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. Both are species of conservation concern. 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 & 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.