How to Catch a Shrew

How to Eliminate Shrews: Smart Tips to Remove Venomous Critters

S hrews are tiny mammals common across the US. They can benefit a yard or garden by dining on snails, slugs and insect pests.

If a pesky shrew gets into your garage or house it can cause big damage or spread disease. Don’t try to catch this creature with your bare hands. Although this animal is little, it is very fast and aggressive and can deliver a painful bite.

Don’t know how to scare shrews away and what control products to use? Follow our tips and methods which will help you to make away with shrews in a fast way.

Shrew control: Working products and solutions

Shrews are often mistaken for mice, especially when they move into vacated mouse nest sites. Once they are inside the mouse house, they love to eat mice and then live in the place the mouse once lived.

When shrews are present inside your home, they usually leave a strong, unpleasant pungent odor in places where they act. The smell –strong and pungent – comes from shrews’ anal glands. The best way to describe what a shrew smells like is to say that this creature smells like a skunk. As a rule, these animals use the smell as a defense mechanism and to mark their territory.

The best way to solve a shrew problem is to take preventative measures to “rodent-proof” your property.

If you don’t want them to move inside your house, you are to:

  • Remove shrew entry points by filling holes and crevices;
  • Eliminate their favorite habitats by removing brush.
No matter where shrews are – inside or outside the house, these ill-tempered rodents can cause big damage.

Trapping is the most effective control for pesky shrews. There are 2 types of traps which work on shrews. And you need to decide what to choose – a kill trap or a humane live trap.

Effective trapping ideas for inside and outside control

Where to place the trap?

Before trapping shrews, determine a location. Those who have an outdoor shrew problem should place shrew trap at the entrance of the burrow where a shrew is residing. When it comes to indoor trapping, the best location to place a shrew trap is along the wall in the place where you have noticed signs of shrews’ activity.

What to buy:

  • X-small humane two-door trap by Havahart – designed to trap the smallest critters like shrews and mice with ease. The trap is very simple to operate. Everyone can capture, transport and release shrews with ease.

    Cost: $17.99
    Safety: The trap is a humane and safe tool for removing tiny rodents from your property.
    Where to place: You can place this humane trap along a shrew’s path or against a wall. The trap can also be set with 1 door open. In this case it should be placed in front of an entryway to catch shrews as they venture inside.
  • Humane trap by Grandpa Gus’s – a perfect trap with a clear design. The trap has a second door so you can catch shrews from both directions. The trap is easy to use – no snap, no mess, no touch. The simple step-by-step instructions will teach you how to bait the following trap in less than 10 seconds. No need to pinch your fingers in dirty trap snaps and touch dead rodents. Release a rodent in a humane and simple way.
    Cost: $24.99
  • Rat Zapper Kill Trap – has wide open, comfortable-for-shrews-to-enter entrances. The trap has a special light for easy monitoring which makes it easy for the trapper to know when it is on and when it has gone off.
    Cost: $33.65

How to bait the trap?

Once you have the perfect trap for shrews, you need to find the perfect bait for these nuisance critters. As far as these little rodents are voracious eaters, a good number of items can serve as effective shrew trap bait.

The best ones include:

  • Earthworms
  • Hot dog slices
  • Bacon
  • Peanut butter

A tip to consider: Spreading a mixture of rolled oats with a well-known peanut butter on your trap’s trigger mechanism is the best way to prevent instances of stolen bait.

It’s really good if you can match the bait you are using in the trap to what the shrews find in or around your home. There are several choices you can consider. If you find fruits or vegetables indoor or outdoor being attacked, we suggest using some Loganberry paste. If you have nuts on your property from bird feeders or trees, use Pecan Paste.

How to set the trap?

A shrew trap should be set according to the instructions included with the trap.

Relocation: If you don’t want to leave a shrew trapped longer then necessary, check the trap twice a day. After trapping transport the rodent to some wooded area far away from your property.

Effective repellents for shrew control

Whether you want to keep destructive groundhogs from entering your lawn or yard or drive these pests out, an effective repellent may be the good option.

