Common name: Northern short-tailed shrew
Scientific name: Blarina brevicauda
Adult body length (without tail): 3 to 4 inches
Adult body weight: 1/2 to 1 ounce
Gestation period: about 21 days
Litters per year: 1 to 3
Litter size: 2 to 10 (usually 3 to 6)
Breeding season: February through September
Birthing season: March through October
Age at which young are weaned: 3 to 4 weeks
Activity period: Night
Range: 1/5 to 1/2 acre
Primary foods: Insects, slugs, earthworms, small animals, seeds, roots.
Shrews that inhabit urbanized areas occasionally encounter and attack birds at feeders and sometimes pets. Shrews seldom interact with humans except for their occasional entry into buildings and residences. When shrews or their feces are found indoors, most people want them removed. They prefer live prey when available but will occasionally feed on and contaminate stored foods, plant roots and seeds. Although often mistaken for mice and meadow voles because of their small size and furry appearance, shrews are not rodents but are insectivores and related to moles. If grasped by a child or careless adult, a shrew will bite.
With the exception of toxic baits, most of the same measures used for controlling mice indoors will give favorable results against shrews.
Mouse- or rat-size snap traps and glue boards placed on floors, along walls in those areas of the building where shrew activity has been observed, will generally yield favorable results. These methods are strategically placed by Rottler technicians and, where necessary, sheltered, to protect children and pets from accidental injury.
Presently, there are no toxic baits that are EPA-registered for controlling shrews.
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