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Do Squirrels Carry Fleas? (Plus Other Diseases From Squirrels)

If you happen to associate with squirrels either in your yard or keeping them as pets, you might be curious to know that do squirrels carry fleas? It is a good question.

More than hundreds of wildlife harbor fleas and can quickly deposit their eggs or larvae around humans’ yards. Fleas are dangerous, especially when in contact with your skin; they cause severe and prolonged itching that is pretty irritative.

Do squirrels visit your yard, and you are worried that they might spread fleas, or perhaps you are suspecting your pet squirrel to be harboring fleas? Then, this article is precisely for you.

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Linda. Read more about our knowledge control process here.

Do Squirrels Carry Fleas?

Do Squirrels Carry Fleas?
Do Squirrels Carry Fleas?

Squirrels are naturally beautiful, and any person would want to touch them; unfortunately, these critters carry fleas. A flea can jump from one animal to another or even from animals to humans. 

Therefore, if you contact a squirrel with fleas, you may carry a few of these parasites. But people can also get fleas from the ground where squirrels spread them.

Squirrel’s fur provides a warm and conducive environment where fleas can thrive and reproduce. That’s not all; the squirrel’s blood is an excellent food to these parasites. They suck the blood for nourishment.

Will Squirrels’ Fleas Spread to My Dogs?

Squirrels that inhabit areas near peoples’ homes contribute to the spread of fleas. Pets, especially dogs, typically explore the backyards where these critters live and become vulnerable to a flea infestation.

Here, the fleas are in the grass or on the ground, where they jump on to the dogs hoping to get a drink of the blood and look for a conducive area to infest.

At times, your dog can contact squirrels, and fleas will jump directly from squirrels to the dog on such an occasion.

Did you know that you can be a carrier of squirrels’ fleas and introduce them to your dog? You might be a culprit in introducing fleas to your pet if you do come into contact with squirrels.

See, you can be exceedingly careful in prevention, but your dog can get fleas in different ways, some of which you can’t even suspect. The best thing to do is identify any potential source of fleas for dogs.

How to Avoid Fleas from Squirrels?

How To Avoid Fleas From Squirrels?
How To Avoid Fleas From Squirrels?

Fleas are tricky little creatures and pretty annoying. They can deny you or your pet peace of mind with their bites that cause severe itching. But the good news is that fleas are indeed preventable and overly treatable.

Honestly, this is encouraging news to everyone. Like who would tolerate living with fleas around or who doesn’t want to see their pets living at peace? I believe there is none. Every person wants the best for their beloved pets.

Note that fleas can also become a threat to us because we aren’t exempted from their biting. Controlling these parasites will protect not only our pets but also ourselves. It also helps to keep your home safe for any guests.

Both the wild and pet squirrels can house fleas. So, don’t think that your pet squirrel is anywhere safe from flea infestation. Probably, your pet squirrel is the reason why your home or dog has fleas, and you don’t know.

You are now aware that it is possible to control or avoid fleas from squirrels. But how can we do that? Let’s find out.

Pet Squirrels: Bath More, Use Some Product.

Bathe your squirrel Can help avoid fleas
Bathe your squirrel Can help avoid fleas

If you suspect your pet squirrel has fleas, it is crucial to take care of the problem right away. The prompt solution prevents the further spread of fleas to other animals in the home.

A flea infestation can last for several months in your home due to these parasites’ life cycle. Getting rid of the fleas entirely in one project might not be possible. It’s a process that you can repeat severally to be effective.

One of the methods to get rid of fleas from our pet squirrels is by bathing them. Bath the squirrel with flea shampoo and conditioner to kill fleas on the fur. This method is convenient and doable by any person.

Moreover, make sure to vacuum the enclosure and your house, and then treat them with a flea treatment. That’s the only way to ensure you eradicate fleas that may have gotten into the house.

You can also remove fleas by using products that can treat these parasites. It again turns out to be successful. Below are products you can use.

🚫 Disclaimer: None of these products are designed or licenced for squirrels and there won’t be a dose on the packaging. We know they work because of owners trying them and sharing anecdotal evidence. These products are not made with squirrels in mind.

Hartz Flea & Tick Shampoos and Sprays

Last update on 2022-12-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hartz flea tends to kill fleas on contact and is effective for as long as seven days. The spray is designed specifically for dogs but is also safe for squirrels. Take care for the chemical not to get into the eyes or nose.

Revolution®/ Stronghold® (generic selamectin) or Advantage®

Last update on 2022-12-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Apply the chemical on the back of the neck, and it offers a longer-term result. It kills many broad parasite species, including fleas, and is an effective treatment for kittens and squirrels.


Last update on 2022-12-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Capstar® is a pill, and you can administer it orally or topically. It is effective in killing adult fleas. If you need to spray, crush the pill, and dissolve in water. You can also crush 1/5 pill and add to a fluid given by mouth.

Wild Squirrels: Get Rid of Them

Get Rid Of Wild Squirrels to avoid fleas
Get Rid Of Wild Squirrels to avoid fleas

The sight of squirrels catches the attention of most people who love even touching them. But most squirrels are carriers of fleas, and they can also bite you. 

Therefore, it is not always a good idea to welcome wild squirrels into our homes. Apart from biting, squirrels can transmit infections to humans indirectly through fleas.

Even if you are trying to get rid of wild squirrels, poisoning them should be the last thing in your mind. It is a cruel act and, of course, illegal. Poisoning will also put other animals around at risk.

What is the most convenient way to get rid of wild squirrels from your backyard or home? Here is how.