Review the groundhog repelling options below and choose which solution is best for you:

  1. Shake Away – easy-to-use granular rodent repellent. The product safely repels shrews by using predator scent. Special non-toxic urine granules create a perfect illusion that predator animal is present in your yard or garden. When a shrew detects predator’s scent it avoids the treated area.
    Cost: $33.29
  2. MoleChaser Pest Repeller – efficient repeller to get rid of pesky shrews. The product is made of sturdy materials. Sonic pulses of the device irritate shrews and motivate them to choose a more comfortable place.
    Cost: $19.95
  3. Vibrasonic Molechaser by P3 International – penetrates sonic pulses and effectively removes shrews.
    Cost: $37.58

Shrew poison

When we think of venomous creatures – that come in various shapes and sizes – the first creatures that come to our mind are scorpions, snakes or spiders. Have you ever thought that shrew is also venomous?

Shrew poison is present in the saliva. Shrew produces venom which it uses to disable or kill prey or to defend itself from predators. When this venomous creature bites its victim, the saliva – poison – is introduced into wounds.

As a rule shrew venom is used as a tool for hunting large prey. Unlike venomous snakes who can inject the venom in 1 bite through its fangs, shrews must chew the venom into the prey.

Shrew poison is strong enough to cache prey in a comatose state and to kill mice. What about humans? According to testing, shrew saliva doesn’t have any serious effects on humans. A bite from this small animal would be painful and you may have swelling that lasts for a few days at most.

Although these creatures don’t have a negative impact on humans, they are naturally very aggressive and can attack pets or birds. They sometimes get into the homes by squeezing in small entry points. Because of shrews’ aggressive nature and very sharp teeth, they are able to kill and disable animals even larger than themselves.

Safety: Don’t attempt to pick a shrew up if you have it in your home. Remember, they can bite if improperly handled.

Shrews are a persistent pest. If you own a natural yard or landscape which is rich with seed, nuts, wildlife, and insects, chances are high that these critters will like to live there. If left unchecked, shrews will move inside your home. Remove them by sealing off any available entrance holes. Reduce shrews’ infestation by using either live or kill traps in combination with baits.

Shrews are small mammals that grow between 3 and 5 inches long. They are omnivores and can find their way into homes with relative ease. Shrews are aggressive, and when inside a home they have been known to leave their waste products in food stuffs, attack household pets, and emit a strong and pungent odour.

Since these creatures are elusive and clever, using live traps isn’t the best option. The best devices to use to remove these pests are extended mouse snap traps.

Set up the extended mouse traps in the areas of your home filled with the shrew’s odour. This can include in between walls and under the house.

Place the beef tips on the traps as bait, letting the traps sit overnight. Shrews are mainly nocturnal creatures.

Check the traps every 24 hours, removing dead shrews and baiting the traps again.

Remove dead shrews by putting on cloth or leather gloves and releasing the trap to drop the shrew.

Pick up the shrew’s body, place it in a plastic bag, tie it up and dispose of it immediately.

To try and catch a shrew, not kill it, then get a cat.

We live at the bottom of a nature reserve,last night we discovered a shrew has got into the kitchen, tried quite a few times to catch it but unsuccessful. The cats in the area usually sort it as I can sometimes see the nights hunt on paving stones out the back. I think we are a few cats down at the moment( couple of cats died and 1 moved away)
Husband wants to buy poison/trap and get rid that way , I want to try and catch it take it to top of the large hill and release. It’s a tiny little thing about 3-4 inches.
Last seen making its way behind the t.v in living room, according to teenage DS.
No sighting this morning but haven’t looked really ( drinking coffee, mooching about on mumsnet)
Then AIBU to want to get a cat.

I currently have 2 cats have had 3, only one has caught mice to get rid of them the other 2 caught live mice and brought them to me to catch in the house

I wouldn’t have a cat if I lived near a nature reserve

Mousetraps with peanut butter work fabulously for shrews

My childhood cat used to bring them into the house and then sit back and enjoy the entertainment as we tried to catch the little buggers! My last cat did once drop a shrew accidentally in the house, but I was able (don’t remember how) to catch it. My current cats have never brought anything in. So getting a cat means you might still be trying to catch the shrews yourself.

Shrews have very delicate natures, it’ll die if you so much as look at it funny!

Pound shop fishing net on a long stick. You can grab it from a distance so it doesn’t spook angel leg off again. When it’s in the net it doesn’t hurt it. You may need two to try and guide it with one into other.

Catch it and release it. It probably doesn’t want to be there anymore than you want it there!

I love shrews, with their tiny pointy faces.

There won’t be just one.

YABU. You should tame it.

