How to Trap a Weasel
The weasel’s curious nature makes live trapping an excellent method of weasel control. Use the following trapping and relocation tips from Havahart® to get the job done.
1Choose a Weasel Trap
Weasels are unique because they are lightweight, but can be quite long from head to tail. Depending on the size of your weasel species, select a trap that’s extra-small or small. Weasel traps often come in 1 or 2-door models:
2Determine Trap Placement
Find a location for your trap - preferably where they’ve been causing damage. If you haven’t yet located specific damage, place your trap alongside the closest source of water, which your weasels most likely frequent to keep hydrated.
The best locations for your weasel trap include:
- inside a barn or poultry house
- beside a chicken coop or pen
- at the base of a commonly-raided tree
- along a stream or creek
It’s very important to pinpoint a location that’s well covered; weasels almost never hunt out in the open and are more likely to enter your trap in a protected area.
3Select and Position Bait
Use fresh meat, if possible. See more recommended baits.
Position your bait strategically, so that the weasel must bring its entire body into the trap and step on the trigger plate to get to it.
Make sure that the bait is far enough from the trap walls that an animal cannot reach inside and steal it without entering.
For more bait options and expert tips, read How To: Weasel Baits.
4Set Your Trap
Follow your trap’s instructions to properly open it to the “set” position. Make sure there is nothing underneath the trigger pan that would prevent it from depressing when stepped on.
TIP: Set your trap perfectly, in one simple motion, with Easy Set ® technology
5Check Trap Frequently
Monitor your trap so that you can take care of the weasel promptly once he’s captured. Animals should never be left in cage longer than necessary, as they can quickly grow anxious, hungry, thirsty and overheated the longer they are trapped without food and exposed to the elements.
6You've Caught a Weasel!
Weasels are known to bite, so wear heavy gloves whenever handling the trapped animal and refrain from sticking your fingers inside the trap.
Approach and handle the trap in a calm and steady manner in an effort to keep the animal calm as well.
If local laws permit, relocate the weasel to another similar environment at least 10 miles from your property.
7Keep Weasels Out
Once you’ve removed your weasels, take steps to keep them off of your property and out of your vulnerable areas. The best ways to keep them out include:
- regularly mowing your lawn to reduce cover.
- trimming or removing low-lying bushes or shrubs.
- keeping the area around vulnerable spaces clear of vegetation or debris where weasels my hide.
- limiting access to barns, coops and cages.
- repairing any structural faults with small wire mesh.
Understand your local trapping laws before capturing and relocating a weasel.
Weasels range in size, depending on the species. While a small trap is ideal for a short-tailed or long-tailed weasel, you may need an extra-small, mouse-sized trap for a least weasel - the average of which is only 8 inches long and 2.5 oz.
Be sure to place your trap on an even, level surface to ensure proper function of the trigger-and-close mechanism.
Stand behind the trap when releasing your weasel to avoid making contact with the animal. To release the animal without holding the door, try using an Easy Set® trap.
Trapping a weasel is just one effective way to eliminate weasels from your yard. To learn more about a range of weasel control options, read How to Get Rid of Weasels.