Does A Squirrel Bite and Is it Dangerous? How to Treat a Squirrel Bite

Squirrels are cute, animated, and fun to watch in your yard or garden. Unfortunately, they can also be very destructive pests if their numbers get out of control. Squirrels can chew through electrical lines, causing fires and blackouts. They will also get into your attic and make a mess with their droppings and urine.

And though rare, squirrels can and will bite if they feel threatened. While most wild squirrels won’t allow you to get close enough to them to bite you, a cornered squirrel may have no other way of protecting itself.

But what should you do if a squirrel bites you, and how can you avoid a squirrel bite altogether while implementing squirrel control safely? That’s what we’re here to find out.

What You Should Know About Squirrels

1 a red squirrel looking at camera
Squirrels are not generally aggressive unless provoked.

Squirrels are a common sight in many parts of the United States. They are small rodents that live in trees, and they have adapted to urban life as well as rural areas. Squirrels can be very destructive to your home and yard, especially if you live near a park or forested area. It is important to know how to deal with these pests when they become too much for you to handle.

These animals are rodents that belong to the family Sciuridae, which includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and marmots. Squirrels also include flying squirrels, chipmunks, and prairie dogs. The common squirrel you’re likely used to seeing is characterized by its long, bushy tail that it uses for balance when jumping from tree to tree.

The Eastern Gray Squirrel is the most common squirrel in North America. It has brown fur with white fur on its underside and a bushy tail. The Eastern Gray Squirrel lives in trees but will come down to the ground to look for food and water. It eats nuts, seeds, berries, and bark from trees.

The Red Squirrel is smaller than the Eastern Gray Squirrel, with reddish-brown fur on its back and white fur on its underside. It lives in trees but will also come down to the ground to look for food and water. Red Squirrels eat acorns, conifer cones, and other nuts as well as insects and bird eggs when they’re available.

Squirrels mate in late winter or early spring when there is plenty of food available for them to eat before they start having babies in April or May (depending on where you live). Female squirrels give birth once a year after approximately 40 days of pregnancy. Each litter can have between one and six babies, with an average of two to three babies per litter.

There are approximately two billion gray squirrels living in North America alone, according to estimates by the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC). There are also approximately 100 million red squirrels living in Canada and Alaska, according to Environment Canada’s website.

Because they are so common, it’s not unusual for people to have squirrel families on their property. For the most part, people find squirrels amusing. However, these wild animals can be a nuisance and they can even be dangerous under the right circumstances.

Though a squirrel bite is not common, it is possible, as we mentioned above. Let’s learn more.

Does A Squirrel Bite And Are Squirrels Dangerous?

2 a gray squirrel on a stump
Squirrels can bite and if you are bitten by a squirrel you should seek medical attention.

A squirrel bite is uncommon, but it can be dangerous. Squirrels are not aggressive animals, but they will bite if threatened or cornered. This is particularly true during mating season when male squirrels can become aggressive and territorial.

But what diseases do squirrels carry that they can transmit through a squirrel bite? Squirrels can transmit:

  • Typhus
  • Plague
  • Ringworm
  • And Tularemia

Typhus: This flea-borne disease causes high fever and chills, and may also cause muscle pain and headache. It occurs most often in areas where sanitation is poor and rodents like mice, rats, squirrels, or other wild animals are common.

Plague: This bacterial infection is transmitted by fleas from infected rodents (such as rats or squirrels) to humans through flea bites or contact with rodent feces or urine. Then plague can cause severe swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin area. In addition to buboes, symptoms include fever, headache, and fatigue.

Ringworm: Ringworm isn’t actually a worm at all — it’s a fungal infection caused by two types of fungi: Microsporum audouini-vulgaris (which causes ringworm of the scalp) and Trichophyton rubrum (which causes ringworm of the body). Ringworm isn’t exclusive to squirrels; people can get it too!

The symptoms of ringworm from a squirrel bite include red circular patches on the skin that may itch or burn. Luckily, they are not dangerous unless they spread to other parts of your body. You can treat ringworm by taking over-the-counter antifungal medications or by applying antifungal creams directly to affected areas several times daily for several weeks as prescribed by your doctor

Tularemia: This infection from a squirrel bite can lead to severe fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, and ulcers on the skin. Other symptoms include swelling around the eyes, mouth, and throat; sore throat; bloody diarrhea; pneumonia; fatigue; and weight loss. The disease is usually spread through bites from infected animals or ticks that carry it.

Luckily, a squirrel bite cannot transmit other serious diseases such as hantavirus or rabies. Still, a squirrel bite can be quite serious and cause a host of other issues outside of disease due to infection.

If you do suffer a squirrel bite, it’s important to follow the steps below and then seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

What To Do If You Suffer A Squirrel Bite

3 a squirrel eating a nut
If you are bitten by a squirrel you should wash the bite site.

