photo of a weasel

Weasel or Mink?

Weasels and minks belong in the same family and bear a strong resemblance to each other. In fact, homeowners who spot a predator around their chicken coop or notice small, bounding tracks in the yard may have trouble figuring out which pest is responsible.

To distinguish between the two animals, it helps to know more about their defining traits.

Weasel vs. Mink Appearance and Habitat

Weasels are the smaller of the two animals, averaging only 14 to 16 inches long. They can be brown, yellow, or tan with pale fur on their necks and bellies. Some species’ coats change to pure white in winter. Weasels live in forests or fields and do not swim or hunt in water.

On the other hand, minks are excellent swimmers and prefer to live around water with woodlands nearby. The pests are also heavier and larger than most weasels. A mink’s thick, waterproof fur is usually dark brown to black with white markings on the throat and chin.

Weasel vs. Mink Damage

Residents with homes close to rivers and streams are more likely to encounter minks, while those near woods or farms may have conflicts with weasels. These animals both prey on chickens and may injure pets if provoked. Weasels and minks will defend themselves against animals twice their size.

Although weasel vs. mink habits and appearance are different, control methods are similar for both pests. Protect pets and livestock by keeping them behind sturdy wire fencing. Because weasels and minks are fur-bearing game animals, trapping and relocation may be subject to local laws and permits.

For help with weasel or mink control, contact the wildlife professionals at Trutech.