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Thread: Zoonotic diseases in squirrels

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Zoonotic diseases in squirrels

    I thought to update this thread.

    In the Southwestern and Pacific coastal regions of the US there have been modest outbreaks of bubonic disease annually, often under 20 cases a year. In the eastern US this disease was eradicated decades ago, when it was chiefly carried by rats. The risk of infection is rare for most of the US population; for even where this bacteria is found in the soil, be it in the mountainous areas of the Pacific coastal region, the deserts of the Southwest, or the prairie lands of the Midwest, the chances of becoming infected are very rare, even so they potentially still exist.

    Presently, there are three basic means of becoming infected with (Yersinia Pestis). One, having come in contact with infected fleas on living or dead animals, or fleas near the entrance to animal burrows of infected animals, that transfer the disease by biting. Two, by coming into physical contact with the body fluids of an infected animal, or person through cuts and abrasions, or in the case of the pneumonia form, by breathing in the droplets from coughing infected humans or pets. And three, from the bite of an infected animal, be it wild or domestic.

    The important take away with this, is that knowledge can protect you, your family, and your pets from becoming infected in nearly all instances, through avoidance of contact with the sources of this often deadly bacteria.

    Presently in some areas of LA County rats that are feeding off garbage and human waste isn't being disposed of which is being left by the homeless in some areas that are living on the streets and in parks. Already typhus has been found. Some experts are now saying that Bubonic Plague is likely already in LA in these areas, and residents in these areas are now at risk. So far I have not read of cases being confirmed. Will update if things change.

    Please read through this information from the Center of Disease Control on Bubonic Plague as to the regions htat this disease is presently found in, and the paths that this disease can take that could result in this bacterial infection.

    http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/...ent/plague.pdf

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    Snicker Bar (08-13-2019)

  3. #22
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    Default Re: Zoonotic diseases in squirrels

    This is a great article DF, and a very good topic! In fact, Iíve been nightmaring about these vermin and the potential threats they are bringing me here in MS. My husband and I are literally at wits end about the mice and rats. I guess technically, WE are the invaders; since our house and barn are way out in the middle of a pasture, next to the woods. But still, I have to wonder how others control the vermin without killing their pets?!? Itís no joke how serious itís becoming!! Iím embarrassed to even post the the number of creatures I see running in the barn when I turn on the light (and yes! I have THREE barn cats!) The cats helped at first, but the sheer volume of rodents is way too many!! And since the house is just a stone throw away, theyíve discovered the porch. Iíve sealed the squirrel room up as best I know how, but they still come and try and chew their way in. I see them hanging on the wire, running around, just looking for a way to come in and steal a booball. Just thee days ago, I found a brand new fan for their room (placed on outside) with the cord chewed in two. I could bring everyone that lives outside in at night I suppose, but they just love this room. Teenie and Leah (the two Flyers) havenít lived in a cage since they were babies. It would be cruel to lock them up now. Flying in our house sadly isnít an option .
    Every night we have to pick up the (outdoor) dog food bowls ; saw them grabbing a bite of food right under their noses!! And then, guess where they store and eat the food?? Under the hood of our trucks... And for dessert, they eat the wires to the tune of many hundreds of dollars!!

    Its crazy!! Sorry DF; didnít mean to hijack and get on a rat rant lol!! But seriously, I need to post a new thread when I have more time and ask , what can we do?? If we put out poison, Iíll kill my pets and other wildlife. And, personally, as gross as they are, the thought of the way that stuff slowly does itís work.... Not and option. Traps?? I could set a hundred; and in a week a hundred more would come. Remove the food? We are doing that ... Feed is in cans with lids. The cats have a feeder , but they donít dare venture into their little feed room (apparently they are also intelligent). The outdoor squirrel room gets daily debri from Dandies, Doodles, Miracle, and the Flyers.. But seriously; I keep that habitat wayyy cleaner than some in my human family keep their own bedrooms!!!

    So back to the original topic: The Plague...
    I hope it doesnít come here !!!!

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Zoonotic diseases in squirrels

    No need all the questions you have can be answered on this thread, just start with post #1 .

    Your region isn't one that has any incidence of this bacterial infection.

    Location, being within the range of where this bacteria is known to exist, and most importantly, proximity and near to actual physical contact Even then it doesn't mean you will be infected, for it the fleas that carry the virus that are the issue. It is moreover a matter of engaging in risky activity of near to actual physical contact in areas where prior breakouts have occurred, that is risky. '

    In our area there are more than a few. The closest Santa Monica Mtn. where there are hiking trails. and the other LA Crest. Both areas at different times have had breakouts. The break outs are handled by authorities spraying the entrance of the burrows of Calif. ground squirrels, not harming the squirrels.

    For this disease, being where you are this isn't a concern.

    That said we all know rats carry disease, hanta for one. Being exposed to inhaling dried powdered feces is the is an issue there.

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    Snicker Bar (08-14-2019)

  6. #24
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    Default Re: Zoonotic diseases in squirrels

    I was down in Torrance with my hubby while trying to rescue the squirrel at the park; in this part of LA County we saw no encampments on the streets, yet as my hubby has related other areas in LA there are encampments and where sanitation is lacking there is a serious problem with flea borne disease from rats, specifically Typhus, another flea borne bacteria. This article explains that so far no human to human contact has been observed. A It is in dense populated areas of people and specifically rats increase significantly in numbers from feeding on garbage that has not been removed. This is not the countryside where populations are much lower.

    https://www.outbreakobservatory.org/...in-los-angeles

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    Snicker Bar (08-14-2019)

  8. #25
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    Default Re: Zoonotic diseases in squirrels

    In rural areas the problem of keeping rat and mice populations down without harming wildlife is not easy to do. One means of doing so is to entirely deprive them of food sources, which save for secured food bins, and relying your farm cats to dispatch them, helps, but isn't 100 %. Bates of course aren't the answer, for even one newer source that is toxic to cats and dogs, is lethal to rodents.

    In years where wild foods for the rats results in a high increase in their numbers, save for trapping them to humanely euthanize them, there isn't much more than one could do to reduce their numbers. Growing up on his family's farm, where the grain storage was outdated, my hubby told me of one year rats got into the granary and their numbers skyrocketed; the battle that ensued was like unto a one sided version of the wild, wild west. Today with much modernized farming practices, when care is taken to secure storage units, they don't get in.

    Plugging all the cracks from the outside of your home to the inside can help keep your squirrels safe. Once we had a rat get into our home, via a tiny opening between the wall and the fireplace when we removed the trim to remodel. Finally I put some masonry caulk and the rat was shut out of our home.

    To keep rats and mice out of outside pet cages, an outer cage surround that you can enter, that houses an inner cage, using the smallest rodent wire fabric for both, is all I know of that won't result in bites happening to pets.

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    Snicker Bar (08-14-2019)

  10. #26
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    Default Re: Zoonotic diseases in squirrels

    Have you guys ever hard of Joseph Carter the Mink Man? He raises and trains mink to hunt rats, similar to ferreting in the UK. The beauty of the mink is they can go where the rats hide. Not sure where he lives (I think Utah) or what he charges, but if the rat problem is getting that bad I suspect he and anyone else who is learning "minkenry" from his Youtube videos will be in great demand.

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    island rehabber (08-23-2019)

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