Are weasels good or bad in the garden?


#1

I’ll probabky have one caught tonight in a live trap. It’s in the house and eating apples and garbage. Wondering if I should relocate it to my orchard? Or out in the wilds?


#2

Their main prey is rodents, so I would consider them beneficial for an orchard. However, they also kill birds and hence can inflict damage on a poultry/fowl operation.


#3

It’s pretty neat to get to catch one. I’d definitely not want to see it harmed, and I agree with Stan on the pros and cons.

You say “probably” a weasel, so I wonder if you caught somebody’s escaped ferret, perhaps a mink. Whatever you’ve got, it’s pretty neat.


#4

We had a couple of very dark brown minks one summer. Then, here and gone. Loved the way the slinked across the lawn!


#5

We have minks though I’ve only seen one in my entire life. They are occasionally caught accidentally in this area but not considered rare. I’m not sure the other long bodied creature I saw was a weasel but it ran a little like a ferret so I suspect it was something like that and the tracks seem correct. See this link for tracking info http://www.bear-tracker.com/weaseltracksandsign.html. Like coyotes and bobcats most animals like these eat field mice. Though I’ve only seen one mink I should mention I see tracks at least every other week. What appears to be weasel tracks I see a couple times a year. Most animals are nocturnal here because people are killers so it was out of necessity. People as your aware have poor night vision.


#6

They are orchard helpers, unless you keep chickens.


#7

I had one move into my shop last winter. At first I tried to trap it, I was worried about the chickens and getting annoyed with the little pile of Wiesel crap in my woodshop.
But man those things are voracious rodent consumers. That shop had been overrun with mice for several years and by winters end they were gone Along with many of the overpopulated chipmunks in our stone walls. I’m a convert now. I did a better job securing the chicken coop, but to be honest I’d trade a few chickens to clear out the rodents like that again.
The little guy moved on, I have read it is a common MO for them…eat all available prey and then move to new territory.


#8

Critturs have memories, and habits- he/she could check you out next season- but make sure you have some mice on hand or you might miss your opportunity!


#9

The problem I have had with weasels is that once their source of rodent food is gone or reduced they turn to chickens. I have lost 2 flocks so far to weasels. Very clever and great for getting rid of voles, gophers, mice and rats. Problem is when they are done with those, they seem to turn to my hens.


#10

There was a misidentification. Turns out it’s a rat upstairs causing a lot of damage. Set out traps and poison, but it won’t go near them. Difficult to catch, given the design of this old house . Not sure what we’re going do.


#11

Get a weasel?


#12

You might want to read this thread Rodent control


#13

Read through, but no help.
I’ve done everything I can think of so far. These are two large old houses connected together, with lots of places for them to hide out. I’ve sealed every ground whole, but last night I saw him by fluke crawling in the second story by climbing up the air conditioning pipe. Unbelievable. I have now resealed all of the holes with stucco lathe bent up into a mess. Somehow he got in the house again. There are more ways he could get in i think. Maybe he’s going up the drain pipes, or jumping from nearby trees onto the roof then scaling under roof tiles into gaps in the eaves. Maybe somewhere else.
I cleaned out the largest atrick with a vacuum pipe extension, followed by pure bleach in a spray bottle. He really didn’t seem to like that very much, and moved into the other attic. I’ll have to get suited up and go in there, reaching as far as I can. There’s a lot of construction dust, and it’s not very pleasant.
I also found out how he’s getting into the kitchen. In the next room there’s a small gap where the washing machine water comes through the wall. Metal lathe seemed to fix that. He seems to be busy trying to make multiple routes around the house though. One unbelievable thing was the closet in my wife’s room. She stuck a bar of soap in a mesh bag to block a chew hole. He’s chewed about a quarter of the soap bar off already!


#14

Omg what a mess and they stink too! Stop buying supplies and get an exterminator. Between your labor and supplies to to stop the critter you can get a company in to stop it all.


#15

Hiring a pro may be called for. What I generally find is that rodents have preferences when it comes to their food (poisons). Some types/brands just get ignored, others get gobbled up right away. They are less interested in the baits if there is plenty of food elsewhere, so if you can eliminate other food sources (garbage, compost, etc) that may help too.

You might try a few new varieties of rat bait. Even at the same time, give 'em a choice.


#16

Rats can be very difficult, they often don’t eat poison just store it away . They are smart and hard to trap. I have shot more rats than I have ever poisoned or trapped. I keep out door cats now but befor I did I would find rats in my out buildings or even vehicles if they were parked for a period of time. If I found where one was I would set up a light and wait for dark. If one was there they would come sneaking out . In buildings you can’t always use a fire arm but I did use a pellet gun.


#17

Well I got one of them last night. I said one of them, as relief only lasted about 30 minutes until I heard more noises in the wall, LOL. It was just a fluke, as one of my daughters saw it in the garage. I’ll spare you the gory details, but it involved my wife and I chasing it around with a sprayer of bleach and a shovel for about an hour. It was initially kind of aggressive, until I hit it with bleach, and then it was just trying to escape. I ended up estimating his location and hitting him with the shovel through the wall. It went something like this:

I’ve just been using everything and the kitchen sink, and I think it was the combination of factors. Since we sealed up the kitchen, got proper enclosures for the garbage outside, and making regular raids into the attic, they started taking more chances. They really want into that kitchen. I left the kitchen for about an hour and came back and they chewed a hole through the drywall in the ceiling. I think they got so used to living next to people, they had an incredible poker face, I saw them several times just waiting for us to leave thinking we couldn’t see them. I think the suggestion of better and different poisons is the best idea now.


#18

If you can actually see them and they don’t move, may i suggest an air rifle? They should kill the rat provided you get a head shot.

Granted, that won’t control the population on its own, but if I saw one just hanging out in my house, it would have to die, and it sure beats chasing them around with a shovel and bleach.

Even if you miss and get your wall, an air rifle bullet is easily covered up with a little putty. Not that I would know that for any reason, of course… ::clears throat::


#19

Yes, rats are also very cautious, one will test a new food before everyone chows down on it.

One way to work around this is to use bait which is molded into a cube with a hole, and tie the bait down through the hole with a wire. This forces the rat to chew some off if they want to bring any back, and usually some gets eaten this way too. Also means anti-coagulants, which take a couple of feedings and have a delayed reaction, tend to work better…


#20

“They” is certainly right. Where there’s one, there’s more