Should I Ever Handle a Squirrel with My Bare Hands?
Before diving too deeply into this article, we want to be crystal clear about this answer from the start. There is never an instance where you should want to handle a squirrel with your bare hands. We cannot say that to you clearly enough.
These Are Wild Animals
Let’s start with the obvious answer as to why not. No matter how cute and cuddly a squirrel may look. No matter how timid they may act when they come around you. These are still wild animals.
Wild animals act in erratic and unexpected ways. One day, the squirrel could be eating out of the palm of your hand. The next day it could scratch or bite you simply because you moved in the wrong way or made a noise that startled it. These are not domesticated animals. They could easily react in a way that could do you serious harm. This is why you never handle them with your bare hands.
The Carriers of Diseases
Besides the fact that they could injure you by biting or scratching you, you also have to worry about the fact that these animals carry a number of diseases. Parasites and bacteria are often found in their fur or in their skin. Their fluids also have pathogens to them. Some of these are quite serious.
In fact, squirrels are the carriers of rabies. If you are to be bitten, scratched, or their fluids found its way into your body, you could get deathly ill in a very short amount of time. This is not the only disease these animals carry either. Anyone of these poses a serious health risk to you. You can’t put yourself in jeopardy that way.
How to Handle a Squirrel
If you come across a squirrel, don’t pick it up. Even if it is injured, the best thing you can do is to avoid these animals altogether. You simply don’t know what you may wind up getting.
However, if there is a dead squirrel in your yard or in your home or you feel you absolutely have to care for an injured or sick squirrel, then protect yourself. Make sure that you are wearing gloves, a surgical mask, goggles, and a longs-leeved shirt and long-sleeved pants.
You don’t want to give any possibility that one of these pathogens can get onto your skin or into your airway. Parasites, in particular, can be extremely dangerous to you. They can cause serious problems for your internal organs, including your central nervous system. You can’t put yourself at risk and that way.
Always try to handle the animal by using some kind of product. What we mean is that if you are picking up a dead squirrel, do it with a shovel. You don’t have to do it with your bare hands.
Be smart about this. There is really no reason to put yourself at risk. Understand that getting a parasite on you could put your family and your pets at risk as well. It’s just not worth it.