Squirrel bites are rare, but they may be more common than you think. While squirrels are cute and fuzzy, they can be quite aggressive when protecting their territory. A squirrel bite can also cause serious infections if not properly treated, as we mentioned above.

The best way to avoid a squirrel bite is to keep your distance from these wild animals. If you do get bitten by a squirrel, follow the below steps to help prevent infection.

Wash The Bite:

Clean the area with soap and water before applying an antibiotic ointment or cream. Make sure that all dirt and debris are removed from the wound before applying any kind of medication.

If there is an open wound or if there is bleeding that does not stop after 10 minutes of pressure, cover it with a clean bandage until it stops bleeding on its own. Do not attempt to suture a bite wound yourself; seek medical attention immediately.

Clean The Wound With Antiseptic And Apply Antibiotic Ointment:

After you have washed the squirrel bite with soap and water, you should then apply an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin to prevent infection. You may also need stitches if there is a large cut or your bite bleeds heavily, so be sure to contact your doctor if you feel this is the case.

Apply Pressure If The Wound Is Bleeding:

Apply pressure to the squirrel bite after you have cleaned it, especially if you are bleeding. Bleeding should stop within a few minutes of applying pressure on the wound. If it does not stop after 10 minutes, seek medical attention immediately.

Apply An Ice Pack To Reduce Swelling And Inflammation:

If the wound is not bleeding but is swelling, put an ice pack on the squirrel bite for about ten minutes or so. This will help reduce swelling and inflammation while also alleviating pain.

Watch For Signs Of Infection:

Watch for signs of infection from the squirrel bite including fever, fatigue, vomiting, headache, lethargy, redness, pain, or oozing at the bite site. If you experience any of these symptoms after being bitten by a squirrel, seek medical attention immediately.

Call Your Doctor:

Even if you do not see other serious symptoms caused by the squirrel bite, it’s essential to call your doctor and report the incident. You should call your doctor immediately if your bite looks infected or becomes red, hot, swollen, and painful over time. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics if needed and may also prescribe pain medication or antihistamines if there is swelling around the area of injury.

How To Avoid A Squirrel Bite

4 a squirrel on a branch
The best way to avoid a squirrel bite is to only watch squirrels from afar.

Squirrel bites can be dangerous if not treated immediately. Although squirrels do not carry rabies, they can transmit other serious diseases to people and pets. While a squirrel bite at random is rare, there are certain circumstances that could put you more at risk of suffering from a squirrel bite than others.

Some circumstances that could make you more at risk of a squirrel bite include:

  • Finding and handling an injured squirrel
  • Attempting to remove nesting squirrels from your walls or attic
  • Hand-feeding wild squirrels on your property
  • Or attempting to handle or relocate a squirrel nest

While there are some instances where you may need to come into close contact with a wild squirrel, for the most part, squirrel control should be done from a safe distance or with the help of a professional.

What To Do If You Find An Injured Squirrel

If you find an injured squirrel, it’s best to leave it alone and contact animal control or wildlife rescue services. These professionals can safely capture and transport the animal for treatment or release it back into its natural habitat. If you must capture the squirrel yourself, don’t try to handle it with your bare hands. Instead, use proper tools like a catch and release trap that works using a remote or trigger, and be sure to wear thick, bite-proof gloves.

What To Do If you Discover Squirrels Nesting In Your Walls Or Attic

Squirrels may choose to nest in attics or walls when they’re unable to find an adequate natural habitat. They may also nest there if they feel threatened by predators outside such as other animals or even humans.

It’s important not to disturb a squirrel nest, as this could prompt a defensive attack from the mother squirrel if they think their young are in danger. If you notice any sounds or sights around your home structure that might indicate a squirrel problem, look for other indications of squirrel activity such as droppings, nests, or gnawed wood. These signs may indicate that there are baby squirrels inside your home and it is time to contact a professional.

What To Do If You Find Baby Squirrels Without Their Mother

The best thing to do if you find a baby squirrel is to place it in a shoe box with a soft towel and leave it alone for a few hours. The mother will most likely return for her babies by the end of the day. If you notice the mother has not returned, you can also call animal control or your local wildlife rehabilitation center for advice.

Other Tips On How To Avoid A Squirrel Bite

  • Do not feed squirrels

When you feed a squirrel, it will associate you with food. The next time you’re outside, the squirrel will remember its previous encounter with you and may try to get closer for another handout. It’s best to avoid feeding any wild animal, especially if you have children or pets in your household, as this could increase the likelihood of a squirrel bite.

  • Avoid trying to pet or pick up squirrels

If a person tries to pet or pick up a wild animal, it may become defensive and bite the person attempting contact. Wild animals may seem friendly or get closer than usual if they are searching for food, but most wild animals should not behave this way and should have a natural fear of humans. A wild animal behaving overly friendly towards people is not normal and you should therefore be extra cautious.