Sorry. I’ll get my coat.

Be warned as well, not all cats are hunters. It sounds made up but my boss popped home unexpectedly one day to find his 2 cats eating out one bowl and 2 mice eating out the other. Neither cats nor mice were remotely embarrassed by the situation.

I have 3 cats, 1 will hunt anything and can catch a blue bottle in the air (amazing). The other two happily let spiders and moths land on them.

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So you may get a cat and have no less pests.

You can get humane traps, which are set off by the weight of the vermin rodent and then tip up to trap it safely. You can then release them in the safe place of your choice. We use these.

However — are you sure it’s a shrew? 3- 4 inches sounds more vole/mouse sized. Unless you mean centimetres (that would be a shrew). Unfortunately, I don’t know if it would be heavy enough to trigger the trap if it is a shrew.

We caught an escaped hamster once by using a tea towel soaked in apple juice as a ladder into a bucket in which we placed bits of apple and other delights. It climbed up, jumped off into the bucket and was there in the morning, fat and furious (as usual — it was a bitey little git).

Shrews are insectivores aren’t they? Earwig juice, perhaps?

And actually, a terrier is a more reliable slaughter of small creatures than a cat. Of our five cats, three would bring live animals into the house and then release them where they could run under the heaviest piece of furniture in the room. Our present two are killers, though.

Our terriers would murder just about anything, though surprisingly would co-exist quite happily in the garden with our pet rabbits, but kill any they could on walks. (Have to admit we could never trust them with our squeaky, dirty little guinea pigs though).

*darty, not dirty guinea pigs

They took great pride in their appearance and were always shiny and spotless.


Why so upset about shrews that cat is solution?
Just catch it & release. No biggie.

@SchadenfreudePersoni fied

Please, please, please tell me they are called Vlad and Vanka!

Cats don’t eat shrews, they taste bad, but kill them, certainly.

Don’t get cat. We are over run with small rodents frequently thanks to ours bringing them home live and letting them go. And rabbits, bats, stoats, lizards. Rarely is anything dead. Usually very much alive and doing laps of my house.

Why live near a nature reserve then?
How incredibly irresponsible to get a cat when you already say you can see examples of nature that other cats have killed around the reserve.
The whole point of a reserve is to reserve and encourage the natural plants, insects and animals if the area, do not effect that by introducing a pet which will kill some. If you feel like that you should move. Yes YABU

agree with getting a terrier.
shrews are indeed lovely, and unusual

It sounds made up but my boss popped home unexpectedly one day to find his 2 cats eating out one bowl and 2 mice eating out the other. Neither cats nor mice were remotely embarrassed by the situation.

i know op, you Could tame the shrew

We have 4 cats and a previously mouse infested house. They wouldn’t know how to hunt if they tried but their presence is enough of a deterrent.

Shrews aren’t unusual — google them and you’ll see they’re very common rodents in the UK. They’re secretive so not often seen though.

They have an incredibly high metabolic rate and must eat almost constantly to stay alive. If your shrew has been in your house for more than 3 hours youre looking for a shrew corpse.

I have two cats. I remove at least 4 rodents a day from my house. Usually dead, occasionally alive, sometimes half dead in which case I humanely despatch them with a brick. If you don’t want rodents in your house, I wouldn’t get a cat.



Shrews are a small, mouse sized mammal which have long snouts, small eyes and a five clawed toe. It’s head is much more narrow than a rodents and they many times have dark tipped teeth. This is a mineral pigmentation which serves to protect tooth wear. Unlike rodents, shrews do not grow teeth that can stand to wear down. The commonly found house shrew lacks this pigmentation but other traits make it easy to identify.



Shrews have cork screw shaped feces and like flying squirrels, will many times choose one or two locations which they readily use over and over as a kind of “bathroom”. Shrews are commonly mistaken for either mice or moles but are entirely different. There are similar qualities between mice and shrews but one could argue that shrews are more closer in relation to a mole.

Like moles, shrews are mostly insectivores and they have a ferocious appetite. This is due to their rapid metabolism which is similar to a moles. However, shrews are commonly mistaken for mice. This happens when shrews move into vacated nest sites that used to house mice. Since they will do the same with vacant mole burrows, shrews are commonly misidentified for both mice and moles. Watch this short video to see just what one looks like close up.

