Mink are highly regarded as prolific predators and rightly so. American mink were farmed in the UK for their high quality fur, these farms were unfortunately targeted by animal rights extremists who believing they were doing the animals a favour releasing them into the wild. Where this may be perceived as beneficial to the mink it has certainly proven detrimental to other native wildlife. Mink will frequently attack and kill prey much larger than itself. A mink diet will typically consist of fish, frogs, and birds including ducks and signets and small mammals of which rabbits are a firm favourite. They are often found around waterways and lakes throughout the UK breeding quite freely. If you have fish disappearing from a netted pond and upon closer inspection you find half eaten fish stashed under over hanging vegetation, a mink is almost certainly to blame. The mink is an elusive animal seldom seen often leading people to believe they are nocturnal hunters, however the mink is happy to hunt at any time of day or night.
Why control mink?
The American mink is a non native species to the UK and as already stated above its release has had a big effect on native wildlife. They will decimate fishery stocks as well as taking poultry, almost always relishing the opportunity of an easy meal. As a rural pest control specialist in Herefordshire I am often asked about mink. There are significant concerns currently regarding the number of water voles in the UK, their decline closely associated to the mink. Water voles are also a main source of food for other species of wildlife, as a result it is important that we promote the habitat for these animals which also means predator control.
How to catch mink.
I utilise two methods for controlling mink dependant on the location of the problem. If there is any suggestion that there are non target species in the area such as the otter, my preferred method is to use live cage traps either on purpose built rafts or set along the waterway. Utilising live cage traps means that only the target animal is dispatched following correct identification. If there is no indication of otters and such in the area it is possible to set MK6 Fenn traps in purpose made tunnels which prevent non target species entering them ensuring a quick humane kill.