shrews in my house

NJdragonfly(7)September 28, 2005

Hi everyone!

I'm new to the gardenweb. I have a question that I'm hoping someone may be able to answer for me. I have recently moved to an area that has quite a bit of different kinds of wildlife. I believe the little fella in my house is a shrew. I did some research and he fits the description perfectly. Apparently, he has access in my bedroom closet (from the crawl space). I don't know if he could do damage or if he has a whole family with there 'little bags packed'. Anyhow, I certainly don't want to hurt the little guy. I was wondering if anyone else has had a shrew move into their house? Believe it or not....My husband and I actually saw him trying to pull a toy baby bottle under the closet door! Any info anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.


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jillmcm(z6 PA)

Wow, that does not sound like a shrew's behavior to me! I'm not aware of shrews ever moving into a house, or of a shrew that would be interested in a plastic object...can you describe the critter for us so we can try to confirm your identification? I would be very surprised if it were a shrew - but animals never cease to amaze us! :)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 7:35PM
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To my knowledge shrews eat earthworms, and would not attempt to live in a location with no food available.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 10:27PM
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The critter is small, about 3 to 4 inches long, with a short tail with short fur on it, dark in color, almost black, kind of a long and pointed nose, small eyes, small ears. He also doesn't really seem to notice us, unless we make a noise. If it isn't a shrew...does anyone have an idea of what he may be??

Thanks for your responses.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 11:56AM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Get a little live trap, bait with dog food and send him outside after he's caught. Maybe he's a juvenile who is lost.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 4:47PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Shrews are fairly commonly found inside, where they come to find shelter or even to invade the nests of mice or rats. I'll bet that you can live trap the shrew (or shrews) and release them. Unless you eliminate their access point, however, don't be surprised if they return! Shrews will eat almost anything and have to eat very frequently. If one is actually living in your home, he has a food source of some kind. He might just be coming and going.

Shrews can be agressive little animals. Don't forget that if you manage to get one in a trap. You don't want a shrew bite.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 2:30PM
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I just saw a shrew [I think] run through my utility room on its way somewhere in the walls. I know this house has had mice before, but I haven't seen any. I also have a couple holes around the foundation of the house. a couple of days ago I put lanscaping cloth down and rocks on it. Now there is a hole in the center of it with no dirt on the outside - even some of the rocks disappeared. What is that~?! is it related to the "shrew".

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 2:33PM
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harleylady(PNW/USDA 8b/Sunset 6)

I found a shrew floating dead in my dog's water dish recently. The trap to our crawlspace is in the butler's pantry where we feed the dog so I'm pretty sure he got in that way. Even though my dog is a JRT, he has never been one to go after rodents dead or alive so I think this guy just fell into the dish and drowned.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 11:08PM
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I have something in my ceiling and I have spotted it several times in our furnace room and in one hallway... It is definitely blackish in color and relatively is active during all parts of the day and does not really go for mouse traps with peanut butter on them, or the ones that go along the wall......HELP!!!!!!! it keeps me up all night in our ceiling!!!Urgg....

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 12:29AM
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We have found 5 shrews in our house in the past 5 weeks. They are pygmy shrews and we don't know what to do with them.We have come to the conclusion that the mouse food for our 2 pet mice, might be the reason they are here. It is very difficult to know where to put the traps as we have seen them on so many different rooms. Any help would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:12AM
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I have caught 4 shrews in my house ever since a tornado ripped through my neighborhood. Tornado did mild damage to my home but rattled it pretty good! Never saw one til two weeks after ward! One I just caught on a sticky trap and the darn thing got loose! By the way he was feisty! He made a loud scretching sound! These little guys seem to have upgraded from worms to cherry pop tarts! I witnessed one trying to chew a hole under the base boards once he made it big enough to come through he attempted to drag a poptart into the whole. My question is are they likely to be poisonous?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 2:00AM
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Not to you. Some types do have a substance in/on their back teeth that is used to kill other small creatures. Most people can not get their fingers in the mouth far enough to activate the glands.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 9:36PM
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Sorry and I know this will offend but must post anyway. I cring when I read about the sticky traps. They do not kill but just trap the critter which will not kill it but only terrify it until it dies by starvation or is killed a week or so later when crushed in the garbage truck. If you can either use catch and release or traps that kill immediately if the critter is fully caught.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 9:42PM
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I just live trapped a shrew, which was visiting the kitchen and eating dog food that our dog left out (he spills a bit). I knew it was something different, as we've had mice and the droppings were different. He had been in the trap about 8 hours, had eaten the peanut butter already, and was listless... when I checked the release site, he'd gone, though.

And, yes, Never use those sticky traps!! They are horrible!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 12:15PM
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After a hurricane in the Maryland area i ended up with a hole in my roof and water damage to the drywall in my bathroom. I removed the drywall but left the area exposed for a day. The next day i found a shrew in my bedroom! I trapped it and released it, but what are the chances that the shrew was in the crawlspace and fell through the hole in my ceiling, survived the fall and then made it's way from the bathroom on the far side of the house to my bedroom? Do shrews climb walls or live in attics?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 1:59AM
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Hi! I have a rodent in my apartment which I thought was a mouse. But after searching for images I found it was a short tailed shrew. At least it matches the picture. It won't get trapped; it reaches in the trap and pulls out the cheese (I didn't read anywhere that shrews like cheese). It's constantly up and about and driving me a little crazy. I almost bought a sticky trap but decided I didn't want to kill it. Any advice? Should I get a different live trap? or should i just live with it until it dies (I don't think there's a family)? would it be good for preventing insects? Will it bite unprovoked?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:23PM
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Shrews are bold, they will take over holes and tunnels left by other animals so they should not be allowed to remain in your home. They are also a bit fearless and have been known to bite family pets and people if cornered. Very different from the mice we have had. They also reproduce pretty quickly and many of the natural predators that we hope would get them don't like to eat them because of the odor they produce. We were shrew free for about 3 years after sealing up but they have gotten back in this year and are boldly running across the kitchen floor! Back to trapping and sealing up the holes!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 5:11PM
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I would like to share two pieces of information. To the person who said they tried cheese to trap the shrew and it didn't work, I would suggest using peanut or almond butter. Both mice and shrews seem to like it and they have to work harder to get it and therefore, they usually get caught. My second piece of info. is really a suggestion. Do not ever use sticky traps to trap shrews or mice. It is very inhumane because it makes them suffer a long time before they die. Instead, use either a snap trap or a live trap. Personally, I prefer a snap trap but not because I want to kill the mice or shrews. I really don't want to kill the mice or shrews but when I tried a live trap I was not able to catch the critters. So, I came to the conclusion that I had to use the snap traps and kill them since it's not a good idea to leave them in your home. I hope this helps at least a few people who find and read this.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2014 at 3:07PM
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  • Hated to resort...but got glue pads. Caught it in less then 30 minutes. Felt horrible. But found out today...they can climb and r venemous. If bite gets infected not good. Kill them. I felt horrible and guilty. But after what I heard about them today..
    Bookmark   March 16, 2015 at 12:43AM
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