Shrews are found all over the world with over 30 species living in North America alone. They are among the worlds smallest mammals and can exist where it is very cold, rainy or arid. Furthermore, it has been hard to determine which species, if any, are regional or inclining or declining in population. This is due to the limited amount of research and data available. It is widely known that populations appear to be stable and cyclical. Since shrews can have 2-4 litters a year, they are not as prolific as rodents. However, their average life it longer and quite commonly exceeds two years in the wild. Most litters will have 2-10 young and it will take about one month for a female to birth the litter.


Shrews live primarily on insects. They will readily eat grasshoppers, wasps, crickets, snails and earthworms. However, they will also eat mice, small birds, snakes and slugs. Shrews will also feed on seeds around bird feeders, eggs in bird houses and all kinds of flowers, fruits, vegetables and plant bulbs. This type of feeding is why most people do not like them around the home. Since they have a fast metabolism, shrews will generally feed every few hours and don’t ever rest. Like moles, they can consume their body weight 2 or more times every day! This makes them a menace in and around homes.

Though shrews have a great sense of smell, they have poor vision. Certain species actually use echo location – more commonly used by bats – to navigate the terrain in which they live. Their sense of smell is probably what they use the most to move throughout their territory. Shrews have pungent smelling glands which are used to mark these territories as well as set up social order regarding colonies, courting and reproduction. In fact, this odor is another reason why shrews are not a welcome guest in the home.

Shrews love fish. In fact hatcheries are among their favorite places to feed as are private fish ponds, crayfish farms and just about any small body of water which harbors fish or other marine life. Around the home, shrews will find or create living areas close to bird feeders, pets and gardens. Since they will eat nuts, pet food and just about any type of fruit or vegetable, shrews can find plenty of food supplies around the average home. If the supply of food dwindles, they will forage into homes and start to pilfer pantries and other food storage areas.


Shrews will commonly follow mouse trails looking for a meal. Once inside the home, shrews will prey upon the mice they find and then live where the mice once lived. In a short period of time, their odor will become quite apparent. And even though shrews can navigate during the night, they are not truly nocturnal. Shrews will readily feed during the day and basically will become active as their dietary needs demand going about to feed whenever the local environment will best provide a meal.


Shrews can be a pest to people many ways. As explained above, once inside the home, shrews will leave a strong pungent odor where they are active. It is quite easy to smell this outside in the yard too and it is NASTY! This smell is mostly used the same way a skunk uses it; to ward off would be predators.

People commonly ask what does a shrew smell like and the best way to describe it is to say it smells like skunk. Basically it’s a strong, pungent smell that comes from their anal glands. Shrews use this smell to mark territory, create scent trails (used to navigate into homes, around yards, etc.) communicate with other shrews and as a defense mechanism. Much like skunk smell, since it’s very strong, many animals will not eat a shrew once this foul smell is detected.


Since Shrews like to feed on small birds and eggs – including both wild birds nesting as well as chicken eggs – they can be quite damaging to local bird populations. Many farmers experience a lot of damage which is hard to imagine something as small as a shrew could have caused. However, their rapid metabolism will cause them to feed more like an animal 3-5 times as large.


Shrews will bite and the Red toothed shrew is poisonous. This poison is used to render their food motionless while they eat their prey alive but if you try to handle a shrew, there is a good chance you’ll get bit. Remember, shrews have sharp piercing teeth which deliver their venom precisely and these teeth have been known to injure people so avoid handling them. Their venom is not fatal but it will cause a sore that will linger for many days.


If you think you have shrews active around the yard and don’t want them getting into your home, there are some things you can do.


First, you can try setting out some repellent. COYOTE URINE placed along your property border may keep them from entering. Coyote are natural predators of shrews and are drawn to the pungent smell and odor where shrews are active. Shrews know the distinctive odor of these predators and will tend to avoid areas where they think coyote may be living or feeding. Make urine placements around your property, about every 10 feet, setting out 1-2 oz at any one location. Renew once every 30-60 days. Trace amounts can be effective so even if you don’t smell it, shrews will.

If you reside in regions that experience a lot of rainfall, consider making protecting your placements with LIQUID GUARDS. These protective containers will enable urine to last at least 2-3 months per application. Space them 10 feet apart; they can hold up to 3 oz of urine making them well suited for discreet applications in the landscape

For even more discretion, use CAPSULE GUARDS. These are small plastic vials you’ll fill with urine and place out by hanging them on shrubs or other low ground cover. Capsule guards will slowly release the odor giving you a good 2-3 months of protection. Each capsule can hold around .5 oz of urine and placements should be 2-4 feet apart.


