Weasels are ruthless spirited animals that can be found within many parts of the world, including North America. Learning exactly how to trap a weasel can serve many benefits for us considering what a nuisance they can be at times. More often than not, you’ll find weasels causing significant problems for homeowners that have weasel prey animals located on their property as well as other hassles around gardens or property structures like the lawn.
In order to successfully trap a weasel, you need to purchase a trap that will work sufficiently without causing you hassle or stress. In addition to picking the correct trap for your capture, you should ensure to place it in the appropriate areas as well as also using a variety of bait to better your chances of trapping the weasel.
Throughout this article, not only will you learn how to trap a weasel but you’ll also learn the best bait to use to increase your chances of trapping weasels, how dangerous weasels can be as well as other interesting facts that may be helpful to know, especially If you’re a beginner in trapping. Continue reading to learn more!
A Step by Step Guide on How to Trap a Weasel
Trapping any type of animal that may be causing you havoc can often appear as a daunting task (especially if you’re a beginner), however, the quicker you familiarise yourself with these 8 simple steps that I have listed below can determine how quickly you’ll be able to get out there and begin your catch! Here is a 8 step guide on how to trap a weasel:
1. Check your state laws and regulations around capturing weasels.
This is the most important step, as it’ll be your guide for understanding what you can and can not do in order to trap a weasel. Contact a local wildlife representative and enquire about your local state rules around the capture and release of weasels, prior your attempt to trap.
2. Purchase a live capture cage trap.
Use a live capture cage trap to trap the weasel. This type of trap is my preferred choice when attempting to capture any kind of animal (not only weasels), as not only is it a humane method but it’s also easy enough to use. If you have small children or other pets you can rest assured that this trap is also friendly for both. Personally, I don’t mind taking the extra steps required when using a live cage trap as long as it means that I’m not killing an animal.
With a live capture cage trap, you have the option of purchasing either a 1 door or 2 door trap (both have pros & cons). You can purchase these traps from your local garden store or online from Amazon here.
In addition to using a cage trap, you can also opt for using kill traps. Weasel tunnel traps and leg hold traps are all valid alternatives for trapping a weasel, however, you should be mindful of the laws around these methods. In my opinion, using live cage traps are just as effective for removing weasels from your property and should be considered prior to making your final decision.
3. Locate and set.
Locate the area where you are going to place your trap and set it up. You should place any traps in areas where the weasel is commonly going to or lingers around.
Weasels are active in both the night time and day time, therefore, there is no specific time frame you need to follow when setting your trap.
4. Throw in some bait.
Bait truly is a lifesaver when capturing animals, especially weasels! To assist your trapping attempt and increase your chances of capture, you can place meat or other alternatives of bait inside the cage. (Continue reading further below to learn the best bait to use when capturing a weasel).
5. Check back later on the trap.
A good habit to get into when learning how to trap any animal is checking on your traps frequently. Depending on the time you’ve placed your traps, check back within a few hours to see if you’ve caught the weasel you were targeting. At most, check on the trap within the next day. (Don’t leave the trap alone for too long incase you have caught a weasel and it’s trapped inside without food or water).
6. Release the weasel.
Now that you’ve successfully captured the weasel that was causing you stress and headaches, the last step is to release it!
Considering you’ve followed your state laws, rules and regulations correctly.. Release the weasel in an area away from your property or from the property of others.
If you’d prefer to not handle the weasel directly, you should seek someone else to do this for you. When friends or family is not an option, you could consider hiring a professional to release the weasel for you at an extra cost. This can save you additional time needed for travelling, releasing and driving back. Contacting your local wildlife services may also be an option for you.
7. Spray repellent around the area.
This is a good precaution measure to take which will help to prevent anymore weasels from coming back to the area you’ve just targeted.
Simply spray the repellent around the surrounding area as well as any other areas you may think might serve as a haven for similar pests. You can purchase chemical repellent from your local garden store or make your own home-made repellent through the use of natural ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen!
8. Reminder to be cautious!
If you’ve decided to use a live capture cage trap, you should take caution when directly handling the cage. As a precautionary measure, it may be in your best interest to wear protective gloves to protect your hands from potential weasel bites (as they’re probably very scared and angry).
