Can Chipmunks Get Rabies?

Last Updated: 18.06.19

 

Chipmunks are definitely winners when it comes to cuteness but they score big when it comes to damaging one’s place as well, so using the best chipmunk traps and organizing your place in order to prevent that are compulsory.

If you’re afraid that these rodents might target your place and thus destroy your various belongings, you need to make several house and garden adjustments, read reviews of squirrel traps to get the best products, and learn more about their behavior and what attracts and repels them.

Taking these steps will not only keep your property in good condition but also your health since it might be jeopardized when these creatures are around. Read today’s post to find out more about the health risks chipmunks pose and the things you should do to minimize them.

 

Chipmunks and rabies

These small rodents are known for the damages they can cause around a house yet there is a more serious threat they pose and that is related to the diseases they carry and that can be transmitted to humans.

Many people wonder whether chipmunks can get rabies and are dangerous to be around. Although many wild animals carry this disease, chipmunks rarely do so. Even if they are bitten by an animal carrying rabies, it is still unlikely for them to get it.

The possibility is not excluded, though. This means that it is essential to know the signs of rabies. Rabid chipmunks may be either too friendly or too aggressive and they may have foam around their noses and mouths.

This disease is caused by a virus that affects the nervous system, which leads to a variety of symptoms. The initial signs of rabies include weakness, body aches, and fever. Once it advances, the infected animal may drool, be aggressive, excited, or confused, and have jerky movements.

If you encounter such a chipmunk, stay away from the animal as much as possible and take the necessary steps to repel it. Do so safely, though, as the animal may become aggressive and attack you.

Parasites and insects

Even if chipmunks rarely get rabies, they come with other health risks. Just like other animals, chipmunks can get parasites like roundworms that can be transmitted to humans. Roundworm infections can lead to various complications including organ failure and malnourishment.

These small rodents can have intestinal protozoa and many other parasites that could harm your health. In case you come in contact with a chipmunk or its droppings, wash your hands thoroughly.

Plus, if you have a cat or dog and the pet kills a chipmunk, a visit to your veterinarian is compulsory. If the pet becomes infested with parasites carried by chipmunks, you could be at risk as well.

Since chipmunks are furry animals, they will inevitably be vulnerable to lice and mites, which are known to spread various diseases. Ticks also affect chipmunks and may bite them. Even if the Lyme disease carried by ticks cannot be transmitted to people by chipmunks that have been bitten, the ticks in the fur of a chipmunk can jump on you. Utmost attention is thus needed.

 

Other diseases carried by chipmunks

The health risks mentioned above are not the only ones you are exposed to when chipmunks are around, though. These rodents are also known for spreading salmonella and plague, which can be transmitted to humans if an infected rodent carries fleas and the fleas bite the human.

Plague affects the immune system whereas salmonella causes joint pain and gastrointestinal problems. Also, chipmunks can spread hantavirus which can be contracted by humans via contact with chipmunk feces and urine and affects the lungs. Plus, although rarely, chipmunk bites can cause tetanus yet that can be prevented with a vaccine.

 

Chipmunk bites

Given the various diseases chipmunks can transmit to humans, utmost attention must be paid when these animals are around. There are several things you can do to discourage them from reaching your house and we will cover them below.

Chipmunks are wild animals and will bite and scratch, if necessary. In the unfortunate event of a bite, you should see your doctor immediately. The bite of a chipmunk can cause various infections that require specific treatment. Left untreated, these infections may lead to a variety of health problems such as skin and tissue loss.

If you’ve been bitten by a chipmunk, pay attention to any sign of infection. If you notice redness, swelling, or fever, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. If the infection is severe, the affected person can also experience swollen lymph nodes, red streaks, and severe pain around the bite.

Until you get to see your doctor, make sure you employ the first aid required in such cases. Use warm water and soap to wash the bite or ask a professional about the first things you can do to reduce the risks posed by a bite.

Prevention

Considering the serious health problems you can get if you come in contact with a chipmunk’s droppings or you get scratched or bitten by one, the best way to minimize such risks is to take the necessary measures to prevent them from reaching your home.

There are a few general guidelines to follow if you want to keep these rodents away from your place. Some of them are quite simple. For example, try not to leave any food exposed as it will attract chipmunks. Cover any edible plants with a wire-mesh fence and place gravel around the plants you want to protect.

Remove fruits and bird seeds that have fallen to the ground. Chipmunks will visit your place when they’re hungry. If they don’t find any food, they will eventually go elsewhere to get it. Also, place the bird feeders away from your house.

Still, to make sure that chipmunks won’t reach your garden and house, you need to take a few more measures. You can also use repellents and traps. The market now offers a variety of such products ranging from the classic traps to electronic devices. Taste repellents are sprayed on the plants usually targeted by chipmunks. By creating a bad taste, they will repel the rodents.

However, if you want to use such products, make sure they contain no harsh chemicals and are safe to be used on plants you want to eat. If you don’t want any harmful chemicals to be involved, then you could simply use a water sprinkler or a bright motion-sensor light that will activate once motion is detected and thus repel the unwanted visitors.

 

Removal

If you use traps and they’ve done their job and caught the rodents, it is very important to remove the animals properly and safely. Using protective gear is thus recommended. In case you have little experience with this, it is best to call for professional help in order to avoid getting bitten or injured.

Eliminating any direct contact with chipmunks is ideal. Remember not to touch, approach, or feed them. They are wild animals; therefore, they will act as such should they feel threatened or attacked.

 

 

 

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