Another natural way to keep shrew populations in check is to help promote the welfare of local owls. These magnificent birds of prey are one of the few which will readily feed on shrews. Due to the shrews pungent odor, many prey animals and birds will ignore them. However, owls don’t seem to mind. Set out a BARN OWL house if you have some in your region. Such houses, when properly made and installed, have high occupancy rates. Once you have either species living in your offering, they will undoubtedly give something back to you by feeding on unwanted shrews, mice and rats. Owls are mostly nocturnal and cover a large area so try to make your house placement where it is dark and near the woods. This will insure they are both comfortable and able to find enough food for themselves and any offspring should they reproduce.

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We have one proven design that come in Plywood.

It also comes built with Cedar.


Lastly, take some time to make sure your home is adequately rodent proof. Shrews, like mice and rats, are good climbers and will access homes from both low and high points. If you have shrew activity around your home, it is only a matter of time before some get inside if you have easy access points. Such locations are usually found where pipes enter the home, poorly sealed windows or doors as well as misfitted vents.

Take some time to seal all these areas and use materials that won’t break down easily. COPPER WOOL is a great way to quickly and effectively seal up such holes, cracks, gaps and voids. It’s easy to work with and won’t rot away like regular steel wool. Its made from copper so it will last a lifetime and SHREWS WILL NOT CHEW THROUGH IT.

WARNING: DO NOT SEAL ENTRY HOLES IF SHREWS ARE ALREADY IN THE HOME!! Once you have a local infestation, don’t do any closure till the problem is under control and no activity is detected present. Getting rid of shrews will take 1-2 weeks on average but ultimately will depend on just how many shrews are presently active and how many trapping devices you employ. Remember, the more traps installed, the faster you will be able to get the problem under control. However, we cannot over emphasize how important it is to NEVER seal holes until all activity has ceased. The main reason is simple: by knowing where they have been active you can then watch and monitor such locations as well as use them for making trap sets. In other words, holes and routes of entry are good to know and will prove to be helpful in getting any local population under control.


There are several styles of traps which work on shrews. You will have to decide which type to use; the choice will generally include a kill or live trap.

The first is the common Mouse Trap. However, don’t use any which are old or employ the metal trigger design. You will get much better results with the EXPANDED TRIGGER MOUSE TRAP. Place these along any wall, behind appliances or anywhere you are finding evidence of activity.

The most important thing to realize when using this type of trap is that you must make a set using a lure or bait that will be readily accepted by the local shrew population (see below for which bait to use).

In general, the more traps you employ the better. We recommend at least 6 traps but 20 is even better.


Since shrews will feed on just about anything, it really helps when you are able to match the bait used in the trap to what the shrews are already finding in or around your property. There are several choices that could work and if you are not sure which to try, get as many as possible and use them all. This will always get results.

If you are finding fruits or vegetables in the garden or kitchen being attacked, use our LOGANBERRY PASTE. Shrews generally cannot ignore this fragrant attractant and can’t resist any offering of 1/2 teaspoon no matter where you place it.

If you have a lot of nuts on the property from trees or bird feeders, PECAN PASTE would be a better option.This stable, highly concentrated nut based paste will get them interested and allow them to find the trap from afar.

Since shrews like insects, another good option is our GRUB LURE. Remember, both insects and nuts are on the short “favorite list” for any shrews menu so either attractant will get good results if you’re not sure what they’re eating.


When using Expanded Trigger Mouse Traps, there are two things you need to accomplish for successful trapping.

First, use as many traps as possible. Though setting out 6 might seem like a lot, the use of 12-20 would even be better. The placement of these traps should be where you have either found holes, trails, damaged food in cabinets or pantries, droppings or where shrews have been seen or left a scent trail. Which ever lure you end up using, the next key is to use enough of it on the trap. To insure you do, you must coat the entire square trigger of the trap with the lure. Use your finger or cotton swab to smear the chosen lure all around the trigger of the trap making sure to get the bottom side of it covered.

