Shrew: parasite of plants

Shrew: parasite of plants

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Shrew, a small mammal with a name that immediately makes it unpleasant to most but in truth it is not as harmful as it may seem. In some ways it is useful and helps protect the garden from other much more aggressive enemies. This animal belonging to the Soricidae family, it is very similar to a mouse but in truth it is not a rodent. Its teeth are sharp but not like those of mice, it looks a lot more like a mole and is actually a distant relative. There the peculiarity of the shrew lies in the fact that to date it is the smallest mammal that exists, it can be 2 centimeters long, up to 15 maximum, and weighs from 2 to 100 grams.

Elephant shrew

There are over 300 varieties of shrew and the "elephant" one is one of the best known and curious to observe. Almost pretty, to behold, always taking into account that looks like a mole. To understand the reason for the name of this variety just look at an image: how not to notice the proboscis? This is how this shrew is distinguished from the common one but also from specimens of other varieties.

There are the water, the dwarf, the alpine and then the Miller aquatic, the Apennine, the mustiolo, the Mediterranean crocidura, the white-bellied crocidura, the Sicilian crocidura and the reddish crocidura. Each of these varieties has particular dimensions and some aesthetic or behavioral aspect that distinguishes them. Sometimes the color of the fur also changes although it is usually blackish. Each shrew has adapted to the environment in which it found itself living.

There Sicilian crocidura it is even an endemic species but without any danger of extinction, the Alpine and Apennine shrews live in the rocky areas at the edge of the mountain woods, the water one near lakes and swamps, or streams.

Common shrew

It has a short tail and five claws per leg, not four like the classic mice with which it is often confused, it also has small and not very sweet eyes, a sharp muzzle and pointed teeth. The tcommon oporagno has less dark fur of other varieties but still bronze gray, it is the most widespread species among the 300 known today and is found mainly in the countryside, every now and then underground or in trees.

These animals cannot rely much on sight but compensate with hearing, they have an almost perennial and unstoppable hunger, so much so that they can ingest a quantity of food greater than their weight in a day. He eats insects and worms, the ones he finds, but his favorite food is grillotalpa, that's why it can be useful in the garden! Moreover, it almost never goes into hibernation, sleeps a maximum of 3 hours a day and its average life span can vary from one and a half to two and a half years.

Poisonous shrew

Due to its name, appearance and voracity, the shrew often risks being included in the category of unwanted animals. A lightness, a mistake, which risks making us give up what is an excellent strategy to get rid of the insects that really are poisonous or harmful in a garden or vegetable garden. Of course, it is not a pet, domestic and pleasant to keep near because it smells bad.

The stench it gives off is very similar to what it might be released by moss or damp grass and is due to the fact that the shrew often lives underground. If we meet the shrew we avoid facing it directly because its bite it can cause pain, redness and swelling, smaller prey are paralyzed by the poisonous substance it emits when it bites them.

Shrew in the garden

As we have just seen, the shrew in the garden is more useful than harmful, obviously without exaggerating! In general, this animal is well found in the countryside. It is therefore difficult to find it and host it in a city garden, it is where there are many woods and dry leaves, a little all over the globe except in Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea and where he is hunted why mistaken for a bad rat.

Shrew: how to remove it

If we live in a green area, this is not the case difficult to find that a shrew lives in the garden, especially if in our green corner there are shrubs, dry leaves and soft soil. Some signs of the presence of this animal are the disorder and the holes it makes for looking for food underground.

One of the natural and simple strategies for drive away the shrew consists in keeping your vegetable garden or garden in order by promptly removing all types of dead, dry or withered plant residues.

Shrew: photo

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