How to Get Rid of Shrews


The disappointing news is that there are no certified or scientifically proven repellents, poisons, fumigants, or unpleasant compounds that can be used to manage or prevent shrew infestations. The fact that these little creatures look like rats but aren’t rodents is a bit of good news for gardeners. They are considered to be beneficial insectivores and are capable of consuming up to three times their body weight in a single day’s worth of insects, slugs, snails, and mice. This information comes from the University of Missouri Extension.

A shrew may sometimes make a tiny hole in your lawn or garden, but it is not doing it with the intention of causing damage to your plants or property. The ravenous predator’s goal is to eliminate bugs that are responsible for far more harm than the little hole that it excavated. Take steps that won’t harm the animal but will make your property less appealing to it if the presence of the animal is something you just can’t stand. Shrews will leave an area in search of more desirable foraging grounds if the climate is unfavourable.

  1. Either take down any structures on your land that might provide cover for shrews or relocate them as far away from your garden as you can. The animals are most comfortable in an inconspicuous setting that provides enough opportunities for hiding. Stacks of firewood, bricks, or other items need to be moved about. Get rid of the leaf piles, garbage, and other waste from the garden that is vegetative.

  2. Maintain the shortest feasible cutting length for your grass. When yards are mowed, the habitat for shrews is severely reduced. Reduce the number of possible hiding places for shrews by trimming down low-hanging tree branches and bushes. Because these animals dislike being in open areas, they are susceptible to attack by a wide variety of various kinds of predators.

  3. Regular insect pest treatments should be applied in the lawn and garden areas throughout the year. Whether you choose to use natural or chemical control methods, getting rid of the insects that shrews eat is the most effective approach to deprive them of their primary food supply. These creatures’ high metabolic rates necessitate that they consume food at least once every three to four hours; hence, they won’t be able to survive for very long in an environment where food is not easily accessible.

  4. Take away their easy access to handouts and alternative food sources. When it is at all feasible, feed your dogs inside the house. Feed your pets who are kept outside once a day, and bring their bowls inside as soon as they are through eating. Every day, clean up the area beneath and around the bird feeders. Suet feeders are especially susceptible to poisoning. Even while shrews don’t often choose pet kibble or grains as their primary sources of nutrition, they will eat these things as a last option if nothing else is available. Containers made of glass, metal, or hard plastic should be used to store animal feed. Garbage and trash cans that are kept outside should always be kept securely covered.

  5. Eliminate any areas that may collect water, such as low spots or pools. Your grass and plants should get just the minimum amount of water required. Don’t overwater. A shrew’s rapid metabolic rate results in a strong need for moisture, thus you should avoid creating situations that are very wet since they are extremely enticing to shrews. These animals have a high risk of being dehydrated in a short amount of time. Additionally, moist habitats have a greater propensity to attract insect pests, which diversifies and increases the available food supply for shrews.

  6. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends that you give your dog or cat as much freedom as possible to explore the surrounding environment. Even though they typically do not consume the prey they kill, cats are particularly effective predators of shrews. This is presumably due to the foul, musty smell that is given out by shrews when they are stressed out. Shrews, without exception, are solitary by nature and will not accept the continual or frequent presence of other species, especially those of their own kind. Shrews will avoid situations in which they are forced to interact with others.

  7. In the locations where you believe there may be shrews, you should make a lot of noise and cause as much of a commotion as you can. Shout, clap your hands, and pound a wooden spoon on an old cooking pot to get everyone’s attention. Take a portable radio along with you as you garden. If your neighbours won’t object, crank up the volume. Put the children in charge of playing outside with loud toys and cap guns. Even though there is no evidence to suggest that shrews dislike noise or other disturbances, it is reasonable to assume that such reclusive species steer clear of noisy encounters and disruptions.

  8. Utilize the urine of a predator to treat your property. Shrews, like most other species of prey, are pursued by a wide variety of predatory animals. They will often avoid areas where there are predators that patrol frequently and mark their territory with urine. Always be sure to follow the directions on the container.

    Things You Will Need

    • Glass, metal or hard plastic pet food containers

    • Wooden spoon

    • Old cooking pot

    • Portable radio

    • Predator urine


    Because they are not normally very numerous and do not, on the whole, inflict a large amount of harm, shrews are not commonly considered to be a kind of pest.

    Shrews are classified as members of the order Insectivora and consume primarily insects for food. The majority of their diet consists of beetles, the larvae of butterflies and moths, centipedes, crickets, earthworms, grasshoppers, ichneumonid wasps, millipedes, slugs, snails, spiders, and other insects. These tiny carnivores are opportunistic, so whenever they have the opportunity, they will take mice, other shrews, small birds, small snakes, and even carrion if they can get their hands on it. If they cannot find any other food, shrews may sometimes consume plant or vegetable matter if they have no other option.

    A shrew that is scared will stink more than a calm shrew. These creatures’ smell glands, which are found around their stomachs and flanks, release a powerful, musty stench into the environment.

    Shrews have a wide variety of predators that frequently take their lives. The majority of predators, with the exception of hawks and owls, will not consume the kill because of their unpleasant odour. These birds of prey do not possess the acute olfactory receptors that other forms of wildlife have, which explains why they are not turned off by the shrew’s musty odour and are especially ravenous shrew eaters.

    Some species of shrew use high-pitched echolocation squeaks in order to navigate their environments, similar to the way bats do.


    Never corner a shrew or try to handle it with your bare hands; they may be quite dangerous. These tiny fellas have a lot of attitude for their size, and if they perceive that they are in danger, they will put up a battle to defend themselves.

    The venom glands of the short-tailed shrew subspecies are located in their lips, allowing them to easily kill mice. It is possible that this poison in the saliva will make a human bite that is already painful much worse.

    Different fish and game departments in your region could include certain species or subspecies of shrews on their lists of animals that are threatened with extinction, endangered, protected, or species of concern (vulnerable to extinction). Because of this, the laws of the state and the federal government protect the creatures, making it unlawful to hurt, kill, or possess (capture and transport) them for the intention of relocating them. Infractions of these statutes pertaining to wildlife are taken very seriously. The obligatory punishments might be fairly harsh depending on the legal classification of the individual animal in question. These include hefty penalties, the impounding of vehicles (in the event that a classified species was being transported in one), and maybe jail time. For the most up-to-date information, speak with a representative from your community’s cooperative extension department or wildlife agency.