Next, smear some underneath the trigger directly onto the wood of the trap. This will cause the wood to soak up the scent of the lure being used and make it that much more irresistible to any passing shrew. Once baited, make sets along walls and against solid objects. Remember, shrews don’t see well and need to have something solid along any trail or pathway they follow. This could be behind a couch, refrigerator, stove, back side of a cabinet or pantry, along a basement or garage wall, etc.

Lastly, make sure the trigger side of the trap is closest to the wall and not the side of the trap. In other words, make the set with the trigger up against the wall so no matter which side the shrew may approach from, it will encounter the trigger first and not the jaws of the trap. This will enable the trap to do it’s job even if the shrew just walks right in without seeing where it is walking. You won’t get the same results if you have the trap laid sideways along the wall so make sure this set is utilized. Be sure to inspect your traps at least once a day but not more then twice a day as this could get any local animals a little shy.


The second type of kill trap that works well for shrews is the ELECTRIC ZAPPER. These box like traps are very effective because they have wide open entrances which are comfortable for shrews to enter. Bait is placed at the back of the trap and in order for the shrew to reach the bait, it will have to step on the mid section of the device. Make sure you use one of the lures listed above and place a teaspoonful at the back of the device WITH THE DEVICE TURNED OFF AND THE BATTERIES OUT. This insures you won’t get “stung” by accidentally grounding yourself out.

Next, place a dab or two at the entrance way, around the edges, to help funnel target animals inside. Shrews that enter will meet their demise when they get to the mid section of the trap. It is at this point where a “ground out” pad will cause the trap to complete its circuit which is powered by batteries. When the circuit is complete, there is a small electric charge which will power through whatever causes the ground out. This charge is enough to kill mice, shrews and rats but can’t hurt animals which weigh 10 pounds or more.

Grounded animals will receive enough juice to die quickly and painlessly. Each trap has a light on top for easy monitoring so you will know when it is on and when it has gone off. Shrews which are killed in the trap will remain inside and will easily slide out for fast and easy removal. All you have to do next is turn the unit back off and back on again for reset. Electrocuting Devices are quick, easy and very effective for shrew control.

For outside use, protect your zapper with a TRAP TUBE. Designed to shield the sensitive electrical components of the zapper from the rain, Trap Tubes come in two colors so they will help camouflage your set. Basically the Zapper will fit inside comfortably and the tube can be set in green, lush areas well hidden using a green tube. For mulch areas with pine straw or wood chips, the brown tube will blend right in.


If you prefer not to kill any shrews, you can live trap existing populations. About the same size as the Electrocution Device, the LT3310 will last many years and is easy to deploy. Just set it where activity has been found and place any of the bait listed above in the back of the trap, behind the trip pad. Be sue to place small dabs at the entrance to help get the shrews headed inside.

Once trapped, you can either destroy or relocate the animal. Be sure to take any you intend on releasing at least one mile from your property to ensure they won’t return. If you release them on a wooded lot, there will surely be enough food for them to survive.

Live trapping is easy and can be done both inside and outside. Use the same locations for making a set as you would if you were using one of the kill traps listed above. Such areas should be along walls, in basements, in crawl spaces, behind appliances or along the foundation wall outside. Remember that like kill traps, the more you set out the faster you will be able to round up all the shrews which are active. In other words, trapping with just one trap will get you results but could take several weeks to remove all which are around your home and property. 2-3 traps working at the same time will provide much faster results as well as help to identify good locations for making sets. If you have 2-3 traps working at the same time and only one seems to be catching shrews, be sure to move the others close to the one which is working best. Pathways which are identified as being active should be targeted and sets should focus around them if you want to get fast results.


Once you start removing shrews, you can then seal entry holes to ensure they won’t get back inside. Do this only after you are able to note at least a two week period with no activity in the home. At that point it will be safe to seal entry points. Use the Copper Steel Wool described above for small holes along with some caulk and hardware cloth where applicable.

Part of the exclusion process will be to deactivate their scent trails. Like many animals and insects, shrews leave very distinct odor trails where they travel. When you remove (trap out) the current population, the shrew scents on and around your home can remain active for 1-2 years. This odor is a kind of “calling card” which will attract more shrews to the scent trails. Once they arrive and start following the scent, they’ll want to get inside the home and your problem can start all over again.

