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Weasels: The Need for Control

The Least Weasel (Mustela rixosa) is one of the smallest members of the family Mustelidae. Other species of mustelids include mink, marten and river otter. Weasels are more common than most people realise. Because they are small, they usually pass unnoticed unless caught in a trap or revealed by their tracks in fresh snow. Weasel tracks resemble those of the larger mink. They generally show four toe prints. The little toe seldom shows except in fresh snow or mud. Each Weasel footprint is oval-shaped. In the snow, a single footprint will measure approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length and slightly less in width.

In summer, Weasels are medium to dark brown with yellowish white underparts and in winter they turn white. The Least Weasel well deserves its title of the smallest living carnivore. It reaches a maximum length of 10 inches (25 cm) and a weight of 3 ounces (85 g). The Least Weasel's tail length comprises only about 15 percent of total body length. The tail of the Least Weasel contains only a few black hairs.

How do you tell the difference between a weasel and stoat ? Here's a few tips that reflect both their similarities and their differences:-

  • weasels and stoats both have a brown or chestnut back and white belly in the summer, but weasels have short tails with no black tip to the tail whereas stoats have a prominent bushy black tip to the tail
  • weasels and stoats are strictly carnivorous species which depend heavily on live prey - they rarely scavenge. They both eat largely small rodents such as voles and mice. Lagomorphs (hares and rabbits) and birds are an important secondary prey
  • weasels are always smaller on average than stoats (when both are present) and stoats have a somewhat more varied diet because they can tackle larger animals due to their larger size. However, rodents still form most of their diet.

But ultimately - what is the real difference between a weasel and a stoat? Well that's easy - 'cos a weasel is ‘weasily’ identified and a stoat is ‘stotally’ different. Got it!

Countryman Pest Control Ltd has a Weasel Control Programme for every type of situation, domestic, commercial, or agricultural - with total quick elimination and ongoing prevention. From one off visits to full service contracts. All carried out by fully trained Pest Technicians - we can rapidly bring any infestation under complete control. Every situation of Weasel Control is different - and at Countryman Pest Control Ltd we always carry out a full survey of the premises before deciding on the best course of action. And and as always - the most cost effective solution will be advised. For your no obligation survey, give us a call today - our friendly staff are waiting to help.

National Pest Technicians Association The British Association for Shooting and Conservation