Shrew evidence of intrusion may be particularly difficult to determine visually. As one of the smaller mammals visual sightings are rare. Please review the other types of evidence that have been gathered for you below to help determine if you have shrews in your yard, gardens and buildings.
Shrew Evidence of Intrusion- Tracks
Tracks vary only slightly between species and are usually about one (1) inch wide with the tail drag showing behind. The tracks of the front feet will be parallel to the tracks of the rear feet. Remember to look for five (5) toes on both the front and rear tracks. Look for tracks in wet soils or snow.
Shrew Evidence of Intrusion-Scat
Shrew scat, or droppings, is uniquely corkscrew shaped. Shrews often have a regular scat spot. Look for this type of evidence of intrusion as small, rice grain sized corkscrew scat in piles rather than scattered about.
Shrew Evidence of Intrusion-Ground Litter Tunnels
Shrews make extensive runways under the leaf litter in wooded areas. Look for small tunnels, only one (1) to two (2) inches wide. This type of evidence will be prevalent in wooded areas and lawn areas that are left at a longer length.
Shrew Evidence of Intrusion- Holes and Nests
Evidence of shrews will often come with the discovery of nests or nest entrances, i.e. holes. Shrews often build their nests underground; as a result, they leave visible entrance holes above ground. Look for small holes, approximately one (1) inch in diameter or smaller. This evidence would be best sought near fence rows and building foundations. The nests themselves will be quite homey and lined with vegetation and fur.
Shrew Evidence of Intrusion-Smell
Shrews have a defense mechanism much like the skunk-a putrid stench. Shrews have glands that secrete a substance from their underside that is so repugnant that while a predator may kill a shrew, they normally do not eat it! Evidence of shrew intrusion could include a smell likened to rotting garlic. If a shrew has taken up residence under you home you will detect this smell occasionally.
From the shrew’s ever present repugnant odor to their corkscrew shaped scat there are some very unique methods to determine shrew evidence of intrusion.