Additionally, even if you did successfully close up all routes of entry, the lingering scent trail will be quite powerful many times serving as a “pot of gold” to any inquiring shrew. And this pot of gold will be so desirable that the new shrews will at least find your yard to use for nests. This will lead to more scent, pheromone and “nasty” shrew odors which in turn will lead to more shrews! Just one female shrew in heat can attract male shrews for years!

To prevent this from happening, you’ll need to spray the perimeter of the home, tunnels, entrances, mounds, nests and basically anywhere you saw shrews or can smell them with NNZ. This odor neutralizing enzymatic acting product will neutralize the organic scent left by shrews so there will be no clue a shrew ever visited your home.

Be sure to spray the entire foundation going up the sides of the home a good 4-6 feet as well as spraying the ground out from the foundation where ever needed. Expect to use 3-5 gallons of mixed material for this treatment. Though one application will usually do the job, a second treatment will not hurt. NNz can be safely applied over grass, shrubs, etc. and won’t hurt plants or wildlife. It will work instantly too so odors will be gone within hours.

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Add 8 oz per gallon of water and expect to get 400-800 sq/ft of coverage per mixed gallon.

NNz can be applied using any standard PUMP SPRAYER.


Odors left inside the home need to be neutralized too. Besides being able to attract more shrews to the structure, shrew odor can be offensive. If you have areas that need disinfection due to the extreme pungent odor left by shrews, spray with the NNz or wash down the area with a rag, sponge or mop.

Shrews are a hardy and persistent pest once they establish themselves on your property. If you have a natural landscape which is rich with nuts, seed, insects and wildlife, chances are high that shrews will like to live there as well. Once they move into the neighborhood, their feeding habits will have an immediate impact on all the local animals. If left unchecked, they will commonly move inside any home. Keep them out by doing extensive closure around the structure sealing off any entrance holes you find around pipes, windows, doorways, etc. Reduce infestations using either kill traps or live traps along with some of the special baits available. Deodorize scent trails and nest sites to ensure other shrews won’t find your home quite as easily.

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Thanks for the helpful info. I have had mice between my floors chewing the electric wiring and once caused a small fire. I have been desperate to get rid of them. The other night one of my cats caught 2 baby shrews. I’m glad to hear the mice are probably gone and wouldn’t mind if the shrews stayed, unless they also chewed wires. Do they?

But, now I’ve learned about the odor…. Well, guess I have to get rid of the shrews now. I wondered why my mice friends in my garage and workshop were disappearing too!

Tech Support says

Sorry to let you know but yes, shrews will chew wires. Like most animals in this size range, they gnaw and chew things as a way to mark territory as well as keep their teeth ground down, sharp and in good working condition. In fact this one common trait amongst all small mammals like squirrels, chipmunks, rats, mice, voles, shrews, moles etc. is the main reason why we generally don’t want them living in our houses. Add to this the fact that they transmit disease, leave feces throughout our living spaces and in general, erode and damage our homes, it’s no wonder most people want them out as soon as their spotted.

On top of the above listed concerns, shrews will no doubt add their unique odor once they get established. Mostly used for marking territory, their scent is quite different from rats and mice. Not nearly as much like feces or urine but pungent and distinct all the same. We’ve found the Odor Destroyer to be a good choice for odor control if you find their scent appearing in living spaces; use it in attic and wall spaces if you have a problem somewhere hidden that won’t go away.

We have caught 8 shrews down stairs and found the hole by the door where they chewed through but everywhere else is concrete. The down stairs is built into the ground. We have recently found two more and don’t know how they are getting in. Any suggestions?

Tech Support says

@Ginny: You need to apply some of the N-100 we talk about at the end of our article above. Shrews rely on scent as a way to mark their trails. These scent trails will linger years long after you remove the active population. The problem is the lingering odor will attract outside shrews to your home and even though you’ve sealed some entry points, they’ll do whatever they can to get back inside because to them, there is a good reason to get there. And if you had a female shrew in heat inside the home, male shrews will stop at nothing to get inside because her scent will be very strong to them.

To get rid of these odors, spray down the outside ground and foundation of the home with the N-100 as explained above and this will remove their old scent. It’s the only product we’ve seen that can effectively neutralize their scent. Wash down the basement with this mixture as well. Once de sanitized, there will be little if any infiltration from new shrews.


Tech Support says

As explained in our article, shrews have a smell that’s similar to skunk. Released from anal glands, this smell is used to mark territory and fend off would be predators.

