Do Squirrel Bite: What to Do If You Get Bitten?

Yes, squirrels do bite. Squirrels can be pesky little creatures, but they can also be dangerous. Squirrel bites are not harmful unless they cause an infection. If you’re unfortunate enough to get bitten by a squirrel, be aware of the potential consequences. Squirrel bites can cause various issues, from minor irritation to severe infection.

Reasons Why Squirrels Bite

Squirrels can be a nuisance and sometimes a danger to humans. If you live in an area with many squirrels, be prepared to arm yourself with food treats to keep them away. 

Squirrels are generally passive animals unless they’re feeling threatened or hungry. They bite humans for a variety of reasons, including hunger and territoriality. Most squirrel bites don’t require medical attention, but it’s essential to seek professional help if you’re bitten. 

Food Is Involved

If you feed the squirrels regularly, they may start associating humans with food and bite you out of frustration. In addition, when the squirrel finds these items in your garden, they will pounce on them with gusto – leaving behind droppings that can contain parasites or other diseases. Lastly, feeding squirrels nuts and seeds is not easy for them; most of their diet consists of hard-to-digest items.

They Feel Threatened

Squirrels are generally harmless, though they may bite if threatened or aggressed. Squirrels can bite when they’re feeling threatened. The most common reason squirrels bite people is the animal defending its territory or food supply. 

If you live in an area with common squirrels, keeping your windows closed at night is essential to avoid incidents. If a squirrel bit you, clean the wound with soap and water as soon as possible and seek medical attention if necessary.

Things to Remember When Bitten by Squirrels

Squirrel bites are not harmful unless they cause an infection. However, there is a slight chance of infection. If you do get bitten, don’t try to handle the animal yourself. In the case of a severe bite, do not try to self-treat. Immediately seek medical attention and follow their instructions carefully. 

If a squirrel ever bites you, be aware of the following concerns: infection, swelling, redness, pain, and paralysis. If any of these symptoms arise, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Infection is the biggest fear because it can lead to severe complications like sepsis or an abscessed tooth. 

Swelling is another potential issue because it can make the wound difficult to heal and cause extreme discomfort. Pain and paralysis can be highly debilitating–even life-threatening–if not treated quickly enough by a doctor. So, take all the precautions you can to avoid getting bitten first, and know how to deal with any potential issues that may arise.

If a squirrel bites you, do not panic. Instead, take the following steps to minimize the risk of infection and ensure a quick and easy recovery:

  • Ice the bite for 20 minutes every hour until it starts to swell. 
  • If a squirrel bites you, do not panic! Stay calm, and do not attempt to fight or remove the animal. 
  • Contact a local animal control officer or the police. 
  • Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or if there is pus present at the bite site. 
  • Wash the wound with soap and fresh water as soon as possible.

Diseases That Squirrels May Pass Through Bites

Squirrels can carry several diseases that can be harmful to people, including rabies and Lyme disease. If you see one carrying any disease, you must contact your local health department as soon as possible. Always use protective gear when engaging with squirrels – they are known for their sharp teeth! Ensure you keep your child safe by keeping squirrels away from them at all costs.


Leptospirosis is a severe disease you can easily contract through contact with rodents or their saliva. This includes squirrels, rodents, and other wild animals. If you happen to get bitten by a squirrel, seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

While squirrels can spread leptospirosis through their saliva, it’s important to remember that they can also bite humans while feeding. So, keep your home rodent-proof and closed during the winter to help reduce the risk of attracting squirrels. Lastly, be extra careful when encountering squirrels, as their bite may contain leptospirosis bacteria.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, caused by bite wounds from infected black-legged ticks, is one of North America’s most common vector-borne diseases. Prevention is critical – be sure to use tick repellent and avoid working or playing outdoors during peak tick activity times. If you get lyme disease, take antibiotics as prescribed and follow up with your doctor. Squirrels can be cute and cuddly, but they can also bite.


Salmonellosis is a serious foodborne illness that is caused by the bacteria salmonella. Symptoms of salmonella infection can include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting. If you think you might have contracted the illness from eating contaminated food, see your doctor as soon as possible! 


Tularemia, a severe infection you can contract from squirrels, is rising. Keep your distance from wild animals and look for squirrels, as they are the primary carriers of tularemia. If you do get bitten, seek immediate medical attention. Treatment for tularemia includes antibiotics and fluid restriction. Make sure to tell your doctor if you have been in contact with squirrels in the past.


If you’re bitten by a squirrel and have any rabies symptoms, get medical attention immediately! Rabies is a preventable disease; the sooner it’s treated, the better your chance of fully recovering. The best way to prevent rabies is through routine vaccinations and prompt treatment, even if the victim isn’t a human. 

Avoiding Bites and Scratches From Squirrels

Squirrels can be pesky creatures and bite and scratch humans in the process. However, there are a few simple things that you can do to protect yourself from these pesky critters. 

  • Firstly, teach your children the importance of squirrel avoidance. If a squirrel gets inside, don’t try to catch it – they’ll probably just run away. If you get bit or scratched by a squirrel, seek medical attention as soon as possible! 
  • Make sure to keep your squirrel-proof bird feeder clean and up-to-date. 
  • Ultimately, it’s important to remember that squirrels are wild animals, and they’re not always going to act in the best interest of humans.

In Public Places

When in public places, be aware of squirrels. Try not to feed or put food out for them as this will only encourage them to bite you. Ensure your clothing is long enough so the squirrel cannot grab onto it when it jumps – they can be very agile! If you get bitten or scratched, wash it with soap and water as soon as possible.

At Home

Squirrels can be a nuisance at home – especially if you live in an area with plenty of them. Some tips to avoid problems include keeping food secure, keeping doors closed, and ensuring you stay away from squirrels. If you get bitten or scratched, rinse the wound immediately with warm water and soap, then apply an antibiotic ointment as required.

Tips to Keep Squirrels Away From Humans

Squirrels can be a nuisance, but they can also be dangerous. They are known to carry a variety of diseases that can seriously harm humans. Keep these pests out of your home by following the following tips:

  • Always keep your doors and windows closed to keep squirrels out. 
  • Make sure to seal cracks and crevices around your home to prevent squirrels from entering. 
  • Keep bird feeders and bird houses out of squirrels’ reach, as they are a favorite feeding spot. 
  • Protect your pets from squirrels, as they can spread rabies and Lyme disease. If you notice a squirrel in your home, be sure to contact a veterinarian for advice on handling the situation. 

Remember, squirrels are familiar visitors to our homes, so it’s essential to be aware of their habits and protect yourself and your family from disease!