With their cute, fluffy tails and playful demeanour, squirrels are entertaining wildlife to have in the yard. It’s fun to watch them nibble away on a nut or chase one another in circles around a tree. Their tight-rope walking skills are impressive. People don’t think of these little critters as dangerous, but can they be? Do squirrels attack humans? Read on to find the answers to these questions.
It Isn’t All Fun and Games
Ontario is home to three different squirrel species. Around York, you are most likely to see gray or red squirrels. If you see a black squirrel, it’s a colour variation of the gray squirrel and not a different species. The York region also has flying squirrels, but these live in the forests, higher up in the canopy.
Squirrels are rodents, which means that they have teeth that grow continuously. They need to keep their chomping tools filed down and do this by chewing on things throughout the day. Their teeth are also sharp, allowing the rodents to gnaw through a wide variety of materials, even soft metals!
If they find their way into your attic, they won’t just munch on wood. They often also chew on the electrical wiring, potentially cutting off power to parts of your home and creating a fire hazard. Squirrel antics are fun to watch, but it isn’t all fun and games when they end up in your attic.
It’s Downright Messy
If you hear a scurrying above your head that sounds too heavy to be a mouse, it is likely a squirrel (or several). In addition to the fire hazards they pose, squirrels can mess up your home in other ways. They leave debris scattered from their chewing habits. They also use your attic floor as a toilet, leaving feces and urine everywhere.
Do Squirrels Transmit Diseases to People?
The messes squirrels make in the attic aren’t just smelly; they also pose health hazards. In addition, these little rodents play host to parasites such as ticks, fleas and mites. When squirrels make a home out of yours, your family (including your pets) risk catching one of the following diseases:
- Lyme disease
It’s worth mentioning that there is always a slight potential for squirrels to transmit rabies. Generally, rodents aren’t good hosts for the virus that causes rabies. However, if you encounter an aggressive squirrel for no apparent reason, it’s best to steer clear. If it does bite you, seek medical help right away to test for rabies.
Do Squirrels Attack Humans or Pets?
Squirrels do not attack humans. If you approach a squirrel, it skitters away to safety, often climbing the nearest tree. However, they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. If you corner or trap a squirrel, it will act in self-defense, which means it may bite you. The same holds for your pets.
Most of the time, squirrels have an escape route, but when they don’t, you or your dog may feel the pain their teeth can inflict. The pain may not be the worst of it if the animal is carrying disease and transmits it to you or your pet. It’s best to keep your distance, and if you have squirrels in your attic, contact Skedaddle. We utilize humane exclusion techniques that keep you, your pets and the squirrels safe.
It’s Time To Call the Experts for Humane Wildlife Removal in York
If you’ve discovered squirrels hanging out in the upper reaches of your home, it’s time to contact Skedaddle for humane wildlife removal in York. Our technicians know how to handle these critters so that everyone stays safe. We also clean up the mess and seal off any potential entry points, so you can go back to enjoying the squirrels in your yard rather than worrying about the uninvited guests in your attic. Contact us today to find out more about our services.