Can squirrels pass diseases to humans?


Squirrels, with their playful antics and bushy tails, are a common sight in many neighborhoods. But did you know that these seemingly harmless creatures can carry diseases transmissible to humans? For public health enthusiasts and the general public alike, it’s crucial to understand the potential risks associated with our furry friends. Here’s a rundown of six notable diseases that squirrels can pass on to humans, and steps you can take to prevent them.

Six Diseases Transmitted by Squirrels

Six Diseases Transmitted By Squirrels
  1. Salmonellosis

Cause: Salmonella bacteria found in squirrel droppings can contaminate food and water.

Symptoms: Diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea, vomiting, and headaches appearing within 12 to 72 hours after exposure.

Complications: Dehydration, bacteremia, and occasionally severe issues such as sepsis or meningitis.

  1. Lyme Disease

Transmission: Via ticks that squirrels carry.

Symptoms: Nerve pain, stiffness, inflammation of the brain, or spinal cord.

  1. Ringworm

Type: A highly contagious fungal infection spread through direct or indirect contact.

Risk: Contaminated objects and surfaces from an infected squirrel vicinity.

  1. Tularemia

Impact Areas: Skin, eyes, lymph nodes, and lungs.

Common Symptoms: Fever, chills, headaches, skin ulcers, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches.

  1. Leptospirosis

Cause: Bacterial infection.

Symptoms: Fever, headache, vomiting, jaundice, rash.

  1. Rabies

Transmission: Rarely, through biting or scratching.

Note: Immediate medical attention is required if you suspect exposure to rabies.

Important Considerations: Many squirrel-related diseases are serious and can be fatal if left untreated. The most common method of transmission is through inhaling particles from squirrel excrement. After any contact with squirrels or their waste, monitor closely for symptoms and seek medical attention if necessary.

Squirrel Parasites and Associated Diseases


Squirrels are also known to harbor fleas, ticks, and mites that can transfer to humans in close contact.

  • Ticks: May carry diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Tularemia.
  • Fleas: Can spread dangerous illnesses like plague, Flea-borne typhus, and cat scratch disease.

Preventing Squirrel Diseases

The following measures can help you reduce the risk of contracting diseases from squirrels:

  • Avoid Contact: It’s best to keep a safe distance from squirrels and their habitats.
  • Hygiene: Wear gloves and face masks while handling situations that put you at risk of exposure, like attic infestations.
  • Cleanliness: Maintain cleanliness in areas where squirrels are spotted to minimize disease spread.

By being mindful of the potential health hazards squirrels can pose and taking precautionary steps, we can safely coexist with these animals without compromising our well-being.

Read more about how to get squirrel out of chimney?

Where do Squirrels live in your home?


Squirrels are known to make their homes in various parts of a house, including attics, chimneys, and walls. They are skilled climbers and can easily access these areas using trees or power lines. Once inside, they may build nests out of leaves, twigs, and other materials.

You may find squirrels in your home if you notice:

  • Strange noises: Squirrels can be noisy creatures, especially when they are scurrying around in enclosed spaces.
  • Damaged insulation or wiring: Squirrels may gnaw on wires and insulation materials to build their nests, causing damage and potential fire hazards.
  • Foul odors: The accumulation of squirrel droppings and urine can produce a pungent smell in confined areas like attics.

If you spot squirrels in your home, it’s important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage and potential health risks. Contact a professional wildlife removal service for safe and effective removal of squirrels from your home.


Squirrels may seem harmless, but their presence in our homes can pose various risks to our health and property. By understanding their behavior, habits, and potential dangers they may bring, we can take necessary precautions to peacefully coexist with these creatures. Remember to keep your home clean, seal off any entry points, and seek professional help if needed. With proper management, we can appreciate the beauty of squirrels without the inconvenience of sharing our living spaces with them. So, stay vigilant and take necessary steps to keep these adorable creatures out of your home.

Seraphinite AcceleratorBannerText_Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.