Health Hazards from Squirrels
Articles in this series:
- Why do Squirrels Stay in Attics?
- When Are Squirrels Active / What Sounds do They Make?
- Dangers of Squirrels in the Home
- Health Hazards from Squirrels
- Squirrel Droppings
- How Do Squirrels get Into the Attic?
- Common Signs that Squirrels have Made your Attic Home
- How to Trap a Squirrel
- What is the Best Squirrel Bait
- Exclusion Techniques
- Cleaning up After a Squirrel
Squirrels living in your home also comes at a risk to your health, as with any animal. Fortunately, there are not as many diseases associated with squirrels as there are with other animals. While it was at one point a common thought that squirrels were a major carrier of rabies, this has since been disproven. While you can in theory get rabies from squirrels, it is not common and only occurs in very rare cases. In fact, it is so rare, that there are hardly any studies connecting humans contracting the virus to squirrels. While it is not entirely known why squirrels do not commonly contract the virus, it is a relief to know that that is one less thing to worry about.
Mostly, the most common worry with squirrels in the home is the bugs that they bring in with them, namely fleas and ticks. Even when you don't have any pets, these pests are terrible to have in your home. Flea infestations are terrible -and itchy- and are not easy to get rid of! Ticks in the home is also not a fun time, since they are so tiny they are often difficult to get rid of. If you've ever lived, or visited the country, you probably have had to conduct a tick search, and you also know how annoying they can be. These little blood-suckers will attach themselves to you and feed off your blood until they are nice and fat and fall off, you must pull the whole bug off-typically with tweezers- without leaving the head in. Ticks are well known for carrying a multitude of different diseases, so you don’t want these nasty insects in your home.
If a squirrel is in your attic for an extended period of time, their feces- or poop- will wind up piling up (pun very much intended) This can become a health risk as you can often find bacteria in their feces that may lead to salmonella and leptospirosis. While this only occurs in extreme cases, it is not something to be taken lightly and can be a very real risk to your health.