Designed in Hackney: Non-lethal mousetraps
by Roger Arquer


Designed in Hackney: Non-lethal mousetraps by Roger Arquer

Designed in Hackney: next up in our showcase of local designers is Roger Arquer and his non-lethal mousetraps, first published on Dezeen in 2007 and still one of our most-clicked stories of all time.

Designed in Hackney: Non-lethal mousetraps by Roger Arquer

Modelled here by gerbils, the traps make small modifications to household objects like a pint glass, bottle or plant pot using springs, wing-nuts and paperclips.

Designed in Hackney: Non-lethal mousetraps by Roger Arquer

They're now in production with Thorsten Van Elten, who’s based in neighbouring Tower Hamlets.

Designed in Hackney: Non-lethal mousetraps by Roger Arquer

Read more about the project in our earlier story or in the Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

Designed in Hackney: Non-lethal mousetraps by Roger Arquer

See all our stories about Arquer's work here, including a set of adapted fish bowls that were also very popular with our readers. We filmed this interview with Arquer last autumn when he took part in Dezeen Platform at Dezeen Space.

Watch this movie on Dezeen Screen »

Like Dezeen, Arquer's studio is in Stoke Newington.

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Designed in Hackney is a Dezeen initiative to showcase world-class architecture and design created in the borough, which is one of the five host boroughs for the London 2012 Olympic Games as well as being home to Dezeen’s offices. We’ll publish buildings, interiors and objects that have been designed in Hackney each day until the games this summer.

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  • *Checks computer calendar* Nope; it's not an April's Fools joke.

    Well, it should have, because this is just preposterous.

    You don't put a mousetrap in your house to get ride of a cute little gerbil or a hamster. We're taking vermin here, folks.

    It almost feels like this was inspired by Pixar's Rattatouille.

    • Chris

      What a stupid comment.

      • I agree with the above comment, the whole purpose of a mouse trap is to eradicate mice from your home, I'm not saying I agree with killing mice, by once captured what do you do with the mouse? Release it so you can catch it again???

      • Care to elaborate? Because when I dislike something I see in Dezeen, at least I take the trouble of explaining why.

        That's the difference between fair criticism and being a troll ;)

        • Chris

          Ok, I'll elaborate. Not everyone on earth likes the idea of killing an innocent creature, especially when it's not for food. Vegetarians will clearly find a product like this appealing, not to mention everyone else who doesn't find joy in killing other living things.

          • Nic already answered for me.

            Please consider the possibility that the 'innocent animal' might be the carrier of infections –fleas, or even rabies.

            These 'humane' mousetraps might only be good to prolong the inevitable.



          • Chris

            This debate's subjective, you clearly have a hatred for living things, you can use a conventional trap, people who don't can use these. They're merely solving a problem a different way, since when was innovation such a bad thing?

          • DMK

            The debate is not as subjective as you assert, but the criteria for evaluating a successful solution seem to be.

            More importantly, Red Pill Junkie may not "clearly have a hatred for living things" but perhaps might be a responsible parent who seeks to prevent injury or illness in an infant child by way of rodent infestation. He–or someone else–may not like "the idea of killing an innocent creature" but might recognize it as a necessity to provide a safe, healthy home environment. Your tone seems angry. You don't know this person, but you're willing (eager) to assume malice.

          • "since when was innovation such a bad thing?"

            Um, Zyclon B? ;)

            No, I don't have a hatred for living things, but I do have an issue with pests.

            Go on an visit one of Mexico city's 'ciudades perdidas', see if that might change your mind.

  • mck ms

    I guess non-lethal is not the right word. I'd rather die than be locked in that glass. it's really not nice to expose an animal in this way. nothing to hide, no air to breathe. could get quite hot in there.

    dislike. even though the pictures look great, of course.

    • This is how I trapped the mouse in my house a few years ago (the last image). It was a very small mouse (big rat can’t get in the house). I went to the nearby natural land and let it go there. As long as you look at the jar every day the mouse have absolutely no problem other than being captive in an unclimbable receptacle. I'm not saying it is not for a selfish reason I did it. But it was way more pleasant than finding a dead corps on a conventional trap. It’s also a very exiting experience for the kids to save and let go the animal.

  • D'aww.

    Well, it's certainly a more niche mouse-trap, let's see if the world saunters casually to his doorstep.

  • Juan

    I just love the fourth trap, I would just love the sway it would make as the mouse entered :P

    Maybe not particularly effective in dealing with rats or mouses because there would be a ton of those but they are certainly beautiful, well guess someone should test them out in the real world

  • H-J

    I think they are great animal-friendly mousetraps. They don't kill the mouse or whatever creature the designer used in these images but trap them so they can be released somewhere where they don't bother people. Live and let live.

  • douglas

    There are some very effective non-lethal mousetraps available. But a cool looking contraptions where a pint glass shuts down in some indiscriminate fashion, regardless of whether the mouse is half-in or half-out, isn't one of them.

    Even if it was to trap the little fellow cleanly, it would suffocate him – which isn't very un-lethal.

    Always check your (good) mousetraps regularly, my dad went to all the trouble of installing them, but neglected to check it only find a poor mouse had starved to death. He was inconsolable.

    You can release them in the garden or out in a nearby field.

    • Maybe my mentality is based on my urban upbringing. Non-lethal mousetraps might be of use if you live in some wonderful country chalet. But in Mexico city you learn to be wary of rodents :-/

      My uncle Fernando used to tell me stories of the giant rats he used to meet in his warehouse. The rats of course kept getting bigger every year with each re-telling ;)

  • misha J

    I have a (silly) question – what happens when you've got more than one mouse running around? Surely they can't both/all fit in there?

  • Jo K

    Okay… looks great but I don't think the bottle on the third pic is going to work, and how they squeeze the mouse in? DX

  • Philippe

    The concept is really near a student work from International School of Design in INDIA. They receive an International Design Excellence Awards 2 years ago… The name is ONEDOWN.

  • Marian

    How do you get a gerbil or a mouse out of a bottle? This is definitely not humane!