Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 21, 2012

DIY Vacuum Motion Sensor Mouse Trap

at 12:38 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment


Larry sent in his DIY Vacuum Motion Sensor Mouse Trap creation.

“I built a mouse trap using an infrared motion sensor wall switch, an extension cord, a paper towel tube and a mini shop-vac. peanut butter is the bait. The mouse goes in the tube. The sensor senses it and turns on the shop-vac for 3 seconds. And voom, the mouse is inside the shop-vac. The sensor turns off the shop-vac. And it’s ready to catch the next mouse. No re-setting. No mess. No kidding.”



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24 Responses to “DIY Vacuum Motion Sensor Mouse Trap”

  1. Tod Says:

    This is beautiful!! A piece of engineering, ingenuity, and simplicity that just amazes me. Good thing I don’t have a rodent problem, but if I did, I’d make one of these.


  2. Hans Says:

    This is a cool hack, but so very cruel – the mouse will suffer for a long time. Please use a regular mousetrap – they’re cheap, efficient, and kills the mouse quickly.

    For the cost of just the cables used in this project, you could get a handful of mousetraps.

  3. neal Says:

    vary cool. keep up the good work!

  4. Cliff Says:

    Something tells me that wall socket needs replacing…

  5. Tristan Says:

    A video of this in operation would be awesome.

  6. Stone Says:

    Yeah! Leave a video!

  7. arcnemisis Says:

    Sometimes the minimalist “gets the cheese” so to speak. Excellent job. I may have to implement this in my arsenal. Not sure of the “mouse will suffer for a long time” comment, a regular snap trap will not always kill instantly and I have seen a many struggling mice. I will take the little rodent “suffering” over the wife’s suffering and the anxiety of another mouse in the house and my wasted hours waiting to take him out with the air rifle. Traps don’t always work on those mutant mice who have been “wet-wired” you know. Little buggers.

  8. Larry Holm Says:

    My Shop-Vac Electronic Mousetrap attachment is not cruel at all. Notice the picture of the unharmed mouse in picture. Actually right after I took that picture, the mouse jumped out and ran very quickly under a counter. No problem. I put some water in the vac and it caught him again, but this time the mouse did not get away. It’s a prototype. A gift to the world.

  9. Jackie Says:

    I like the whole concept. You can transport the mouse/mice to a new location. No harm done. Smart Thinking Larry.

  10. It really sucks to be a mouse in this house - BuildLounge » BuildLounge Says:

    […] guess it isn’t as bad as getting caught in a traditional mousetrap, but it still sucks. Some clever engineering turned this shop vac into a giant mouse sucking machine. When a mouse trips the sensor it is ingested and held in the chamber for disposal later. I […]

  11. signal7 Says:

    imho, the only good mouse is a dead one. If you catch/release the live mouse, they will most likely just come back again and I really don’t want to train the mice to avoid the traps over the long haul. As it is, I had one mouse that was very proficient at cleaning the bait out of the trap without setting it off. I figured the trap might be defective in some way so I put down a new trap without doing anything with the old one. The mouse then proceeded to clean out the new trap, but then got greedy and went back to the first one that had no bait in it. Well – that was the end of that. Took 4 days to get rid of that sucker…

  12. Flemming Says:

    Hmm, add an electrical valve to fill the vac with CO2 after the run and you might have a winner.

  13. Larry Holm Says:

    I had a mouse eat the bait off the spring trap, that’s why I made this. The shop-vac wins every time. All the mouse has to do is look in the tube and the sensor sets off the vac.
    I thinking the Shop-Vac mousetrap would be practical at an industry that has a lot of mice, where poison is not a good thing, like a peanut butter factory. Are they using poison now or do they a have an army of guys cleaning up and setting spring loaded traps or those horrible glue traps?
    Also I’d like to point out this is a prototype. It can be customized to do whatever you’d like to the mice after it caught.
    The point is to first catch the little beast before it eats the loaf of bread the kids left on the kitchen counter. Or peas and poops on everything.
    Thanks for the comments.

  14. Larry Holm Says:

    A video would be nice. Does anyone have a high speed camera? Cause the mouse just kind of disappears really fast.

  15. Alan Parekh Says:

    That would be a very interesting 10 second video.

  16. energized Says:

    And now modify the trap for mosquitoes. 😀

  17. cat Says:

    It would be more efficient if connected to meat grinder 🙂

  18. MAKE | An Ethical Vacuum Mousetrap? Says:

    […] Alan Perekh posted this on the Hacked Gadgets forum. He baited the business end of his Shop Vac with some peanut butter, and plugged into an IR […]

  19. World’s Strangest | Is a ShopVac Mouse Trap Ethical? Says:

    […] is: is it an ethical mouse trap? Link – via MAKE, which has a lively discussion about whether such a trap is […]

  20. monsewage Says:

    Very very good. You are well on your way to becoming a Sith Lord.

    Did your vision turn foggy red when you first turned this on?

  21. Derek Says:


    Gopher vacuum truck. Saw this years ago and at first thought it had spinning blades inside to uh, dispose of them. This pure catch and release.

  22. Mike H Says:

    I’d love to have one of these! Would certainly help with our mouse problem and wouldn’t have to worry about the dogs or kids getting snapped by a trap.

  23. Meredith G Says:

    Wait till my dog gets into this. I suppose the sensor won’t shut off and she will just have this paper towel cylinder suctioned to her nose. (It would serve her right.) Can you make a great big one for the fridge?

  24. Larry Holm Says:

    What do your pets do with those nasty spring loaded snap mouse traps?

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