The shrew is a small, mouse-sized mammal with an elongated snout, a dense fur of uniform color, small eyes, and five clawed toes on each foot. Although their external appearance is generally that of a mouse with a long nose, the shrews are not rodents and not closely related. Shrews are similar to mice except that mice have four toes on their front feet, larger eyes, bicolored fur, and lack an elongated snout. Moles also are similar to shrews, but are usually larger and have enlarged front feet. Both shrews and moles are insectivores, whereas mice are rodents.
Shrew Nuisance Concerns
Most species of shrews do not have significant negative impacts and are not abundant enough to be considered pests.
The pugnacious nature of shrews sometimes makes them a nuisance when they live in or near dwellings. Shrews occasionally fall into window wells, attack pets, attack birds or chipmunks at feeders, feed on stored foods, contaminate stored foods with feces and urine, and bite humans when improperly handled. Potential exists for the transmission of diseases and parasites, but this is poorly documented.
Mouse traps, Small box traps, or Pit traps are effective on shrews.
Cats may reduce densities around structures. Owls consume large numbers of shrews. Mowed grass around structures may increase predation.
Call Westchester Wildlife for Shrew Removal.