All in all, trapping a weasel is easy enough to try, however, you must persevere. More often than not, people tend to think that capturing an animal will go smoothly, quickly and will be over and done with on their first go. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and can be a harsh reality check for some. It’s important to continue trying even if it doesn’t work the first time around as eventually you will reap the benefits through your consistent efforts.
Be mindful that any wild animal is just as scared of you as you may be with them, therefore, treating them humanely should be your natural reaction. As previously stated in this article, you should do your own individual research around state laws, rules and regulations around the capture or release of weasels. In some states it is illegal to capture certain animals and as a consequence of illegally capturing banned animals, can result in hefty fines as well as jail time. Be wary of this fact and take caution.
What is the Best Bait to Catch a Weasel?
The best bait to catch a weasel is meat!
If you’re a beginner to the trapping game and don’t know what bait is? Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. Using bait can play a huge part to catch a weasel and can immediately increase your capture rate. Bait is pretty much anything that can be used to lure in the animal you’re trying to catch (in this case, a weasel). Food, lure, glue, scents and repellent are all different forms of bait that can be used for the capture of a weasel.
Weasels are carnivores so practically using any kind of fresh meat will be sufficient. If you’re placing bait inside your live capture cage trap, you can use bloody liver, fish or even the fat from pork. They also love chicken, mice or rats.
In addition to using meat as your bait for your traps, you can also sprinkle a trail of grains leading towards your trap which is believed to help to entice the weasel inside your cage.
It is also believed that weasels will eat certain fruits in the summertime, which can be helpful to note when alternating different baits.
Are Weasels Dangerous?
Weasels are only as dangerous as any other wild animal. They’re significantly known for their bold and brave attitude and aggressive nature which means that weasels can be dangerous towards humans or pets and should be dealt with cautiously.
Just like most wild animals, if you provoke, cause stress, corner or implement signs of danger towards the weasel, the likely outcome will be that they will attack you out of a state of defense.
If you’re ever attacked by a weasel, you should seek immediate medical attention incase the animal was a carrier of diseases.
Remember to always take caution when trapping a weasel. It can be easy to undermine a weasels ability due to their size and sometimes “cute appearance”, however, they’re ruthless for their aggression and be dangerous at times.
Are Weasels Aggressive?
Small in size but aggressive in nature. That is the best way to describe a weasel and their aggression. Although they’re significantly small in size (compared to other pests that may linger around our property), weasels sure can put up a front if necessary.
In general, a weasel enjoys hunting alone and will hunt for prey that are not only similar to their size but also prey that are twice their size! (Bold and brave creatures I tell you). They’re known for over-killing and saving their kills for consumption at a later time. They’ll use their fierce aggression to their benefit and will attack prey through the use of their sharp claws and teeth.
A weasel will also become aggressive if provoked which will cause them to attack (no matter what size you are), therefore you should remember to take caution when trapping weasels or doing any direct handling.
Do Weasels Smell?
It’s safe to say that a weasel isn’t the nicest smelling animal in the books, but then again, what animal is right?
Similar to other animals that possess this type mechanism, a weasel has the ability to release a foul smelling odor from their anal glands as a sign of defense or when they are trying to mark their territory.
Are Weasels White in Winter?
Yes, a weasel is capable of adapting their fur (via molting) to white during the season of winter.
Generally, a weasel is a brown, grey, yellow-black in color animal, however, once the winter season hits they have the ability of shedding their natural fur color to white.
The short term color adaptation made to their fur is ultimately dictated by their environment around them. Therefore, once summer comes around again, their fur will change back the original brownish color.
Is a Weasel a Rodent?
No, a weasel is not a rodent.
A weasel comes from the family of Mustelidae, which consists of animals such as weasels, badgers, otters, skunks, wolverines and more.
Can a Weasel Kill a Dog?
In my opinion, a weasel is not capable of killing a dog (so don’t worry pet owners, you can bring your pets back out again), however, a weasel is more than capable of biting your dog along with other pets!
Similar to most animal instincts, if a weasel feels threatened, scared or anxious by your dog then the chances are pretty high for the weasel to attack your dog. They’ll usually try to bite behind the neck of an animal they’re attacking, therefore, if you have a small dog I would take caution.
