Weasel, the Common, or Mustella vulgaris, L. a diminutive animal of prey, frequenting barns, granaries, and out-houses: its body seldom exceeds 6 or 7 inches in length, and the legs are remarkably short.
Weasels propagate in the summer, when they retire to low grounds, near mills ; and either conceal themselves among brushwood, or in old willows; the female producing from 6 to 8 young ones, that are blind at first, but soon acquire their sight, and are enabled to join their parents in nocturnal depredations. - Like the Polecat, and Ferret, weasels emit a very offensive odour; and, though of a diminutive size, they are formidable enemies to many larger animals. Among rabbits, poultry, and young birds, weasels commit extensive devastations, and they likewise devour incalculable numbers of eggs. But to counterbalance, in some measure, these depredations, they also destroy many noxious animals, such as rats, mice, and moles.
The following method of entrapping weasels has often been practised with success : It consists of a wooden box, or hutch, resembling the kennel usually provided for a house-dog; but it is divided in the middle by an open wire-partition, extending from one end to the other; and being again separated into two cages, one of which may be baited with a tame rabbit, and the other with a live fowl ; while the remainder of the hutch may be formed into a falling box, for securing the depredator. This trap may be placed in coppices, and hedge-rows. - See also Martin.
Weasel-Snout, Yellow Archangel, or Yellow Dead-nettle, Galeobdoton luteum, L. is an indigenous perennial, growing in woods, shady places, and moist hedges ; blowing in the month of May. The flowers of this plant afford to bees an abundant supply of honey.