Additionally, shrews bite. Many species of shrews can deliver a toxic venom with this bite so I advise you to not let any pet (or human) play with shrews. Though not fatal, it will leave a nasty sore and in some cases make the victim feel sick for a day or two.

Am I correct that NO POISON PELLETS will kill shrews? The pellets that kill mice do not work on shrews? Sounds like traps are the best bet?

Thanks. I’m a novice at this.

Tech Support says

Shrews are very different animals compared to mice and rats and in general, rodenticides won’t work on them. Additionally, there are no rodenticides or “baits” labeled for shrews anyway and though they might be tricked into eating some type of poison, in most cases the net result will be negligible. Yeah, you might end up killing 1-2 but in the end, so many will persist you’ll end up using one of the trapping methods listed above to get your problem resolved.

At this time I suggest you decide between a kill trap or a live trap and start there. Trapping definitely works and over time can be used to manage any type of shrew infestation.

We have seen what we think is a mouse in our home, but its not eating any food .. is it possible that it could be a shrew rather then a mouse. We are packing to move so we are bringing in lots of boxes collected from local business’s. We think thats how they got in. We are seeing evidence of droppings in closets, drawers and cabinets, but its not eating anything at all. How can we identify if the droppings are mouse or shrew droppings?

Tech Support says

No easy way to tell the difference but I have to ask what would it matter? In every case when customers call with this kind of problem, they want the animal gone. And since the methods for removing it will be the same for either animal, it won’t matter if they turn out to be mice or shrews.

So at this time I would say to place out some LT3310 traps baited with mixed seed and Pecan Paste. If you set out 2-3 of these traps around the home where you’re finding droppings, you’ll be able to catch either mice or shrews and in the end, solve the problem before it gets worse.

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I have had shrew and mouse problems in my yard for a while. There was a time I caught 8-10 during the season; other times it might be 1-2. It has been a while since the population is under control. Lately I notice they are back with signs of little holes. My questions is will a mouse trap be the only effective tool? It is hard to place traps on an uneven slope. I have tried several ways, its just not effective. 2nd question, should I use fox urine in the holes after trapping a certain amount of them? Or should I use just it around the house for prevention since population is ongoing for years? When should I apply urine directly into the holes? Any suggestions will be extremely helpful.

Tech Support says

Using mouse traps outside in and around shrew borrows can be tough. Especially since their tunnels can be at odd angles and in some cases, not quite large enough to fit a trap comfortably. Additionally, there’s no easy to way to tell which holes are active, etc.

But one sure way to get voles, shrews, deer mice and any other small rodent is to set out a Rat Zapper inside a Rat Nest. The Rat Nest will protect the Zapper from the weather. These units are easy to use and very effective once you know what they want to eat.

So before you set them out, it would be wise to identify something they’re eating. This way you can use the same bait for the Zapper. No doubt bird seed can work. But it might turn out to be something else like pet food or a local nut falling from a tree in your yard.

And to figure out what it might be, simply set some out bird food or some nuts alongside any of the holes you see. Do this just before sunset and see if your offering is eaten overnight or sometime the next day. And once you see some has been taken, you’ll know that location can be used for placing a Zapper.

Now if you’re not sure what they might be eating, get some of our Loganberry Paste. This stuff works great on all small animals meaning they can’t resist it.

Lastly, don’t use any Fox or Coyote urine as repellent until you know they’re gone. And to be sure they’re gone, you’ll need to wait at least 2 weeks without seeing any activity. Once that happens, you can place out urine around the property borders and down their holes. Do this every 2 months and they’ll stay away for good.

I have Ehrlich coming in and they set traps inside and out and caught what they said by my description sounds like a shrew. The shrew left its remains all over my pans and dishes. What can I use to effectively sanitize the dishes and the shelves (covered with wipable Contact type paper)

Tech Support says

The dishes can be washed but you’ll want to empty the cabinet and clean with Rough and Ready seen here:

Let it dry for at least 2 hours and then wipe down or spray with Odor Neutralizer.

You would also be wise to spray the entire perimeter of the home. Shrews leave pungent “pheromones” where active and these are typically left as markers at entrance points. This enables them to find their way inside but will also lead to others directly to your home. To eliminate more coming inside, spray the foundation and any potential entry way with the Odor Destroyer. It will remove the smell and in turn, prevent new shrews from finding your home and getting inside.

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