Weasel Control

Learn more about Long-Tailed Weasels and Least Weasels

The family Mustelidae includes weasels, mink, badgers, skunks, and otters. The long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata) occurs throughout Missouri but is rare. The much smaller least weasel (Mustela nivalis) is present only in extreme northern Missouri. The mink (Mustela vison) occurs statewide but is generally scarce. Damage by the long-tailed weasel and mink is rare, but these wildlife sometimes kill poultry. For damage-control information for the badger, striped skunk, and river otter, see those listings under Related Information below.


The Wildlife Code of Missouri classifies the long-tailed weasel and mink as furbearers. See current regulations for details. The Code specifies that damage-causing weasels may be shot or trapped out of season without a permit. Refer to 3 CSR 10-4.130 Owner May Protect Property; Public Safety of the Code for details and restrictions.


Exclude long-tailed weasels and mink from poultry houses and other structures by closing all openings larger than 1 inch. Block openings with half-inch hardware cloth, similar wire mesh, or other materials.

Fumigants and repellents

These are not recommended because none are known to be effective. Moth balls are not effective. The naphthalene they contain is toxic and the vapor harmful to humans.


Foothold and body-gripping traps are effective for both mink and long-tailed weasel. Restrictions apply, so see current regulations for details. Your local county conservation agent can likely provide the name of a local trapper who can assist you.

Mink and long-tailed weasel can be captured in cage-type traps, but this method is generally less effective. Bait single- or double-door cage traps with fresh meat or fish and place in areas where damage is occurring. Place double-door cage traps in runways and wire the doors open for a few days before activating.


Although this method is unreliable, long-tailed weasels and mink can be shot, where allowed, if the opportunity arises. Check with local authorities regarding the use of firearms. Exercise caution because ricocheting bullets are unpredictable and dangerous.


Photo of long-tailed weasel
Long-Tailed Weasel
Long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata)


Photo of least weasel
Least Weasel
Least weasel (Mustela nivalis)

Related Content

Badger Control

Learn to identify, prevent, and control badger damage on your Missouri property.

Skunk Control

Learn to identify, prevent, and control striped skunk damage on your Missouri property.

Otter Control

Learn to identify, prevent, and control otter damage on your Missouri property.

Stay in Touch with MDC

Stay in Touch with MDC news, newsletters, events, and manage your subscription

Sign up

Our Magazines

Conservationist Magazine

Our monthly publication about conservation in Missouri--free to all residents.


Xplor Magazine for kids

Xplor helps kids find adventure in their own backyard. Free to residents of Missouri.

American Mink