Common name: Weasel
Botanical name: Mustela nivalis
Management programme: Advisory

Where are they originally from?

Weasels were introduced from Europe in the 1880s to control rabbits.

Why are they a pest?

They are a significant predator that preys on a variety of native birds, lizards, eggs, and insects, and can have a significant impact on invertebrate and lizard populations.

Where are they found?

Weasels like to live in gardens, farmland and scrub.

What do they look like?

  • A long slender animal with legs relatively short compared to the body.
  • They have reddish-brown fur on its back, a white or cream coloured underbelly, and a short tail (relative to stoats) with no black tip.
  • Variable line between brown back fur and white underbelly fur.
  • Shorter and lighter than stoats.

What are the rules?


Council does not enforce the control of advisory species. It is landowner/occupier responsibility to manage these pests. Council may provide advice on how to manage or control advisory species if required.

How do you get rid of them?

  • Trapping
  • Poisoning

CAUTION: When using pesticide please READ THE LABEL thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed. When using traps please ensure that all instructions, safety requirements and laws (in particular the Animal Welfare Act 1999) are followed.

NAWAC (National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee) approved kill traps need to be set as per the manufacturers guidelines. 

Guidelines on trap use  https://www.mpi.govt.nz/animals/animal-welfare/animal-welfare-and-pest-management/traps-and-devices/

DISCLAIMER: Information in this fact sheet regarding herbicides does not necessarily appear on the labels of the products concerned. Bay of Plenty Regional Council does not accept liability for any damage that may arise from the use of herbicides at non-standard rates. Mention of product trade names implies neither endorsement of those products nor criticism of similar products not mentioned. . Bay of Plenty Regional Council does not accept liability for any damage or injury that may arise from the use of traps, toxins and firearms.

 Read more on pest control guidelines and regulations

Image credit: Taranaki Regional Council