I wish someone who loves to study the habits of the Ohio Shrew would find this posting and give us some answers! We have found at least NINE of the small black creatures in our kitchen and dog's dish over the past two months!
The first shrew, or what we thought was a small black mole, was discovered in our kitchen sink last fall sending me into a frightened, screaming rage while I tried to figure out how to get it OUT of my house.
At that time, I thought it had come in with some potted plants I purchased at Meijer. My husband and I are nature lovers, so we found a way to catch it and set it free in the woods near our home. (I posted a story about that.)
Then, a couple months ago during an extremely cold spell here in Ohio, we heard little scratching noises in the night and found another "Molly" in the dog's food dish. This time we felt sorry for the little mammal because it was so cold, and we had a foot of snow outside. We fixed up a nest in a large trash can until the weather got warmer when we could set it free. We wrote the name "Molly" on the outside of the can reminding us not to accidentally put trash in there. We bought some hay and mice food and gave it some water. (Couldof just used dog food!) Again, we figured maybe the first 'mole' had some babies, and this was one of them.
A couple nights later, we found "Molly" in Sheba's dog dish again. (Now we were afraid to clean out the dish for fear "Molly" would search someplace else for food!) We were confused? How did Molly get out of the large trash can? But, when we dumped "Molly" back into the trash can, we found the first "Molly" still there - quite dead.
This time, we said (I said!), "Enough is enough"! We dumped them all out into the field far away from our house. Phew. By now I'm getting paranoid. I'm not feeling like giving them names and offering a warm nest until spring! GET THEM OUT OF THERE!
We don't have any other 'bugs' in our home. No ants. No roaches. No mice. Not even a flea! But suddenly, we have yet ANOTHER "Molly" enjoying a Purina feast in the dog dish!
By now I'm refusing to walk into the hallway by the kitchen at night! I'm checking the dog dish every 3 minutes, and my heart is jumping out of my chest. THIS IS NOT FUNNY ANYMORE! We're up to SIX and I'm searching the Internet to see how many babies moles have at one time! (You don't want to know.)
Finally, Jim does an extensive search of the kitchen and determines that the family of "mollies" are coming from the hot water closet just off the kitchen (or in the corner of it). He says there are "only two more and we'll have them all".
During the next couple evenings, we 'catch' the last two in Sheba's bowl and carefully take them way out by the creek and let them go.
Calm at last. I'm still walking carefully by Sheba's bowl. Sheba is blind and hasn't ever noticed the extra company in her dish. Not even when she stuck her head in and started nibbling on a "molly ear". We heard the squealing and 'rescued' that one just in the nick of time.
Okay, so we got the 'last two', and I start scrubbing the kitchen floor with every kind of cleanser on the market.
Until last night....There was another little "Molly" calmly cleaning out the dog dish again!
I carried the bowl outside walking barefoot in the ice and frozen ground to dump her back to nature (well maybe a little extra hard TOSS) back to nature. I believe that is Molly Number Nine!!!!!!!
Tonight Jim taped up the bottom of the door to the hot water closet with cardboard. We think maybe they have a super highway into the closet from deep underground through a water pipe that comes into the house (if there is such a thing). We're looked outside and there may be a spot, although it's hard to tell.
A Internet search suggests that it's not a mole (or moles) but most likely a shrew family that has made a down payment on our home.
Hey, the Obama bailout is only for humans!
If anyone has any ideas or suggestions - or would like to make a timeshare exchange, please contact me at my email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take Care on the Journey,