Common Diseases Shrews Carry While there's not enough evidence to directly connect shrews to the transmission of diseases, the pests do harbor ticks. These parasites, like the blacklegged tick, pass on illnesses to humans, most commonly Lyme disease. Initial symptoms include rashes and flu-like reactions. Long-term problems include nerve pain, arthritis, and short-term memory loss. Rat fleas are also found on shrews and carry the bacteria that causes bubonic plague. If left untreated, this disease spreads through the body and can be fatal. Prevention & Removal To avoid contracting diseases from shrews, individuals should never approach or handle the pests. Taking steps to prevent their presence in yards, like maintaining foliage and cutting grass regularly, is also helpful. At the first sign of shrew infestation, property owners should contact Critter Control. Our technicians are trained in the elimination of pests and protect residents from the dangers associated with shrews.