tips and warnings

  • Common mouse baits include cheese, walnuts, peanut butter and candy gum drops.
  • Release the mouse far away from home to ensure it doesn't find its way back to your home.

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