10 Things To Consider When Thinking About What Do Shrews Eat In Billerica, Massachusetts

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For those of us in Billerica, Massachusetts, there is a need to understand what do shrews eat and the relevant food sources of these small mammals in the Greater Boston area, especially during the winter when most food supplies are low or unavailable. Whether you’re a homeowner or a wildlife manager, this knowledge is essential when it comes to ensuring the best living conditions for shrews running around your piece of land. In this article the professional exterminators at F&W Pest Control help answer the question: What do shrews eat in Billerica, Massachusetts?


Shrews are small mammals found in almost all parts of the Greater Boston area during all seasons. In Billerica, Massachusetts, these animals can be seen all throughout the year, although their populations and food sources can vary depending on the weather. The feeding behaviors of shrews can help us determine what kind of food they are looking for in our region. From worms in the garden to insects nesting in attics, these tiny creatures are shrewd eaters and it is in our best interest to understand what they like to snack on and why. In this article we look at the top 10 things to consider when thinking about what do shrews eat in Billerica, Massachusetts. From seasonal diet changes to the prey they like to dine on, let’s have a closer look at these interesting little critters.

1. Seasonal Dietary Changes

The winter months in Billerica bring with them a drastically different food supply for shrews. While insects are virtually nowhere to be found, small mammals and their nesting grounds can serve as a much-needed meal for these tiny animals. As a result, mice and voles can be a substantial part of a shrew’s diet during the cold winter months. Additionally, shrews also consider eating plant residues such as stems, leaves, and fruits to fill their food cravings.

2. Omnivorous Diet

Shrews are omnivores, meaning they do not adhere to any single diet type. While they typically feast on insects, worms and other invertebrates, they are also known to enjoy certain elements of soil and bark. Shrews use their sharp incisors to tear apart leaf litter and bark, which helps them collect essential nutrients. They also have the ability to consume small mammal prey items, demonstrating their versatility when it comes to their feeding habits.

3. Nocturnal Feeding

The time of day can have an impact on what exactly is available to a shrew for sustenance. As most insects move away from the sun and darkness settles, shrews become more active and look to capitalize on the plethora of new food sources. Worms, beetles, and other flying creatures begin to emerge in the night, making this the perfect time for shrews to feast and fill their bellies.

4. Eating Habits

Shrews eat small, frequent meals that are neither rich nor abundant. This means that the shrew’s diet can be quite varied and spread out. In Billerica, this can range from worms, grubs, small rodents, and slugs to dropping beetles, grasshoppers, and fruits. Because of this varied diet, the shrew’s meals can differ based on the season and the time of day, making it essential to study what these animals are eating in order to sustain communities of them.

5. Insecticides

Insecticides used around the home and garden can drastically reduce the insect populations in the area. While this may help reduce the presence of certain bugs, it can also lead to a decrease in the number of available food sources for shrews. This is why it is important to consider using less toxic and more environmentally-friendly insecticides to limit the disruption to the local insect population, and subsequently, the shrew population.

6. Mice and Voles

Available year-round, mice and voles can provide a readily accessible food source for shrews both in the residential neighborhoods of Billerica as well as in the more wild sections of the town. Small mammals like these can be found in walls, yards, and even within tree stumps or gardens. A shrew’s sharp incisors can quickly take care of these larger prey items, allowing them access to the various proteins, minerals, and other nutrients available within the tissue.

7. Carnivorous Diet

While shrews do eat a variety of different food sources, they are predominantly carnivorous. The majority of what they consume is hardly vegetarian, with their diet mostly made up of insects and other invertebrates. As a result, shrews can thrive for a long time without the need to consume any plant residue or small mammal prey items.

8. Organic Fertilizer

Organic fertilizers can be a great food source for animals like shrews, as they are often filled with essential nutrients that shrews are looking for and can easily obtain. While this might not be the first thought when racking your brain for what do shrews eat, it is important to remember that they are omnivores and are willing to dine on practically anything.

9. Wildlife Management

Understanding what do shrews eat is key in determining successful wildlife management techniques. Shrews are incredibly important to the environment, helping to keep the insect population in check. As such, it is important to create wildlife management techniques that account for the food needs of these tiny mammals. Installing bird feeders, for instance, could be a great alternative to controlling rodent populations while also providing a reliable food source for shrews.

10. Professional Services

Sometimes it can be hard to determine exactly what do shrews eat and the best way to maintain a healthy population of these animals in our area. In these cases, it is important to enlist the help of a professional exterminator like F&W Pest Control. This company offers detailed and effective strategies for managing rodent and insect populations while also providing insight into the local environment.


Now that we have broken down the top 10 things to consider when it comes to what do shrews eat, it is easy to see why these small mammals are an important part of the Greater Boston area. By understanding their seasonal diet changes, eating habits, and food sources, we can more easily manage the population of these critters and ensure they are able to find the sustenance they need to thrive. F&W’s integrated pest management approach (IPM) provides the professional quality you need with the environmentally responsible quality of a DIY approach. Trust the expert exterminators at F&W to get rid of your mosquitoes this season. Get a free quote to start debugging your space today.

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