Northern and southern short-tailed shrews as well as Eliot's short-tailed shrews are small, mouse-like mammals with sharp teeth, long snouts and dense fur. Found throughout North America, they have five clawed toes on each foot and poisonous saliva, which kills larger prey such as mice, birds, snakes and even other shrews. They are known to climb trees and feed on young birds in nests as well as eggs. These short-tailed shrews are also known to attack pets while feeding on any stored foods around your home, once they gain access. The best way to get rid of short-tailed shrews is to trap them using a mouse or box trap indoors, or a pit trap outdoors.
Things You'll Need
- Mouse trap or small box trap
- Peanut butter
- Rolled oats
- Bacon grease or hamburger
- Plastic bag big enough to old a shrew and trap
- Gallon jar or large can
- Cotton wool
Buy a commercial mouse trap or small box trap. The more humane box trap will not kill the shrew.
Bait the trap with a small amount of peanut butter and rolled oats as well as a dab of bacon grease or hamburger.
Set the mouse trap at a right angle to a wall with the trigger placed away from the wall. If you're using a box trap, set it parallel to the wall.
Wait for the shrew to be trapped. If using a mouse trap, put a plastic bag over your hand to pick up the trap and shrew, and dispose of both. If using a box trap, release the shrew far from your property.
Dig a hole large enough to sink a gallon jar or large can until the lip of the container is level with the ground.
Smear a small amount of bacon grease around the lip of the jar or can to entice the shrew.
Line the bottom of the jar or can with cotton wool if you don't want to kill the shrew.
Put the jar or can in the hole.
Check the pit trap each morning. Dispose of any dead shrews in the trap or relocate live ones.
Tips & Warnings
- To prevent shrews from getting into your home, place ¼-inch mesh hardware cloth over any entrance points that shrews can get into. Cotton steel wool also will work.
- To keep shrews out of your yard, regularly mow grass, especially around structures.
- Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management; Shrews; Robert H. Schmidt
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Blarina brevicauda Northern Short-tailed Shrew
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Blarina carolinensis Southern Short-tailed Shrew
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Blarina hylophaga Elliot's Short-tailed Shrew
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