This is the most simple and most effective mouse trap I have ever used. The best part about this trap is a repeater, meaning it can catch many mice after being set once. A dab of peanut butter on the middle of the dowel makes lumber jacks out of mice as they play the log rolling game. The mouse slips from the dowel and falls into the water in the bucket (water gives them a nice soft landing).
The materials to build this trap are scraps found around most work shops. A five gallon bucket, a dowel, two screws and long board to act as an access to the top of the bucket. The cost of this trap should be nearly nothing.
I don't keep the trap set and filled with water all the time. I set it up when I suspect I have mice. I usually catch three mice on the first night and all signs of mice stop and I catch no more mice. It seems mice don't last to long in the water, I've never found one alive. I scoop the dead mice out of the water and discard them.
The repeater feature is the best. Using the typical spring driven whack-em trap you get one mouse (or try at a mouse) per night. The other mice come eat your bait after the trap has been set off. The next morning as I headed off to work I realize I have a dead mouse, but I don't have time to deal with it. Then I forget about it after work and I miss the chance to catch another mouse that night. So it takes me the better part of a week to catch the same three mice.
I loaned this trap small factory on a farm. (Farms are notorious for mice and rats due the abundance of food.) This trap worked like a charm for them. When I took my trap back they built several to use in the factory and around the farm.
Build this trap you will not be disappointed.
You should be able to build this by looking at the picture... But if you prefer the wordy explanation here it is...Cut the dowel to fit across the diameter of the mouth of the bucket. Then mark and pre-drill the exact center of the dowel to allow the screws to threaded in. It is important that holes are in the center to allow it to spin easily. Then drill holes directly across from each other about 1 inch below the lip of the bucket, the holes need to be sized to allow the dowel to spin easily. Then put the screws through the bucket and into the dowel. The dowel should now be held across the opening as shown in the picture above and be to spin. A long board should be leaned between the floor and the top of the bucket to allow the mice to walk from the floor to the top of the bucket.