What Type of Fleas and Bugs Do Grey Squirrels Get?
A good question to ask is what type of fleas and bugs do grey squirrels get? Grey squirrels are opportunistic feeders, capable of carrying Notoedric mange mites and vectors of bubonic plague. Read on to learn more. In this article, we’ll discuss some common problems associated with gray squirrels. Here, we’ll explore some common pests, and discuss what you can do to protect your pets.
Gray squirrels are opportunistic feeders
Gray squirrels are opportunists, which means they will feed on anything that they can find. Their diets vary depending on the season, but winged maple seeds are a large part of their summer diet. Acorns and other hard nuts such as beechnuts are also common in autumn, as are pine seeds and fruits. During the winter, gray squirrels will eat insects, nuts, and fruits and vegetables.
These animals are usually found in forests or shrubbery, but can be seen in urban areas. While they prefer to live in trees, they will adapt to human habitats and use utility wires as a means of travel. They are excellent jumpers, and use their padded feet as shock absorbers. Their long tails are used for swimming, balance, and as a shield from predators.
While gray squirrels pose no threat to humans, they do cause a lot of damage. They can gain access to roof spaces and chew through anything they can reach. These animals have even caused fires and flooded homes. These animals can also wreak havoc in gardens, eating vegetables and flowers. Tulip bulbs are also a favorite. If you have a garden, gray squirrels can help themselves to these foods.
They are hosts for Notoedric mange mites
In June, an Eastern gray squirrel was diagnosed with notoedric mange in Montreal. The disease is a parasitic infection in which the notoedric mange mite lives in the skin and digs microscopic tunnels in the skin. The result is irritation, scratching, and hair loss. The infection is species-specific; humans and domestic animals are not known to be hosts.
Humans can contract temporary notoedric mange from infested animals. Common sites for lesions in humans are the hands and legs. Exposure to these mites can cause sensitization in humans, which may manifest as intense itching within a few hours of contact. Humans, unlike animals, cannot absorb the mites, which is why human contact can lead to skin lesions.
Notoedric mange mite infections begin on the head of the animal. The skin becomes thick, wrinkled, and crusted gray or yellow. The animal’s skin also begins to scratch excessively. If left untreated, chronic cases can be life-threatening. If left untreated, notoedric mange mites can spread to other animals, including canines and cats.
While selamectin treatments for individual animals are highly successful, it is still necessary to consider the effects of treating a whole herd. In many cases, the disease can kill up to 50% of its hosts. In addition, notoedric mange is known to spill over to other hosts, including grey squirrels. The increasing number of hosts may be due to global changes in environmental conditions.
They are capable of vectoring bubonic plague
Although the Bubonic Plague is an ancient disease, it is a modern reality for some people in California. These rodents are capable of vectoring the disease, and they are particularly common in areas with high numbers of ground squirrels. Because of this, residents of California must be careful about their exposure to ground squirrels in their yards and elsewhere. These animals can carry a variety of infectious diseases, including the deadly bubonic plague.
In an outbreak of the plague, humans are most likely to become infected with the disease. People are more susceptible to plague during an outbreak, when infected animals are close to human homes. In addition to infected ground squirrels, humans may also contract the disease from infected fleas or other contaminated tissues and fluids. While humans have not contracted the plague from a ground squirrel, contact with these infected animals is still a major risk factor.
While squirrels are capable of vectoring the bubonic plague, their chances of transmitting it to humans is much lower than that of squirrels attacking power grids. In fact, according to Michael A. Cohen and Micah Zenko, the number of squirrel-related disruptive attacks has reached 2,436 as of mid-2018. Squirrels are responsible for 49 percent of all such attacks compared to 394 times the number of human-caused disruptions.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.