The mink is part of the Mustelidae family which also includes the weasel, the otter and the ferret. Mink are wild animals and typically weigh between 600 grams and 1 kilogram. Whilst not particularly large (they can grow up to 24 inches long)they are not a native breed of the UK and therefore they can be very disruptive to our ecosystems and wildlife. Aside from this, whilst their lifespan is short (an average of 2 – 3 years), they will normally produce a litter of between 5 and 10 young annually, thus increasing the population size rapidly.
An effective mink management program is required in areas where mink are a problem, or likely to become a problem. This can only be carried out by professional pest control services. Mink cause a high level of disruption to many different wildlife habitats. This can include, though is not limited to ponds, rivers and other natural waterways. In more domesticated areas, mink can cause havoc to farmers rearing game birds and other small livestock and households with manufactured ponds housing wildlife, including fish, may also be at risk of a mink problem. Mink will tend not to stray far from waterways and water sources as their diet mainly consist of aquatic life. They will also eat other small mammals, including their own young at times. Mink are rarely spotted so one needs to be vigilant and know what to look for. Signs of a mink ingestion problem will include diminishing wildlife around the ponds, rivers and streams in the area. Mink droppings are distinctive by their pungent smell and often contain fish scales or animal fur. The droppings are typically between 6cm and 9cm long. Their footprints are similar to that of the ferret, though they may show 4 or 5 claw prints around a circular pad.
A mink management program should include a thorough survey of the area. Professional pest control services will monitor and then effectively trap the mink. Mink are notoriously difficult to manage and may require several monitoring and trapping programs. This is because the mink themselves have few predators in the wild. They are quite vicious when attacked and many of their potential threats, for example, the fox, will abandon the attack once the mink begins to fight back. Due to their vicious nature and successful breeding, it is highly advised to only use a professional and regulated pest control service to carry out a successful mink trapping and removal program, Only by doing this will you ensure the effective and safe removal of the pest, thus minimising damage to yourself, your stock or the local wildlife.