Small Mouse-Like Creature

newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)August 16, 2005

I keep finding these little mouse type creatures in my yard. Body slate grey including the belly, about 3 inches plus another inch for a short tail. No eyes. I can see were the eyes would be but they obviously normally don't have them. Just a little slit in the fur that you can see was never open were eyes would be. Long nails. When frightened (doesn't take much) they squeek in a very high pitch.

What is it?? I have had them for years. I used to think they were mice until I took a very good look at one and realized they were deffinately not mice.

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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

A mole,vole or shrew maybe? Sarah

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 6:34PM
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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

Here is a picture of a vole. Sarah

Here is a link that might be useful: vole

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 6:56PM
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jillmcm(z6 PA)

Only a mole would not have obvious eyes (they do have them, though) - voles are basically like mice but with short tails. I'll go with mole, especially given the long nails. Never heard one make a noise before, though.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 7:11PM
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vonyon

Sounds like a mole. Do they have those big front paws with the digger type claws? If so, they are probably moles.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 7:12PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Too small to be a mole. This little thing has a body length of 3 inches tops. While it has long nails, it does not have those funny type front digger feet that moles have. What puzzels me is the no eyes. If it had eyes, wouldn't it open them? There are no eyes to be seen.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 7:55PM
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matt_v(Z5 central NY)

Greetings!

Try Short-tailed Shrew: Blarina brevicauda

Yes, they have eyes, but they are small. If it were a Mole, you would notice the bright pink nose, a Vole has rich beautiful brown eyes. I belive the Shrew has one of the highest heart rates of any mammal, and thus an extremely short life span. As such, they must eat nearly constantly, and I ofetn see them in bright daylight...

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 8:31PM
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vonyon

I don't think moles have eyes. Are moles that big? The ones here are pretty small. I would say no more than 3 inches or maybe what I'm looking at isn't a mole!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 9:21PM
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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

I've only seen moles swimming in swimming pools when we had one I never saw him just his hilly trail I've never seen a shrew either but it does sound like one. Sarah

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 9:37PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Matt........high heart rate? Constantly eating? Sounds like me!! hahaha
Rita.....let us know if you figure it out.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 8:38AM
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RodeoSquirrel(zone 6 SePA)

i have them too, its a shrew. very cute but i believe there bite (saliva) is poisonous
i often see them after heavy rains. they have eyes but they are very tiny

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 11:38AM
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Kristy_SC(coastal SC)

It does sound like a shrew. They mostly eat worms, grubs, and insects with the occasional mouse as a treat :). The venom is for hunting purposes and is rarely harmful to humans unless you happen to be allergic to it. Some moles are quite small, but they all the obvious digger front limbs.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 2:31PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I thought voles didn't have eyes? My girlfriend was complaining about the voles at her house when I was there getting some hosta's for my mom. I went to my moms after to plant and the thing came out of the pot along with the hosta! Scared the cr@p out of me! All I remember was it was gray.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 6:29PM
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jillmcm(z6 PA)

Voles, moles and shrews all have eyes, but some are not obvious. Most moles are very small, in the same size range as all the other critters we're talking about. Shrew saliva is poisonous but basically only to their prey.

The big claws on your mystery animal should be the giveaway. I don't think shrews or voles would have them. Use google images to look at lots of pics fast - just remember that sometimes they're misidentified, so when you find one that looks like your creature, double check to make sure that the site looks trustworthy!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 8:12PM
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chuckr30(z5, GR-MI)

I don't know the difference between a vole and shrew, but they are both a little smaller than a mouse, with a tail 1/2 the size of a mouse's tail. Moles have an even shorter, stubby 1/4" tail, like a hamster. And moles will have larger front paws with claws for digging. The star-nose mole will also have a nose with fleshy points on its nose like a star. (Hence the name.)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 8:48AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Hey, I remember this thread from last year. Glad to see its still here. My creatures are still here already saw two of them this spring.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 6:40PM
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gardeningfireman(5-NEOhio)

If they are fat, with short, hairy tails, and brown, then they are voles. Usually found in tall grass where its wet, like a ditch. If they are dark gray, thin, and have a sharp pointy nose, then they are shrews. I find them under boards a lot. If they are gray on top, and white on the belly, then they are juvenile deer mice. All of them have small feet. Deer mice have big eyes, while voles and shrews have very tiny eyes.
Alan

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 4:11PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I just read something that said a vole and field mouse were one in the same. Can't remember what I was reading though. Anybody else ever hear or read that?

Terry

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 5:35PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Mine are solid grey. They have pointy noses and short tails.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 8:30PM
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gardeningfireman(5-NEOhio)

TerryR, yes, voles and field mice are one and the same.
Rita, they definitely sound like shrews.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 9:34PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I figure if they were voles they would eat the plant roots and bulbs and they don't so they can't be voles. Shrews eat earthworms and other grubs and insects that they find in the mulch, leaf litter and grass from what I have read, and I certainly have lots of earthworms, grubs and slugs in my heavily mulched yard.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 5:19PM
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starfyre(z8 wa)

Its definietly a shrew. We have moles here too but still have yet to personally see them - just the mess of tunnels they make and dirt piles all through my garden. The shrews have the long little nose and for a while I thought they were weird mice too. But when my cat caught one and brought it to show me, a friend was over, she said they are shrews and explained the differences between mice moles and shrews.

