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National Wildlife Control Training Program vol. 1.

Weasel Control

Long-tailed weaselPhoto Credits: Long-tailed weasel

Scientific Name :

Least Weasel-- Mustela nivalis

Long-tailed Weasel-- Mustela frenata

Short-tailed Weasel-- Mustela erminea


  • Does Not Hibernate Lives in dry land
  • Nocturnal with some Daytime Activity


Den: 4-inch or less diameter burrow

Comments About Tracks

  • Weasels have sinuous gliding or bounding motion leaving paired tracks.
  • Size of Front Feet 3/4 X 1 inch
  • Toe Pad Marks on Hind Feet 4 toe pads showing
  • Claw Marks will be see on occasion.


  • Weasels target small prey and will leave puncture wounds on neck and head;
  • May kill wild birds, poultry and their eggs, pocket gophers, voles and mice. Long-tailed weasel may also kill rabbits.
  • Many poultry may be killed in one night with only heads eaten.
  • Rodent prey may be eaten through hole made in back or side of neck. Often puncture wounds from weasel canine teeth are found at base of skull in prey.
  • Egg Depredation Signs 1/2 to 3/4 inch hole eaten in end of egg and contents removed.

It seems that some people may think weasels damage irrigation lines. We at the ICWDM are not aware of any evidence supporting that contention. However, we welcome comments.

Legal Considerations

Weasels are considered fur-bearers throughout their range. Consult regulations before initiating any control.

Weasel Control Methods

Habitat Modification

  • Exclusion: block all entrances larger than one inch. You may use 1/2-inch mesh in hail screen or hardware cloth.


  • None known


  • Foothold Number "0" or "1" set inside a protective wooden box or cage traps. May use fresh meat as bait or leave trail of oats or other grain to allow mice to feed. Mouse scent may then attract weasels. Check state game laws before trapping or using lethal control.


  • Not practical


  •  None registered.


University Publications

Disclaimer: The information and links are comprised of pages dedicated to providing more information on the biology and control of wildlife. Before initiating any wildlife control measures be sure to check with appropriate federal and state agencies. Links to those agencies can be found in the navigation bar above.

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