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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - Is a squirrel's feces dangerous to touch or breathe?

Is a squirrel's feces dangerous to touch or breathe?

Despite popular belief, squirrels do not carry a lot of diseases that can be contracted by humans. Many people believe that squirrels spread rabies, but this has never been proven. The truth is that the worst health problems that you can contract will have to do with squirrel’s feces. Squirrel droppings are a primary source of Leptospirosis and Salmonella. Some recent studies have even shown that inhaling powdered squirrel feces can cause mad cow disease, but they are still conducting studies on this theory. Leptospirosis causes flu like symptoms. The disease is commonly mild and most often characterized by body aches and pains with chills and a headache. If the disease becomes serious the symptoms can worsen to include massive organ failure and internal bleeding.

Milder forms of Leptospirosis can be treated at home with oral antibiotics, while more severe cases require hospital admission. Salmonella is normally thought of as food poisoning, and its symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, cramping, and an overall sick feeling. Mild cases of salmonella will clear up on their own, while severe cases will require hospitalization. If you believe you have a squirrel infestation, and have seen droppings, there are steps you can take to prevent infection. You can recognize squirrel dung by its shape and size. It looks a lot like rat dung, but a bit larger with pointed ends so it resembles a large grain of black rice. Squirrel droppings will lighten in color as it dries.

Dried feces is especially dangerous because it becomes powdery and airborne. Breathing it in is the main source of infection. To prevent sickness, immediately Cleanup any squirrel droppings that you come across, especially those in your home, or areas where people gather. . Be sure to wear a mask and gloves while you clean up the droppings. After you are finished with your cleanup, dispose of your gloves and mask properly and wash your hands as well as any exposed skin with soap and hot water. Change out of your clothes and launder as soon as possible. Droppings should be tied up in a bag and put in a sealed outdoor trash can to prevent any particles from becoming airborne.

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