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
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