With springtime now just a few weeks away, it’s almost that time of year when Georgia homeowners venture out into their yards to begin cultivating their lawns, gardens, and landscaping. Interestingly enough, that’s right around the same time that the southern short-tailed shrew also ventures out into those very lawns and gardens, but with a much more destructive effect.

Native to Georgia and most of the southeastern United States, the southern short-tailed shrew is a small mammal that looks a lot like a rodent at first glance, but really isn’t a rodent at all. A member of the Soricidae family, the shrew is one of well over 350 insectivores known to exist. A prolific breeder, the southern short-haired shrew breeds almost non-stop between the months of February and November. With gestation lasting 21-30 days, shrews can produce several litters of 2-6 offspring during the year.

Shrews in the Yard

With its small, cylindrical body, pointed snout, and strong, wide, front feet, the shrew is adept at burrowing. With the ability to burrow at a rate of up to one foot per minute in soft soil, just one shrew can be harmful to the plants, lawns, and other vegetation within its home range, which typically varies in size between one-half to 2 full acres. Add to that the fact that shrew population densities of up to two dozen per acre have been recorded, and it’s easy to see how numerous shrews and their intricate system of underground burrows can wreak havoc on your precious flower beds, gardens, and lawns. Shrews also loosen soil and create holes that could make walking in the yard or garden dangerous.

Shrews in the House

While it may seem less likely that you would actually see a shrew in the living spaces in your home, it’s quite feasible to imagine a shrew (or another pesky critter) making its way into the exterior recesses of your home. Since shrews are almost always foraging for food, it’s not inconceivable that they make their way into a gap in the building’s foundation, a crack in the wall, or even a large gap around a pipe. While it’s likely that a shrew doesn’t intend to infiltrate the recesses of your home, it’s still possible that they might.

What To Do with Shrews?

Because of their destructive effects, it’s easy to see why the typical homeowner and/or gardener would want to keep shrews out of their yards and gardens. While poison traps and lethal traps are effective in neutralizing the effect of a single mole, one trap at a time, it does nothing to prevent a future pest. Also, since a shrew poses no health risk or hazard to humans, simply killing them in the name of our inconvenience doesn’t seem to make much sense, either. As for non-lethal methods such as chemicals and other repellent, a lot of gardeners hesitate to apply such harmful toxicants near plants, especially plants they plan to harvest and eat.

Call a Professional with a Comprehensive Plan

If you live in the Greater Atlanta area and are looking to keep shrews and other nuisance wildlife out of your yard and away from your home, call Wild Trappers for professional humane animal trapping and removal. Not only will their state-licensed experts trap and remove any and all of your nuisance wildlife problems, but they also offer comprehensive services beyond that to repair animal damage, remove animal waste, nesting materials, and prevent re-entry.

If you have unwanted guests in and around your yard, Wild Trappers can help! For a professional