baby squirrel

Can You Touch A Baby Squirrel?(Possible Consequences Of That!)

You can touch a baby squirrel as they are not fast movers but after that, make sure you wash your hands with water and soap as squirrels are known to be the carrier of a variety of germs and diseases. Moreover, the squirrel may try to bite you or scratch you thinking that you are attacking them. So its best to leave them alone.

Let’s take a deeper look at this topic…

Is it OK to touch a squirrel?

Squirrels are wild creatures and like all animals living out in the wild, are dirty and their body is a breeding ground for a variety of microorganisms and parasites. Moreover, they consider humans or any large animals as a threat and their instant instinct will be to bite or scratch you even before you manage to touch them.

Even pet animals, which are regularly showered and cleansed can end up harboring a variety of microbes in their outer body. This is because of the presence of the furry skin that acts as the perfect harbor ground for different sorts of microbes. So if this is the case with pet animals, think what will be the situation with animals like squirrels that never ever take a shower!

  • Over the centuries, squirrels are known to act as a carrier for various diseases like typhus, plague, tularemia, etc.
  • Moreover, they contain loads of parasites in their body, some of which can cause some really fatal diseases in humans including  Encephalitis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, etc.

If you get attacked by the squirrel, you will need to give the hospital a visit, it’s a must no matter how minor the injury is…Even though watching videos on the internet where people pet squirrels look cute but in reality that happens very rarely and even then it is full of quite a number of risks. So it’s best to avoid touching them.

How to know the age of the baby squirrel you found?

You won’t find baby squirrels that are more than 3 months or 12 weeks old as they learn how to live independently by that age. Squirrels are born during the month of either March or July, so you just need to back-calculate the months to get a rough estimate of their age.

  • If their eyes are not fully open and their ears are closed then they are likely to be less than 4 to 6 weeks old.
  • Also if the fur development has not properly happened yet then the squirrels in within 2 weeks to 6 weeks old.
  • Tail white hair growth will initiate when they are about 4 weeks old and will develop a dense covering by the time they are 6 weeks old.

When do baby squirrels open their eyes?

Squirrels can open their eyes when they are 3.5 months of age but generally, they tend to have opened eyes when they are anywhere between 4 weeks to 6 weeks old. Almost all squirrels develop properly opened up eyes by the age of (6 to 7) weeks.

When do baby squirrels leave the nest?

Baby squirrels are known to leave the nest and start living on their own at around 12 weeks old. If you have found a baby squirrel on the ground that is barely able to move around on its own, it is likely that is less than 12 weeks old and is yet to be dependable on its own.

In such circumstances, it is best to not move them and with time, it is likely that they will get united with their mother.

By the age of 8 weeks, the baby squirrels undergo the majority of their physical development. They can be a bit smaller in size than regular squirrels but they slowly start to be independent at this age.

By the time they get 12 to 13 weeks old, they almost reach the size of an adult squirrel and develop dense fur, along with territorial instincts. They leave the nest of their mother at this time and start to live on their own.

You can get sick from touching both baby and adult squirrels as they are known to host tons of microbes in their body. They also contain many parasites like fleas and ticks. Some of these microbes and parasites can cause really fatal diseases in humans including leptospirosis, Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, etc.

If you touch a baby squirrel will the mother reject it?

Even if you touch a baby squirrel, its mother won’t reject her baby She will have her back without any issue. The fact that the mother will reject baby squirrels if humans touch them, is just a myth.
In case you found the baby squirrel on the ground, it’s best to not touch it if they are lying at a secured location where it won’t get harmed. The mother is maybe around waiting for the right time to save their baby.
In case the baby squirrel is injured and it is truly abandoned(the mother didn’t turn up even after some time, make sure you were not standing right next to the baby, make sure the baby is abandoned by watching it from a distance for some time) then instead of treating the baby by yourself, contact the local wildlife rehabilitator.


Will a baby squirrel bite me?

Baby squirrels are capable of biting you as they develop their teeth when they are 4 to 5 weeks old. Their natural instinct will be to attack anyone with everything they have got to survive. They are feeling frightened to feel your presence and they don’t know that you are trying to pet them and not harm them. 

So that is it! If you have any questions let me know in the comments below.

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