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What diseases do squirrels carry?

Squirrels can bring with them a whole host of disease, although it’s primarily their waste matter that you should be concerned with. Squirrels CAN contract and carry rabies, but it is unlikely. They fall into the same bracket of other small mammals that also CAN but RARELY carry the disease - guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice and chipmunks. Squirrels can also carry ticks, however, and these have been shown to be quite dangerous to humans. They can carry a disease called Lyme disease, caused by the Borrelia bacteria. Affecting the heart, nervous system and joints, the disease can lead to what is considered an inflammatory disorder. Symptoms will start to materialize up to a month after you are infected, and the earliest symptoms are very similar to flu, making them easy to miss. Muscle pains, chills and headaches make the bacterial infection rather difficult to diagnose, and it's a disease that requires antibiotics to treat. The waste matter of squirrels is also as dangerous as the animals themselves, and can contain the bacteria responsible for salmonella poisoning, a rather nasty condition that leaves you with a painful upset stomach for a few days. It can also cause a fever. Tularemia is another condition that can be carried in the feces, and this condition's symptoms will vary dependent on how you were infected by it. The latter is a condition that can range from relatively mild, right the way through to seriously life-threatening. This is why it is very important to protect yourself when dealing with a squirrel invasion.



Squirrels can carry different diseases that can be communicated to the humans. Even if there have many diseases which can be transmitted, there are some common illnesses that can be passed on from squirrels and they are louse borne typhus, tularemia, ancephalitis, tick fever and plague. Squirrels are also the host of the ticks with other pests that may lead to the spread of Lyme disease. Because there are many diseases that are fatal when they are not treated, individual have to monitor the symptoms and should seek the medical attention after coming in the contact with squirrel feces and urine since breathing into the particles of the excrement of the animals can be one method of transmission of these disease.

The right way to prevent the disease is avoiding contact with the squirrels or their waste. When it is necessary to get into contact with them, you should put on the masks or to wear the gloves. When there is an infected squirrel in the residential areas, it is recommended to contact a professional wildlife. As the diseases may be transferred through bites, scratches, feces and urine, only trained individuals may handle or approach the squirrels. Professional technicians can remove the problematic animals and will sanitize the homes to make sure that the homes are safe, the same as the nearby individuals.

Since squirrels bite rarely, if they feel threatened and cornered. The pests can coexist with the humans without too much issue. However, they transmit and carry diseases that make the presence undesirable or sometime dangerous.

- Rabies is rare but squirrels may pass this virus to the humans through scratching and biting.
- Leptospirosis includes rash, jaundice, vomiting, headaches and fever
- Tularemia is unpleasant condition which cause ulcers and swollen lymph
- Lyme disease is spread by the ticks found on the squirrels; the symptoms of Lyme disease are inflammation of spinal cord and brain, stiffness and nerve pain.
- Salmonellosis: salmonella bacteria are found with the droppings that cause fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Contrary to a popular belief, squirrels may not pose too much of health risk to the humans. Anecdotal evidence can suggest that humans may catch rabies caused by squirrels but it had not been confirmed by a reputable research.

There are people who say that squirrels in their attic do not cause too much problem but these are pests which may cause too much damage. There are problems caused by squirrels on the home or on the structure while there are also health risks. There are people who think that health risks of squirrels are rabies but the worst health problem is the feces.

If you have an animal near your home, it is good to learn about the poop types of different animals since it is the only way to know the traps that you can use. The common squirrels that may cause the problem are gray and red. The main difference found between the poops is in their size. They can leave the droppings which look the same like the shape of the rice. The poop of the squirrels may also be different from one another since gray squirrels may be larger compared to red squirrels. Gray squirrels have longer poop while the dropping of the flying squirrels look the same as that of a grey squirrels.

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Please be kind to squirrels! They are intelligent animals, and believe it or not, they definitely have emotions!
If you have any questions about squirrels in attics, just email me at david@squirrel-attic.com