Weasel tracks are elongated and oval shaped with claw marks. Their tracks usually have four toes on the front foot and five on the hind foot. Weasels leave drag marks between their footprints, which can help identify them.
Because weasels have long, slender bodies, their tracks often appear grouped in a straight line or zigzag track pattern. Weasel tracks may also be present in snowbanks, on top of fencing or logs, or along ledges.
In North America there are three types of weasels—the ermine or short-tailed weasel, the least weasel, and the long-tailed weasel known as Mustela frenata. All of them leave the same track signs.
Weasel tracks in the snow are somewhat challenging to find. They are most often seen in the mud, dust, or on changes of terrain. While it is relatively effortless to identify a weasel’s tracks, it can be more challenging to determine which type of weasel made them.
Looking at the size of the tracks can give you a hint. Ermine or short-tailed weasel tracks are the largest, followed by those of the least weasel. Long-tailed weasel tracks are the smallest.
If you spot a weasel’s tracks, you must stay alert and cautious. They are bold and aggressive and can attack humans if aggravated. If you see a weasel, keeping your distance and calling animal control for help is best.
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What Do Weasel Tracks Look Like?
Usually, weasel tracks show claw marks, just like coyotes or bobcats. Their tracks resemble other North American Mustelidae relatives, such as skunks, minks, badgers, and otters. The shape of weasel tracks can help distinguish them from other Mustelidae members.
Weasel tracks are more elongated and oval-shaped, while tracks from other family members tend to be more round. If you see a series of prints with drag marks between them, a weasel likely made them.
Additionally, weasel tracks usually have four toes on the front foot and five on the hind foot, while most other members of the weasel family have five toes on both the front and back feet. The claws on weasel feet are also generally more prolonged than those of other family members.
If you notice some weasel tracks, take a close look at the shape and number of toes to confirm your identification. Once you’ve determined that you’re dealing with weasel tracks, you can use the size and shape of the tracks to help you decide which species of weasel made them.
For example, the smallest species of North America’s weasel, the least weasel, has paw prints approximately 1/2 inch long. The largest species of weasel, the wolverine, has tracks up to 2 inches long.
What Does A Weasel Foot Look Like?
Weasels are known for their long, slender bodies and short legs. The foot of a weasel is relatively tiny compared to the rest of its body. The foot has five toes on both hind and front feet.
Its sharp claws help it to grip the prey. The nails are visible clearly on each toe. The foot also has pads to allow the weasel to move quietly. The pads on the feet’s bottom also help the weasel grip onto prey or surfaces.
It is common for the pads to make a “sticking” sound when they come in contact with certain surfaces. The color of the foot can be anything from light brown to almost black.
Their tiny feet allow them to move quickly and quietly, making them effective predators. Weasels typically hunt small mammals such as rodents, rabbits, and birds. In some cases, they may also consume eggs or carrion.
The sleek body shape of a weasel allows it to enter burrows and other tight spaces in pursuit of its prey. The weasel’s small size makes it less likely to be detected by its target.
What To Do If You Identify Weasel Tracks Around Your House?
The presence of tracks around your house is an indication of weasel activity. Some vulnerable areas of damage include bird habitats, barns, rabbit cages, poultry houses, and chicken pens or coops.
Once you’ve identified tracks around your house, you first need to find ways to either get rid of or repel the weasel. Fortunately, you can get rid of a weasel without having to injure or kill the animal.
Plenty of weasel control options exist to drive them away and prevent them from returning:
Getting a motion-activated sprinkler is one clever way to deal with these carnivores. A motion-activated sprinkler not only seeks out approaching weasels but also releases startling bursts of water that deters and conditions them to avoid the vulnerable areas on your property.
You can choose the hose-free or basic motion-activated sprinkler. The former is solar-powered and with a flat base. Featuring a refillable water basin, it is ideal for low-moderate weasel activity.
The latter is battery-operated and stakes into soft soil/ground. It has an unlimited water supply and requires a hose connection, which is ideal for high-density weasel activity.
Alternatively, you can deal with weasels by setting traps. So how do you set up a weasel trap? First, you must figure out what kind of trap will work best.
There are two main types of weasel traps: snap-type rat traps and wooden bait boxes. Choose one appropriate for your area and the type of weasel you’re trying to catch.
Once you’ve selected a trap, baiting it is the next step. Weasels are attracted by small prey, so using something like a mouse or a piece of raw meat as bait is ideal. Once you bait your trap, set it and wait for a weasel to take the bait.
If you’re lucky, the weasel will get in the trap, and you can safely remove it from your property. If not, try a different type of trap or bait. Weasels are cunning creatures, so catching one may take trial and error.
Repellents are also effective at dealing with weasels. There are available in a variety of forms, including sprays, granules, and liquids. They’re available at a local hardware store or online. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully.
If you have pets, ensure that the repellent you choose is safe for them. Some repellents contain chemicals that can harm animals if they ingest them.
Once you’ve selected a repellent, apply it around the perimeter of your property. Repellents are most effective when combined with other control methods, such as trapping.
Finally, you can prevent weasels from entering your property by eliminating attractive sources of food and shelter. Regularly mow your lawn, trim or remove low-lying shrubs or bushes, and limit access to cages, coops, and barns.