If you want to keep squirrels at bay and reduce the number of squirrels on your property, try storing foods like pet food and bird seed properly. Your bird feeder can be a source of food for squirrels, so investing in some squirrel-proof bird feeders can help. These feeders have a metal wire mesh that prevents squirrels from getting close enough to the food to steal any seeds.

Best Products for Avoiding A Squirrel Bite

5 a squirrel on a tree upside downjpeg
Preventing a squirrel bite can go hand in hand with squirrel control.

If you have squirrels around your property or even in your attic or walls, it’s important to use safe methods for removal. There are many products available in the market that claim to protect you from squirrel bites or at least provide some protection against them.

The type of product that will be the best for you will depend on your situation. For most people trying to avoid a squirrel bite, their situation has to do with squirrel removal.

If you are looking to remove a squirrel from your home or within your walls or attic, it’s best to use proper tools like repellents, gloves, a quality trap, and even professional help.

Below are some products we recommend if you are trying to remove squirrels without suffering from a squirrel bite.

Havahart 1025 Humane Catch and Release Trap

One of the best ways to avoid a squirrel bite when relocating a squirrel is by using the right trap. The Havahart 1025 Humane Catch and Release Trap is a great trap for catching squirrels without hurting them or yourself.

The Havahart 1025 Humane Catch and Release Trap comes with a two-year warranty and is made of galvanized steel wire that will last for years. It also has a solid door that keeps animals from escaping during transport or while you are transporting the animal to a new location.

This product has been designed so that it can be used either inside or outside your home. It has an adjustable bottom plate which allows you to set the size of the entrance so that you can catch larger or smaller animals.

We also like that it comes with a carrying handle so that it is easy to carry when you need to transport squirrels within your own property or move them from one area of your property to another area where they may be causing problems for you in some way, such as digging up your flower beds or chewing on woodwork around your home.

Faicuk Heavy Duty Squirrel Trap

The Faicuk Heavy Duty Squirrel Trap is another effective and humane way to catch squirrels and other small rodents without the risk of a squirrel bite. Best of all it is easy to set up, and it works without harming the squirrel.

The Faicuk Heavy Duty Squirrel Trap is made from galvanized steel and it has a powder-coated finish which makes it durable and strong enough to catch any size squirrel.

The trap comes with heavy-duty springs that snap down when the door closes so there is no chance of escape by the animal inside. The door on this trap opens automatically when you pull on it so there is no need for any tools or special skills when setting up this trap.

When using this trap we recommend that you place peanut butter inside along with some bird seed or sunflower seeds so that it looks like an easy meal for any hungry squirrels in your area to entice them into the trap and then check it every few hours.

RAPICCA Animal Handling Gloves

The RAPICCA Animal Handling Gloves are designed to protect you from animal bites. The gloves are made of soft leather and have a reinforced palm. The gloves provide protection against many types of animal bites and scratches, as well as protection from tick, flea, and mite bites.

The gloves come in many sizes that can accommodate most hand sizes. You can choose between the standard style or the heavy-duty style. The standard style is thinner and lighter than the heavy-duty style. This makes it easier to wear for long periods of time.

The RAPICCA Animal Handling Gloves are made of high-quality materials and designed to last for years. They are easy to clean and maintain because they do not absorb water easily. You can clean them with warm water or soap and rinse them off after use so they will remain soft like new even after several years of use when properly cared for.

AOWPFVV Bite Proof Kevlar Animal Handling Gloves

AOWPFVV Bite Proof Kevlar Animal Handling Gloves are a great way to avoid a squirrel bite if you are planning on handling squirrels on your property. The gloves are made of quality material which makes them durable and strong enough to withstand the bite of many different wild animals. They are made of Kevlar material, which makes them resistant to bites and other causes of pressure or cuts.

The gloves are easy to put on and remove, so they can be used in different situations.

You can use these gloves for gardening, hunting, fishing, or just about any other activity where you may be exposed to bites from animals. They will protect your hands from scratches and punctures too!

These gloves come in a variety of sizes so that they fit almost every hand size comfortably and securely. You can choose between small, medium or large.

How To Enjoy Squirrels Around Your Home Or On your Property Safely

6 a squirrel with an acorn
Squirrels can be fun to watch but they should be enjoyed from a safe distance.

Squirrels are cute and furry, but they can also be dangerous. A squirrel bite can cause serious problems if you don’t take the right precautions and seek medical attention immediately.