As long as your dog is fully vaccinated, then there shouldn’t be any problems. If anything, your household animal may see a “weasel attack” as a game to them considering how small in size weasels are.
If you have a small size dog however or are still concerned about the wellbeing of your household animal you should consider dealing with the weasel problem at hand. Sometimes this can mean spending the extra cash with hiring someone to rid the problem for you.
It is also important to note, if your dog or similar animal has been bitten by a weasel and they’re becoming noticeably unwell you should seek a VET as soon as possible.
Do Weasels Burrow in the Ground?
Yes, in fact underground weasel burrows can be as long as 10 feet!
Primarily a weasel hole is used for storing food, sleeping, or to escape the weather! They are also used to safely harbour litters of up to 5 kits.
Unfortunately for humans, these burrows mean significant damage to our yards or surrounding property. If you’re unfortunate enough to have witnessed a burrow created in your backyard, you’d understand the damage I’m talking about. Not only does this ruin your yard, but it can be super pricey to get repaired!
To prevent this from happening to you, you should ensure to take steps necessary for repelling such pests. Keeping your grass short and trimmed, removing attractants such as bird feeders and installing scare devices are all great methods for keeping weasels away.
Where Do Weasels Come From?
The popular weasel comes from the family of Mustelidae. Most animals that come from the genus Mustela (such as the weasel) are predominantly known to be small in size but active predators.
Weasels are believed to have originated from Europe and are specifically native to areas such as central and west Europe. In addition to that, there are also a variety of species of weasels located all over the world. Places such as North and South America, Asia, New Zealand, and Northern Egypt all harbour different species of weasels.
Fun fact: Depending on the location, a weasel has been given a variety of cultural meanings throughout history. One example is if you’re a Native North American, seeing a weasel can be a sign of death is near. Whereas there was a time in history located specifically in Mecklenburg, Germany where if you saw a weasel it meant it had a strong connection to magic and was deemed to “take extreme caution”.
Are Weasels Fast?
Did you know, a weasel is a super fast animal! (When they want to be). It has been officially recorded that a weasels top speed can reach up to 25 kph (15 mph). In my opinion, that’s pretty fast for a little in size weasel!
What Colors are Weasels?
What colors are weasels? Generally a weasel has brown to yellow fur. There are some weasels, however, that consist of black-white in color fur also. And as previously mentioned above, a weasels color can also change to white or patchy grey in the winter time.
What do Weasels do for Humans?
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one wanting to know what weasels actually do for humans. Although they can be irritating little creatures (with a cute appearance), weasels contribute towards the ecosystem by maintaining the species of rodents and their prey.
Weasels are super viscius and hungry animals, therefore, they’ll usually kill more animals than they may necessarily need. This is good for them but also good for the ecosystem by keeping other species in check and ensuring the population of prey does not overpopulate.
Are Weasels Good Pets?
If you’re looking to incorporate a weasel into your family household, there may be some things you should consider prior, such as finding out if weasels are good pets or not.
Generally speaking, weasels pose no real threat towards humans (unless provoked) therefore a weasel can be considered a good pet to have. I would consider, however, if you have other household pets already, to take caution.
Although weasels may not kill a human, they are more than capable of killing other animals such as small pups, kittens, chickens or other similar animals. They may also find larger animals such as cats or dogs a threat and attack them randomly.
In this instance, I would say a weasel is not a good pet to have and you should consider other animals that may be better suited for your family.
What Sounds does a Weasel Make?
“Pop goes the weasel!”. Whether you have heard that nursery rhyme or not, I can confirm that your favourite childhood song was unfortunately false and a weasel does not make a popping noise. *Cue the sad, dramatic music*. Instead, a weasel can make a variety of other noises.
When a weasel is interacting with one another or is feeling particularly friendly that day, they’ll emit a low whistling sound. If they feel scared or threatened, you’ll usually hear a loud, high pitched chirping noise. They can also produce low sounding barks, hisses and chirping.
Can Weasels Climb?
Weasels can indeed climb! They’re commonly known for being able to squeeze through openings and being able to fit into spaces you would have deemed to be “too small,” however, they’re pretty decent climbers and are more than happy to climb structures such as fences or trees if necessary. (Especially if hunting prey).
Mike Zhang. Founder of FamilyLifeShare