Weasels are small carnivorous mammals found on every continent except Australia, surrounding islands, and even harsher polar regions. Although there are several weasel species existing worldwide, the most popular one of the bunch is the common weasel, also called the European weasel. With the length from the tip of their nose to the end of their tail barely more than 6 inches, these diminutive but ferocious predators are the smallest carnivorous mammals in the world. They belong to the mustelid family and share a close resemblance with the stoat species.
Weasels poop at least three to four times daily and they like to do it close to their homes. In this article, we shall be delving into the pooping system of weasels in order to help you learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about their waste.
What Do Weasels Eat?
Weasels primarily eat rodents like mice and voles, as well as lemmings up north, and occasionally, birds. Additionally, they are known to consume eggs and have the strength to kill larger creatures like ducks and rabbits. Although weasels may have the ideal body form for squeezing into tiny tunnels, their long bodies have a huge surface area, which causes them to lose a lot of body heat. Weasels are particularly prolific hunters. They need to consume around a third of their body weight in food each day to guarantee they have enough energy to survive.
What Do Weasels Poop Look Like?
Like those of most other carnivores, weasel droppings are narrow with twisty ends. They smell musty and are blackish-brown. However, they are somewhat shorter and thinner than the poop of other carnivores, averaging around 2.36 inches (60 mm) in length. Weasels are native to North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and portions of Africa. They can be found in woodlands, coniferous forests, and grassy plains, among other habitats. These animals enjoy spending their time in crevices, tree roots, and abandoned burrows which are lined with grass and fur. Because of their love for burrowing, it is not uncommon for humans to find weasel poop around in their gardens.
Weasels have similar droppings to stoats, only that they are shorter and sometimes, not as black. Like some other mammals, weasels like to leave their poop close to their homes as a way of marking their territories. Poop near a weasel’s hole not only serves to identify their territory but also to let other weasels know that there is another one nearby, increasing their chances of finding a mate. Weasels are predators that go after animals like rodents, gophers, and even rabbits. These animals can eat as much as one-third of their body weight every day, and because of this, they poop very frequently, leaving their dirty business around for people and other animals to find.
Weasels spend most of their time hunting and eating. However, because of their extremely quick metabolism, these creatures leave behind a lot of droppings, which are an unpleasant surprise for nearby inhabitants on sidewalks, stairways, and play areas. Their poop is unsightly and difficult to wash away. When they dry, they turn hard and black, and most often, their droppings contain bones, feathers, insect cuticles, and fur.
Is Weasel Poop Dangerous?
Like feces from most animals, weasel poop is relatively dangerous to human and animal health. Weasels do transmit some diseases that you should be aware of. Although contracting such diseases is uncommon, it is essential to remember that they are disease carriers when in close contact with them. Their feces can pose dangerous threats by way of passing along many different kinds of diseases, such as the H5 flu virus (bird flu), Salmonellosis caused by the salmonella bacteria, and Campylobacter. Apart from their feces, their bites are also known to carry some diseases like rabies.
Is There a Difference Between Weasel and Rodent Poop?
Weasels are sometimes confused with rodents by many people. Most rodents have short, stocky bodies with short limbs and long tails. Going by this description, it is easy to conclude that weasels are not rodents. Rodents and weasels belong to entirely different orders and are unrelated. Their bodies have distinct shapes, and their teeth are totally different. Weasels and rodents have quite distinct diets, and weasels even frequently eat rodents.
Aside from the difference in their families and appearance, there is also a significant difference between their droppings. Rodents like rats have very distinct-looking poop. Rat droppings are usually black. The blacker the dropping is, the fresher it is. This makes it easy to tell whether or not you have a recent infestation because old rat poop loses its shiny black color and dries out. However, weasel poop is more brown than black and significantly bigger than a rat’s poop.
Rat droppings often have a sausage shape, however, they occasionally take the form of pills. A perceptible pinch may also be present at either end when the dropping appears rather pointed. On the other hand, weasel droppings have a little upward curvature and are long and slender. Rodents like squirrels have droppings that are almost cylindrical with rounded edges. They range in size from eight millimeters to three-eighths of an inch and are brown or red in color due to their diet.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/VictorTyakht
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- Pest Detective, Available here: https://www.pestdetective.org.nz/culprits/weasel/
- Derbyshire Mammal Group, Available here: https://www.derbyshiremammalgroup.org.uk/weasel_id.html
- Critter Control, Available here: https://www.crittercontrol.com/wildlife/weasel/weasel-droppings