The best way to deal with squirrels and other wildlife is to prevent them from becoming a nuisance in the first place. Here are some tips for how to keep squirrels away from your home or property:

  1. Don’t feed squirrels
  1. Keep garbage covered or in a secure location
  1. Secure compost piles and propane tanks
  1. Keep bird feeders at least ten feet away from windows and doors, as well as any other potential entry point for squirrels
  1. Close off potential entry points into attics, crawl spaces, basements, or other areas where squirrels might be nesting
  1. Trim tree branches so they’re no more than 4 feet above the ground

You should also avoid:

  • Providing squirrels with food
  • Attempting to pet or touch a squirrel
  • Allowing pets to get too close to squirrels or other wild animals
  • Handling squirrel nests or squirrel babies

Remember, if you do notice a sick, injured, or young squirrel in need of help, it’s best to contact your local wildlife authority immediately.

Best Products For Squirrel Control

7 a squirrel looking over a log
The best products for squirrel control include ultrasonic sound devices and harmless repellents.

You can control squirrels by using different methods. There are several products available in the market that can help you to get rid of squirrels from your property. One of the best ways to get rid of squirrels is by using repellents that make your property less enticing to them.

Many repellents include noise repellents, but others are motion activated and work using ultrasonic vibrations while others use smells or light. Below are several different types of squirrel repellents you can use to help control squirrels on your property and reduce your chances of a squirrel bite.

Fandature Squirrel Proof Baffle For Bird Feeders

There are several things that you can do to control squirrels around your property. One of the best ways is by using Fandature Squirrel Proof Baffle For Bird Feeders. This baffle will prevent squirrels from getting into your bird feeder which will also keep them from stealing all of the seeds inside.

The Fandature Squirrel Proof Baffle For Bird Feeders has a unique design that makes it difficult for squirrels to climb up the pole and reach the feeder. It prevents them from reaching the seed holes found on most birdfeeders and prevents them from jumping onto the feeder itself. The baffle has a wide base that gives it more stability than other types of baffles which means that it will stay securely in place even if there is wind or rain outside.

When you purchase this product, you will receive two identical units with each order so that you can install one on each side of your yard if needed.

Whemoalus Squirrel Repellent

Whemoalus Squirrel Repellent is a great and humane way to control squirrels on your property. It works by repelling squirrels with an unpleasant taste and smell that they cannot stand. Squirrels will avoid areas treated with Whemoalus Squirrel Repellent because it is very overwhelming to them, though it is harmless. The repellent is safe for humans, pets, and other wildlife around your yard.

We like that this repellent comes in a ready-to-use applicator that makes applying it easy. You simply leave the product around trees and other surfaces where you have seen squirrel activity, such as bird feeders or fruit trees. The product will leave behind a scent that repels squirrels from coming back into the area treated with Whemoalus Squirrel Repellent.

DDTNW Ultrasonic Animal Repeller

The DDTNW Ultrasonic Animal Repeller is an ultrasonic sound repellent product that can help you get rid of squirrels around your property. It uses sound waves to keep the squirrels away from your home or garden by creating an uncomfortable environment for them. This product comes with a motion sensor so it will activate itself when something moves within its range. You can also use it manually by switching it on and off whenever you need to repel animals from an area.

The repeller emits a high-frequency sound that’s inaudible to humans but unpleasant for animals like squirrels, raccoons, rats, stray cats, and even unwanted dogs around your property. These sounds cause irritation in the animals’ ears which makes them leave the area immediately without causing any damage to the animal, your property, or your garden.

Squirrels and Squirrel Bites – Experts Weigh In

8 a fat squirrel on a stump
Avoiding a squirrel bite is simple so long as you keep your distance from these furry critters.

Squirrel bites may not be a common complaint for doctors and other health care professionals, but how often do they actually happen? How dangerous are squirrel bites? Can you die if a squirrel bites you? And what do you report if a squirrel happens to bite you or someone you know?

These are all excellent questions!

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there were over 9,000 cases of animal-related injuries reported in 2015 alone. Of those 9,000 cases, over 5,500 were dog bites and over 4,400 were cat bites. However, squirrel bites only made up 0.3 percent of these cases — that’s only 30 total cases nationwide!

This is great news if you have a fear of squirrels or a phobia surrounding the potential for a squirrel bite. Still, that’s not to say they never happen.

Though a squirrel bite is not the most common animal bite out there, it can happen and it can be serious. Remember, like many rodents and wild animals, squirrels are capable of spreading serious diseases to people and pets.

If you are bitten by a squirrel, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. You might also consider reporting the squirrel bite to your local wildlife organization, especially if the squirrel in question is behaving strangely.

Luckily, even if you are bitten by a squirrel, it is very unlikely that a squirrel bite will be life-threatening. Still, it’s best to do your part and stay away from wild animals like squirrels to ensure you avoid squirrel bites altogether.

Has this been a helpful guide on squirrel bites? Share your thoughts with us on this unique topic in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading!

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