What Are the Differences Between Alaskan Mice and Shrews?

January 14, 2021 6:49 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

We have all sorts of different animals in Alaska that try to get into homes and cause a ruckus. Two of the most notorious pests are mice and shrews. While they may seem about the same to a homeowner, the two animals are quite different from one another. This post from your trusted exterminator in Alaska will teach you everything you need to know about the difference between shrews and mice.

Shrews are venomous

The biggest difference between mice and shrews is that shrews are venomous, while mice aren’t. Shrew saliva contains a venom that kills or disables smaller animals and insects that the shrew is hunting. Fortunately, the venom isn’t harmful to humans. While a shrew bite will hurt and the area may swell up, it’s not going to kill you.


Another big difference between shrews and mice in Alaska is their diet. Mice are rodents, primarily feeding on seeds, roots, grass or leaves. While they’ll eat pretty much anything you leave around for them on the floor or in the kitchen cabinets, mice are vegetarians in the wild.

Shrews, on the other hand, are classified as insectivores. They might eat vegetation when necessary, but their primary diet is meat. A shrew uses its venom to hunt beetles, crickets, snails, worms, small snakes, mice and even other shrews.


Both shrews and mice are considered nocturnal critters, but you can occasionally find them around at different times during the day. You may see mice scurrying around early in the mornings or late afternoons looking for food. Shrews are also constantly on the hunt, regardless of the hour. They have an incredibly high metabolism, needing to eat two to three times their own body weight each day.

Mice are very social animals, whereas shrews are not. As any exterminator will tell you, mice live together in groups and will build huge nests to defend themselves from predators. A shrew typically lives a solitary life until breeding season arrives.


Both of these pests are incredibly quick, so you might not be able to get a very close look at them when you have an infestation in your home! Mice range in appearance, from gray to white to brown to black. Shrews are only gray, though. Shrews are also smaller than mice and have pointy noses. Since they’re meat eaters, shrews have pointy teeth, while mice have grooved incisors.


Unlike mice and other rodents, which have excellent eyesight, hearing and sense of smell, shrews aren’t very lucky when it comes to their senses. To make up for their weak eyesight, hearing and smell, shrews use echolocation to navigate. Just like with dolphins, whales and bats, echolocation allows shrews to get a feel of their surroundings and locate prey.

Call an exterminator as soon as you spot one

Whether you spot mice or shrews inside your Alaska home, you’ll need to call an exterminator to remove them. The longer you wait to schedule rodent control, the worse your infestation will get. When you hire our team at Pied Piper Pest Control, we’ll send an expert out right away to remove all the pests and ensure they don’t come back.

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