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Problem Animal
Short Tailed Shrew

Grouping  Insectivore / Carnivore
Nicknames Often misidentified as a small mole or short tailed mouse; Lion of the Yard; @#$%^&*!
Best Known For Looking like a mouse or mole and the cat bringing it to the doorstep.
Life Span 1 to 2 years.
Mating Season January to May.
Reproductive Details After a 21 day gestation period 3 to 5 young are born in a litter. 2 to 3 litters are born per year.
Dispersal 25 days after birth shrews are on their own living an independent life.
Habitat Lives under leaf debris, garden duff, and tanbark. Commonly found in ornamental planting beds that are not regularly tilled. Typically “tunneling” is limited to non-grass areas but will often use tunnels and trails in the grass created by moles and voles. He is happy to use the highway made by others. Enjoys out of the way places such as full garages, basements, drop ceiling areas, and wall voids close to the floor. Is occasionally found in attics.
Activity Cycle Active year round both day and night.
Food Primarily eats insects of any type, other shrews, mice, moles, voles and subterranean fungus. Typically eats 3 times its own weight per day. He spends a lot of time in the bathroom…so would you if you at that much! He strikes fear into all things smaller than him, as well as his size and even slightly larger critters. He is the “Lion” of the yard!
Inside Damage Toilet site animal – often depositing fecal matter in the same area creating odor problems in basements, under kitchen cabinets and in walls. Fecal matter accumulations are often matted into insulation requiring replacement to correct odor problems. See “Scatology” page.
Outside Damage Often blamed for plant and grass ‘kill-off’. Plant damage is NOT the work of shrews but rather moles and voles. Shrews utilize mole and vole ‘high-ways’ and often are assumed to be the culprits when seen using these trails.
Treatment OUTSIDE: None recommended. They eat harmful insects as well as other small rodents including mice, voles, and moles.   INSIDE: Trapping. Inspect the outside lower perimeter of the house at ground level and close holes. Hole entry size approx ½”.
Distinguishing Features Mouse size. Bullet shaped with a long, pointed snout. Front teeth are black. Short tail about 1/3 the length of a mouse tail. Gunmetal-grey to black in color. Eyes and ears appear to be absent. Fecal matter seems too large for an animal that is so small (3/4” to 1” in length).
Unique Features Only North American mammal with a venomous bite, has poor eyesight and a heart rate of 1200 beats per minute. High pitched, shrill squeal is emitted when threatened. 
Nests & Dens Den sites under leaf debris, plants and man made structures.    
   
 
 

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