Use of Humane Bait Trap

The trap is a practical one and will entice a squirrel to find its way out of your place. What you need to do is bait a big humane trap with peanut butter and set it.

Set the trap on the floor and ensure the squirrel is near. Leave it alone for a couple of hours. Perhaps you are wondering why I’m advising on the use of peanuts. Well, peanut butter is pretty attractive to squirrels.

But there are other food options that you can use, including nuts, dried food, or sticky candies.

Frightening Squirrels with Loud Noises or Light

If you notice squirrels inhabiting your attic, frightening them would be the best option to drive them away. Noise can be produced in various ways, e.g., turning on the television or radio loudly and having them playing day and night.

Other reliable options include banging on the walls, floor, pans, or rafter, yellowing, or talking loudly. Squirrels are susceptible to noise or anything scaring them and will automatically take a flight.

Bright light can also send squirrels away. You have to set up a bright light in the room and leave it the whole day and night.

You can also consider soaking vinegar and place it around the attic. Squirrels hate the scent of vinegar; it will help to repel them.

Blanket Approach

The blanket approach method is inexpensive and convenient. Nearly everyone can get a blanket.

If the squirrel is cornered and doesn’t move, this is the right time to use the blanket. Put on heavy gloves to avoid scratches, and hold the blanket in front of you. Carefully and slowly approach the squirrel.

As speedily as possible, drop the blanket on the squirrel and roll it up correctly. Be gentle not to harm the squirrel by rolling too tight. Carry the wrapped squirrel away from home and leave the doors and windows closed.

Open the squirrel to the ground away from you and allow it to escape. For such a squirrel to resume, home is 99% impossible.

Relocating Baby Squirrels

Mother squirrels will rarely leave their babies behind and can rescue them from any unfavorable situation. So, if a squirrel has babies in your home, the only way to keep her away is by relocating her and all the babies.

Call a professional or an expert to do the job for you. Then make sure to seal off any possible opening to the area so that no squirrel can access it back.

After removing the squirrels, now the primary thing to do to keep them off for good is to stop feeding them, trimming the branches of trees around, block any entry point, etc.

Can I Keep Dogs and Squirrels Together?

Dog chasing squirrel
Dog chasing squirrel

Yes and no, it depends on which species of dog you are raising. Some dogs are friendly with squirrels, but others can kill them.

While possible in rare cases, this is not commonly achieved as they are a prey of dogs. Most dogs would inherently chase and/or kill them. If we want them to live together, they would need to be well socialised from when the dog is a pup and it would only work in breeds with NO prey drive

Dog-squirrel chasing behavior is typical, and there are numerous reports of dogs attacking and killing squirrels. Be keen on how your dog and squirrel associate, as this will determine whether you should keep them together.

Mixing squirrels and dogs requires you to observe a few things for their safety. Both pets can transmit fleas to each other if there are any. To avoid flea infestation, you have to bathe your squirrel and dog more often.

Moreover, be watchful of the pets and ensure that they aren’t fighting. They should live with each other as friends, eat comfortably and play safely.

Other Problems That Wild Squirrels Can Have?

For the most part, squirrels are harmless critters; we love these animals and have them around. They make our backyard enjoyable to watch. But the issue with these rodents is that they are carriers of fleas.

Fleas can be transmitted to our household pets. But that is not the only thing to be concerned about wild squirrels; they do pose other problems in our homes.

So, you should be aware of what they can do when you entertain wild squirrels, both their negative and positive side. You can know what to anticipate or what to avoid when these creatures are around.

Let’s explore other problems that wild squirrels can pose apart from flea problems.

Problem #1: Endoparasites

Squirrels will also transmit endoparasites to our household pets. For instance, fleas are medium for transmitting tapeworms, so your pet may get tapeworm as well.

Moreover, coccidia can be transmitted from wildlife (e.g., squirrels) to cats and dogs through feces. This is also a problem because internal parasites affect our beloved pets’ overall health.

Problem #2: Losing of Household pets

Dogs or cats chasing squirrels is not a new thing to us. But did you ever think that your beloved dog or cat can get stuck somewhere or something bad might happen and fail to come back?

The truth is, the dog or cat can get stuck in trees or areas they are unable to back down. They might even be hit by vehicles on the roads, and you end up losing your pet.

Problem #3: Disease Transmission to pets

Our pets can contract various diseases from wildlife when they come into contact. Squirrels, for example, can be carriers of rabies and pass the infection to household pets.

Leptospirosis is another disease that is transmitted from wild animals to pets through contaminated water or urine. If your dog contracts the diseases, it can result in liver or kidney failure.

In such a situation, you need to work with your veterinarian. The two diseases are fatal, but there are vaccines to prevent them. That’s the best part of it; your pet can be vaccinated and be safe from getting the disease.

Problem #4: Infection to Humans

Squirrels’ fleas can also bite us, giving you an unpleasant moment where you scratch yourself. The itching can be extreme and eventually cause wounds that are an entry point for infection. So, we can get infections from squirrels indirectly.

Wrapping Up

They say knowledge is key, and through reading, you furnish your mind, and that is true. Squirrels are pretty, and we love them dearly, but you need to be informed of their positivity and negativity as a wise person.

There are a couple of problems with squirrels, and some of them are of big concern. For example, squirrels can pass fleas or diseases to our dog and cat pets, and we might also be victims at some points.

Also, squirrels can be the reason why many of our dogs get lost, mainly when a dog chases a squirrel; anything can happen on the way. I hope you now know what to do and not do with squirrels.

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