Are squirrels considered vermins?
Are these animals rodents and classified as dangerous pests?
Vermin is a loosely used term that’s mostly used to refer to all pest categories. So, is that really the case? Not really. Not all pests are vermin.
Rather, only those known to spread diseases and also cause havoc on crops and livestock can be called vermin. This article will be discussing squirrels.
Are Squirrels Pests?
Are they vermin?
There’s quite some confusion over what rodents really are. However, since we’ve mentioned the key characteristics of vermin, you may as well figure that out by assessing the activities of squirrels.
Do they spread diseases? Do they destroy property and livestock?
Vermin is a broad term used that refers to pests or small animals known to cause havoc on crops and property. They’re also known to spread diseases.
Examples of vermin include rats, weasels, roaches, mice, fleas, beetles, ants, flies, raccoons, and roundworms.
Other creatures considered to be vermin include moths, brown rats, caterpillars, grasshoppers, feral cats, raccoon dogs, oriental cockroaches, mus, and muskrat. So, why have squirrels not been mentioned?
Does that mean they aren’t vermin? Not actually. You see, the answers lie in squirrel activity.
Certain rodent species like rats and mice have been mentioned as belonging to the vermin category or grouping of pests. To be clear about which category squirrels belong to, we’ll need to consider the defining characteristics of vermin.
Basically, vermin are described as mischievous, destructive, and disease-spreading creatures. Rodents are mostly considered to be vermin. So, are squirrels considered rodents?
Without a doubt, squirrels are rodents. Since rodents are vermin, squirrels too are vermin.
Why Squirrels Are Considered Vermin
The main reason squirrels are considered vermin is due to the problem caused by them. Such problems are mostly in the form of damage and diseases.
These are two broad areas we’ll be discussing to provide more clarity as to why they’re vermin.
i. Damages Caused by Squirrels
Squirrels are known to cause all sorts of damage leaving behind a mess wherever they go. A greater percentage of damage caused by them is through their chewing activity.
Squirrels will chew through just about anything they can. There are roughly around 200 squirrel species and all are notorious for the damage they cause.
These vermin are known to cause all sorts of damages both indoors and outdoors. When squirrels get into homes or attics, they chew on wires and damage vents, in addition to creating holes in the roof.
What more you’re likely to find gnaw and scratch marks around furniture.
Squirrel urine and droppings are mostly common around their nesting areas. Their urine has a musty smell and could promote mold growth.
What more, the holes created on your roof easily let in water which increases mold and mildew growth.
Outdoor squirrel damage is most common with uprooted flowers and plants as well as tiny holes scattered around your yard. These rodents use such holes for hiding their nut stashes.
So, how is that a problem, your lawn area among other sections of your yard is dug up, thus creating a mess?
Asides from nuts and fruits, bird feeders are also prime targets for squirrels. When access to seeds within the bird feeder becomes a problem, squirrels will chew through it, thus damaging it in the process.
All of these are problems most homeowners will want to avoid.
With chewed wiring, the possibility of a fire outbreak occurring is real. This could be caused when there’s short circuiting of two live wires.
Your best bet of stopping such damage is by having these vermin repelled or exterminated.
ii. Diseases Spread by Squirrels
Squirrels do much more than just damage to property. They can also transmit diseases. The nature of problems caused by these rodents easily qualifies them as vermin.
So, what exactly is the nature of diseases transmitted from squirrels to humans? There are several!
Such diseases include rabies, leptospirosis, lyme disease, tularemia, and salmonellosis. Also, squirrels are potential carriers of typhus, ringworm, and plague diseases.
All of these aren’t pretty with some easily spreading to humans through bites (which is quite rare).
The Nature of Diseases Transmitted by Squirrels
Squirrel urine and droppings when accumulated become breeding grounds for salmonellosis. Such condition increasingly becomes transmissible to humans.
You’re likely to get infected when you accidentally come in contact with it.
Common symptoms of salmonellosis include chills, nausea, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. When bitten by a squirrel which is highly unlikely but possible, it leads to the spread of certain diseases.
Apart from rabies, other diseases that can be transmitted include leptospirosis and tularemia.
Your best shot at avoiding these transmissible diseases is by having a pest control specialist handle all your squirrel exclusion installations.
They better understand squirrel behavior and will normally follow preventive actions to avoid such problems.
Vermin Issues are to be Addressed Immediately
Whenever vermin issues arise, you’ll need to take urgent steps to get rid of squirrels. The easiest and most reliable way to deal with the problem involves hiring a reputable pest management service.
So, how can you go about hiring the right service provider? There are basic tips to follow.
These tips include checking that the technician(s) sent to your home for inspection is certified. Here, you’ll need to ask for identification and license among other proofs of certification.
The pest management service you settle for should be one that’s insured and bonded. This protects you against liability. All your questions must be satisfactorily answered before entering into a contract with the company.
Squirrels pose a lot of challenges that normally spark questions about how they got in, what attracts them, and their potential for damage.
Appearance matters a lot. A reputable pest management service should be particular about how its technicians look. A professional appearance or otherwise leaves a lasting impression on the client.
References are also crucial in finding the right service provider.
Consider asking friends and family for referrals. They should know a thing or two about reliable pest control services and what they can offer.
Be wary of pricing. Most times, people want to get the best deal possible. However, when prices seem too good to be true, they probably are. The quality of service may be dismal.
We’ve made things clear by explaining what vermin are and how squirrels are partly classified as such. It’s necessary to take serious steps towards combating your squirrel problems.
- How Do Squirrels Get In The Attic?
- How To Keep Squirrels Away From Bird Feeders
- Squirrel Damage To House [Attic, Roof, Wiring & Health Risks]
- Will Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away?