Weasels belong to the same family as badgers, otters and fishers and are found throughout the continental United States. They regularly prey on rodents but may also eat reptiles, birds, and even animals larger than themselves. Though primarily nocturnal, weasels can be seen hunting during the day, as well. They are vicious creatures that cause problems for farmers by regularly attacking livestock for food.
Slender-bodied with long, bushy tails, weasels grow up to 11 inches (26 cm) in length and weigh close to a pound (16 oz). They have small, narrow heads with long whiskers and short legs that allow them to lope or bound as they run. Sharp claws help with hunting and allow weasels to climb trees with relative ease. Most appear light brown in color, though they shed their fur seasonally, becoming all white in the winter before returning to their standard coloration in the spring.
Weasels are found in most habitats across the country, excluding only deserts and dense forests. Found in fields to wetlands and suburban areas, they spend the majority of their time on the ground despite being excellent climbers and swimmers. Their dens are often lairs created by other animals, rock piles, or hollow logs. When they encroach on human habitations, weasels may nest under sheds, porches and barns.
Are weasels known to enter homes or yards?
Like many other wild animals, weasels will only invade homes and yards when food and shelter become scarce in their natural habitat. Farmers have to be especially alert for the pests since they attack livestock, particularly chickens. Since they are able to squeeze through small spaces, weasels can enter barns or sheds with relative ease. Nonetheless, they typically only enter homes by accident, if at all.
Do weasels harm people or property?
For the most part, weasels are merely nuisance pests. The largest threat they pose is to the poultry industry, as they target chickens and their eggs as easy meals. Weasels also carry various parasites known to harbor infectious diseases such as ticks, fleas and mites. In rare cases, weasels may be infected with rabies.
Control and Safety
Despite its size, the weasel is a vicious animal, especially when on the hunt. When cornered, they will use their sharp teeth and claws in order to escape, which can result in the injury of people or pets. Various exclusion methods can effectively keep weasels out of yards, including fencing and chicken wire. There are no known fumigants or repellants that keep weasels away, which makes closing off building openings necessary to ward off the pest.
Trapping and Removal
While exclusion methods can be effective, they are also time-consuming. Professional wildlife removal specialists from Critter Control can humanely and effectively remove pest weasels from private properties. Our specialists have the proper equipment and training to carefully remove weasels, which keeps untrained individuals and domestic animals safe.
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