Weasels are small, carnivorous mammals that live mainly in the Northern hemisphere. These small critters will eat mice, squirrels, chipmunks, moles, and rabbits. More problematic for your property might be their hunger for chickens if you keep a coop. Weasels will get into a chicken coop and eat eggs, chickens, or chicks.
The best way to get rid of weasels indefinitely is to find out where they are getting into your yard. Use deterrents, such as motion-activated sprinklers and natural scents they dislike to scare them away. Then incorporate other methods, like exclusion, to keep weasels away for good.
Read on to find out how to identify where and why weasels might get into your yard and the best ways to get rid of weasels and keep them out.
What Kind Of Damage Can Weasels Cause?
Weasels can cause several types of damage to your property and the animals that live there. Some of the most common types of damage weasels can cause are to the property and wild or domesticated animals. Weasels will try to enter any structures where there might be prey, like chicken coops.
When they dig underneath structures to attempt to gain access, they can cause structural damage to coops or other outbuildings. Weasels love to dig and burrow around the edges of structures.
Any barns, coops, or fences with tall grasses or bushes nearby are prime places for weasels to investigate and look for prey. They love to check out small spaces and holes that are covered.
The most troublesome threat from weasels on your property occurs when they harm or kill animals. Weasels are voracious feeders and will hunt even when they are no longer hungry. Unlike some other critters, like raccoons, weasels will carry food back to their dens for later.
Because of their appetite and how they store food, weasels can wipe out entire chicken coops, including the chickens, chicks, and eggs.
How To Keep Weasels Away
If you notice you may have a problem with weasels in your yard, there are a few steps you can take to protect your property and any animals you may have as well.
Look For Areas Weasels Can Get To Easily
Particular areas of your yard will be easy for weasels to get to. Therefore, these will be the places they will try to get to first. These will also be places where they can do the most damage.
Areas where they can sneak into and under holes and partially covered nooks attract weasels. They feel safer hunting in these more private environments.
Some of the most inviting hunting grounds for weasels are places where you may keep chickens or other animals. Your chicken coops and barns are the highest risk areas.
Take Away Or Protect Their Food Sources
Most times, weasels will make their way onto your property to find food sources. Weasels are carnivores, so you need to protect structures on your property where you may have animals living.
According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources articles on Maryland wildlife mammals, weasels have a diet consisting of mice, birds, and amphibians. While they can cause damage to structures and animals on your property, they are also very effective at controlling the population of rodents.
Take extra care to secure any chicken coops, cages, and barns you may have properly so weasels cannot get at your animals.
Be sure to secure the perimeters around your structures. You will want to look for any loose boards, broken or faulty locks, or holes in fences that weasels could easily get into.
Securing your outbuildings, fencing, and cages will keep weasels from harming your animals and will also prevent them from causing structural damage to your property. Weasels, like all animals, want to take the easy way to their food.
The more difficult you make it for weasels to access your chickens, rabbits, or domestic animals, the less likely they are to keep coming back to your property.
Use Scents Weasels Hate
Using scents is a good way to help repel weasels from your property. Weasels have a strong sense of smell and there are a few scents they will avoid. You can use each one in multiple ways, which we will outline.
Because this is not the strongest method of them all, using scents that weasels hate to keep weasels away is most effective when used with other methods.
We’re going to go over a few scents that weasels hate below, but you can take a look at our full guide on the scents that weasels hate here.
Citronella Deters Weasels
Oil from the citronella plant is probably most popular in its use to deter insects in warmer months. However, citronella is also quite offensive to weasels.
The potent scent of citronella disturbs the weasels’ sense of smell that they rely heavily upon to hunt and find their food.
You can use something like this Firefly Bulk Undiluted Citronella oil in your yard and around any coops or cages where you may notice weasels nosing around and causing damage. Add a few drops of oil to water and distribute the solution in high-risk areas. You may also use this mixture to clean around food sources.
Weasels Hate Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus oil is derived from the eucalyptus plant. These plants are native to Australia but are now grown and cultivated worldwide. The leaves are dried, crushed, then distilled to get the essential oil that is often used for its medicinal properties.
Eucalyptus oil is another powerful smell weasels dislike. Because of their sensitive sense of smell, this type of strong oil will deter weasels from coming back to an area in your yard repeatedly.
This NOW Eucalyptus Essential Oil can be used to make a spray for your yard. Spray these near areas where you have a weasel problem to keep weasels away.
Remember, as with any oil you use outside to deter pests, you will want to reapply often as the oil will lose its potency over time, especially after periods of rain.
The Best Ways To Keep Weasels Away
When you learn that you have a problem with weasels, there are several approaches you can take as you rid your property of them. Read on for the best ways to keep weasels away.