Here is a link that might be useful: shrew picture

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 12:55PM
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krystyne1

I'm still trying to figure out what I have as well .. same here this mouse like is all black no eyes and small like a mouse with a mouses tail. I've looked at pictures of voles, moles and shrews and none of them even comes close to what I've seen. Even my son is stumped on what this could be. We were up close with the "mouse" .. so my son and I know seen that there is no eyes at all. By the way Rita from LI .. you from Massapequa by any chance .. think you're my sister in law if you hubby is named donald lol any suggestions on this would be great as well .. thanks

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 8:05AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Massapequa is about 20 minutes from here. I still have lots of shrews. My yard and all garden beds are heavily mulched and full of earthworms, slugs and all sorts of bugs so the shrews have lots and lots to eat.

What I can't figgure out is how they make it thru the winter. There are no bugs to eat for them.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 1:39PM
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chicagoerin

Ok, so my dogs are killing these things every day. I have found short tunnels in my yard and they make a screetching noise when the dogs have them cornered. They seem to like living in my rose bushes...what are they and how do I get rid of them???

Yuck
Thanks,
Erin

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 12:59PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Jezz, I haven't been on this forum in months. Your creature does look like mine from what I can tell but they are really tiny so no size compairison can be made with your pictures. I have never noticed any tunnels. If they are caught or upset they make this really high piched squeeky sound.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 1:10PM
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vonyon

Erin, they look like moles. Why do you want to get rid of them? I think they can ruin lawn, but they also eat the Japanese beetle grubs. When I had grubs, the moles came, then they moved on and my lawn looks a lot healthier.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 4:14PM
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chicagoerin

So from the research I have done I am leaning more toward a shrew..apparently the fact that this thing has five "fingers" is the tip off..and no eyes, just slits...

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 5:06PM
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andrea34(6)

Erinb007: IMO, that is definitely a shrew. I had them in my yard last summer. Aside from the annoyance of dying in your yard, they are fairly beneficial and will eat lots of bad grubs and bugs in your garden. My lawn actually thrived after their occupation last summer -- no grubs eating the roots!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 9:09AM
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jaynecady_bellsouth_net

That's a shrew you've got there. I've seen them grey, brown and dark brown. I had them in my place in the PA mountains. We just moved into a new house and my daughter was in bed when I heard this squealing that I've never heard before. Then I hear my daughter screaming.....I open her door to see this little thing sitting in the middle of her room. It didn't even go anywhere. The minute I put the light on it started to squeal again. Amazing how much sound could come out of that little thing. I scooped it into a plastic bag and released in out in the yard but not before I got a good look at it. It definitely wasn't a mouse or a mole or even a vole. It had the pointy nose and long fingers and no eyes that I could see. I'd never seen a shrew before but I thought it was kinda cute! My neighbors told me they were shrews.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 3:08AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Moles are surprisingly large...the next time my dog catches a mole, I'll take a picture. Which should be fairly soon, Soft spring soils has moles working the yard pretty good right now.

We have more voles than shrews in our yard. Voles look like a mouse. Shrews have a long nose. Moles have HUGE feet compared to their body, (their feet remind me of fish fins).

Here is a web page that has a picture of all three on one page, for comparison....

Here is a link that might be useful: Mole, vole, shrew?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:05AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Surprise. I can't believe this thread is still here and still active. I still have the little shrews in my garden. I am sure they love it here because I always have lots and lots of either leaf mulch or a thrick carpet of straw in my garden beds. Gives them lots of cover and lots of earthworms to hunt. I am sure there are lots of other bugs for them too.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 7:28PM
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babylynn94_hotmail_com

PLEASE HELP ME!!!! I moved in my home three years ago and the first winter I had these exact critters and their screech is loud and creepy as well as their living IN MY HOME!! I was able to rid of them with poison(not my first choice or my normal humane way of ridding rodents) and they were gone with in a week. Yet they are back two yrs later and are not at all afraid to come out at any time of day right there in frount of you, sit with you and be an anoyance. I do not want to put poison out (not only because it is inhumane, but because I have a small Chihuahua and cat that I worry about.) PLEASE HELP!! I am desperate for any advice with getting them out of my home! My cat, THE MOUSER, will not go near it and that just makes me wonder what kind of diseses they have, Im literally grossed right out here. Please help!!!!!!!!!!! ANYONE?????

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 9:31AM
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nyg81amy_aol_com

How do I get rid of a vole from my house? It has been here for days now. I want it gone already!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 10:26AM
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DimeADozen

That really does look like a rat, though. That's what I would have thought from a distance. I hope that they are not causing damage to your yard.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 12:35PM
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