Do Squirrels Carry Parasites?

Do Squirrels Carry Parasites?

Brutal cold temperatures and harsh terrain are not the only major problems facing squirrels in the vast wildernesses of Canada. When it comes to squirrels, they may also carry parasites. And when they invade urban areas, they come into contact with humans.

So does this pose a problem to human beings? Will being in contact with parasite-carrying squirrels cause harm or hurt us in any way? 

If you have a problem with an infested squirrel in your house, you may want to seek out the advice of a professional squirrel removal expert in Hamilton right away. Otherwise, keep on reading to find out more.

Do Squirrels Carry Parasites?

According to Medical News Today, a parasite is “an organism that lives in another organism, called the host, and often harms it. It depends on its host for survival.” They can also live on the host, feeding on its blood through the host’s skin. And in this case, the squirrel.

Squirrels can carry a variety of both internal and external parasites. It’s important to make sure parasites are not transmitted to you or any pets you own by thoroughly cleaning any areas such as bird feeders that you may also come into contact with. 

What Kind of Parasites do Squirrels Carry?

Squirrels can carry a host of parasites on their bodies, including ticks, lice, and fleas. Ticks can carry lyme disease, and squirrels can also spread a host of other diseases if you’re not careful. And a simple squirrel infestation can become a major health problem if not cared for.

Furthermore, squirrels can carry internal parasites. According to Dr. Emily Jenkins and her team of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have identified a newly-emerging parasite in Canada. The parasite, called Echinococcus multilocularis can circulate in rodents, including squirrels.

The parasite causes a condition where a large cyst develops in the liver, lungs or other organs, and can develop when people consume Echinococcus eggs shed by definitive hosts

The scary part? They found out that when infected, the hosts show no clinical signs. Squirrels carrying this parasite can transmit the parasite to pets if your pet has scavenged the carcass of an infected squirrel. It can then be spread to humans. 

How Do I Get Rid of Squirrels?

If you’re worried a squirrel is infected or you have a squirrel infestation in your home, the best solution is to contact a trained professional wildlife removal company. Here in the Ontario region of Canada, squirrel removal companies have trained experts who have the knowledge and experience to get rid of squirrels for you.