Make Your Yard Unappealing To Weasels
Weasels will want to avoid certain types of elements in your yard that can either attract or repel weasels. One of the best ways to keep weasels out of your yard is to make your yard an inhospitable place for them to be.
Weasels like long grass, shrubs, and bushes to hide in. Keeping your grass cut is a good way to make your yard less attractive to weasels.
You will also want to make sure that if you have chicken coops, animal cages, or barns on your property, you keep the grass short and the bushes trimmed around these areas.
Use Motion Detectors To Keep Weasels Away
You can use motion detector sprinklers to keep weasels away. This is one of the most effective ways to scare them away.
You can buy a motion detector sprinkler like this LuLu Home 360 Animal Repeller Solar Powered Ultrasonic Animal Deterrent and install it on your property in areas where you are having problems with weasel damage. When these sprinklers detect animal movement in ultrasonic mode, they shine a bright light and play an alarming noise to deter pests.
Using a solar-powered motion detector sprinkler system will save you money and you do not have to worry about a power source to use them. However, you can also charge these via a USB connection.
Using this sprinkler method is an effective way to keep weasels away indefinitely, as it will startle them each time they attempt to approach structures on your property. This may deter them from returning over a period.
Trap And Relocate Weasels
If you have tried other methods, such as using scents weasels dislike and strategically located motion-detecting sprinkler systems and have not had success, you might have better results trapping and relocating weasels.
Trapping is another humane option to deal with a weasel problem on your property. You can set traps near your chicken coops, cages, or barns, and then relocate the weasels to another area away from your property.
You can also call a professional to install and take away the traps for you. Depending on where you live, you may have access to different professional animal and pest removal services that can help you get rid of weasels.
An article from The University of Missouri, Controlling Nuisance Weasels in Missouri, states that trapping is the most effective way to remove any small unwanted animals from your property. They also note you should place traps in bushes, in tall grasses near chicken coops, or underground near barns and outbuildings because weasels like to nose around in small, covered areas.
Use Exclusion Methods To Keep Weasels Away
Using exclusion methods to keep weasels away is a good option to invest in if you seem to have a recurrent weasel problem on your property.
First, you will want to get rid of any weasels that you already have. Next, you can implement a few different deterrent methods, such as motion detector sprinkler systems, and using scents that weasels hate around the problem areas on your property.
Once you have gotten rid of the current weasels and put a few other methods of deterrents in place, consider fencing methods to keep weasels out of your property.
Different Types Of Fencing To Keep Weasels Away
If you choose to install fencing to keep these predators away from your animals and off of your property, you will want to make sure it is made of sturdy material and is securely installed.
We will discuss three viable methods of fencing. You are sure to find one to fit your situation!
Electric Fencing Repels Weasels
One option is to install electric net fencing around any chicken coops, cages, or barns on your property. This type of fencing comes in different styles and price ranges.
If you are trying to fence in poultry and keep weasels out, you will want to choose one with small netting. You can also choose portable electric net fencing, so you have the option to move it around your property depending on where you need it.
Be sure to label any electric fences properly for safety purposes. You would not want to touch a live electric fence by accident. Keep yourself and those on your property safe.
Wooden Fences Can Keep Weasels Out
Wooden fences can serve multiple purposes, including keeping weasels off of your property and away from your chickens or other small animals.
As with the other fencing methods and materials we have noted in this article, you will want to make sure your wooden fence is installed securely and that the spaces between the wooden planks are small enough a weasel cannot get through.
Chain-Link Fences To Deter Weasels
Chain-link fencing can be a good option to keep weasels away from your property. If you choose to use chain link fencing as your exclusion method, you will want to choose a fence with very small holes.
Weasels can fit through a hole the size of a quarter so they can easily squeeze through larger holes in a chain-link fence.
If you are trying to keep weasels away from a chicken coop, surround the coop area with something like hardware cloth and then surround the larger area around the coop, grazing areas, and run with a chain-link fence.
While weasels are good at controlling rodent populations in most areas, they can also cause damage to your property.
Weasels can undermine the structural integrity of coops, cages, barns, fences, and other outbuildings. Because they are carnivores, if you keep chickens or rabbits on your property, weasels will go after them. They have been known to wipe out entire chicken coops, from the eggs and chicks to the chickens.
With all the potential damages, a weasel problem on your property can become quite costly if left unattended.
Using the methods above can help you get control of the situation and get rid of weasels indefinitely on your property. If you are having recurring problems with weasel damage to your property or animals after trying these methods, contact a professional to help you keep weasels away from your property.
Johnson, Samantha, and Daniel Johnson. How to Build Chicken Coops: Everything You Need to Know, Updated & Revised. Voyageur Press, 2019.
Quick, H. F. “Habits and economics of the New York weasel in Michigan.” The Journal of Wildlife Management 8.1 (1944): 71-78.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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