Do Squirrels Attack People?It is very rare for squirrels to attack people, but there have been documented cases of squirrels attacking and biting people and pets sometimes severely enough to cause injury. It is difficult to find statistics on squirrel attacks, though. The attacks are rarely fatal, and some may be so mild that people don't even think to report them. Squirrels are normally timid, docile creatures. If you approach one, it will typically run away. Nevertheless, a squirrel that feels cornered and can see no means of escape may go on the offensive. Squirrels may also attack to protect their young. A diseased squirrel may be more likely to show aggressive or hostile behavior towards human beings. However, when a squirrel does attack, it is not always possible to determine why.
Can Squirrels Spread Diseases to Humans?Squirrels rarely contract rabies. It is very unlikely, though not impossible, that a squirrel will transmit rabies to a human or pet by biting. On the other hand, squirrels can transmit other diseases to humans, often indirectly. Like most rodents, squirrels carry parasites, such as fleas and ticks, that can be vectors for diseases. Examples include bacterial infections like Lyme disease and the bubonic plague. Rodents like squirrels can also spread infections through their urine. Because a sick squirrel may be dangerous and unpredictable, you should look for any signs of disease and avoid any squirrels that exhibit them. Suspicious signs include weakness or lethargy, visible tumors, and bald spots, which indicate skin diseases.
How Can You Co-Exist Peacefully With Squirrels?You do not have to scare squirrels away from your yard, which most likely wouldn't work anyway. At the same time, you do not necessarily want to encourage their presence either. Here are some tips for peaceful co-existence:
- Do Not Feed the Squirrels
- Do Not Attempt To Touch or Handle a Squirrel
- Do Not Allow Squirrels To Take Up Residence in Your Home