You might not realize it, but flying squirrels are pretty common. In some parts of the world, they exist in large numbers. And since some rodents can pose a danger to humans, it’s natural for people to wonder if flying squirrels are dangerous too. So, are flying squirrels a threat to humans? Are they known to attack people?
Flying squirrels are not dangerous to humans and unlikely to ever attack humans. These squirrels are primarily nocturnal, and they are very skittish. Most flying squirrels do not harbor diseases, except the southern flying squirrel, which can very rarely transmit typhus.
There are several species of flying squirrels throughout the world, and if you live in a region where they are abundant, you may be concerned about whether or not these rodents are dangerous.
By studying the behavior of flying squirrels, we can determine if they’re dangerous to humans and whether or not it’s safe to live near them. So, let’s find out.
Are Flying Squirrels Dangerous To Humans?
The flying squirrel is a fascinating rodent that often lives near humans. However, these animals can be elusive and mysterious, which means there is much that people do not know about them.
This lack of knowledge can make some people nervous around flying squirrels.
Although they have sharp teeth for eating insects and other tiny food items, flying squirrels are not dangerous to humans. These rodents are small and mostly harmless.
Flying squirrels are too small to pose a real threat to humans, but the real reason why these animals are so safe for humans is simply because of when they are most active.
The reason why most people know so little about these animals is typical because they very rarely see them.
Even if you live close to them, the chance of spotting one is still slim.
This is because almost all species of flying squirrels are entirely nocturnal and are only active for very few hours during the night.
Flying squirrels are most active for around two hours after sunset and about two hours before sunrise.
These are the hours when humans are usually inside, driving, or asleep.
Flying squirrels are also entirely arboreal, so they rarely venture onto the ground as they dwell primarily in tall trees.
Given that flying squirrels avoid contact with humans, you are unlikely to encounter one even if you live in an area with a high density of them.
Do Flying Squirrels Attack Humans?
Flying squirrels are a rodent species, and some rodents, including other species of squirrels, have been known to attack some people from time to time.
Is this true for flying squirrels as well?
Although there are several species of flying squirrels, they would have to be bold or aggressive to attack a human since these animals are generally so small and shy. Furthermore, they make great efforts to stay away from people altogether.
There is no reason for flying squirrels to attack humans at all.
Other squirrels may attack humans to protect their nests or food stores, but flying squirrels build their nests as high off the ground as 18m (almost 60ft), and they do not generally store up food.
Therefore, flying squirrels are not naturally inclined to attack humans and would much rather flee from them if they feel threatened.
Do Flying Squirrels Carry Disease?
All rodents are considered carriers of diseases, but is there a risk you’ll contract something from a flying squirrel?
If you live in an area with a population of only northern flying squirrels, there is no reason to be concerned about disease.
Northern flying squirrels are not known to carry transmittable diseases.
The Northern flying squirrel cannot even transmit rabies to people, making it very safe to come into contact with this squirrel species.
However, the southern flying squirrel is a well-documented carrier of a bacteria that causes typhus fever.
This disease is easily transmitted to humans by squirrels, especially if the squirrel is infested with lice or other small organisms.
Typhus fever can be very serious and has severe symptoms such as fevers, vomiting, and painful rashes. Most people recover quickly from typhus fever with the correct medication, but it can still be a terrible experience.
Contracting typhus fever from southern flying squirrels is very rare. And there have only been a few dozen documented cases over the past 30 years, but this is still a real possibility.
According to the CDC, these cases were unusual and occurred in rural and suburban areas of the United States.
With this in mind, it is best to keep your distance from southern flying squirrels, even though this disease is rare and not many people contract it in this way.
Should You Be Scared Of Flying Squirrels?
We have established that flying squirrels are very unlikely to attack people and that some species of flying squirrels can carry a serious disease.
However, although these animals are generally very mild and peaceful in temperament, some people wonder if they should be fearful of these rodents.
If you live in an area with a population of flying squirrels of any species, you should not be afraid of them at all.
These animals are very unlikely to come anywhere near you, and if you come near them, they are very likely to move away from you as quickly as possible, regardless of the squirrel species.
There is no significant reason to be concerned about flying squirrels, and these animals are unlikely to attack you or cause you any harm.
If you live near some flying squirrels, take the time to enjoy the animal and know that they are there to eat all of the bugs and critters that bother you. So enjoy flying squirrels rather than fearing them.
Flying squirrels are not dangerous to people at all. These rodents can only be dangerous if they carry certain bacteria. So while a flying squirrel won’t attack humans, it will bite and scratch to defend itself if it feels threatened.
Although they may look intimidating, flying squirrels are harmless animals. Chances are you’ll never even encounter one in the wild, so if you do see one, take the time to appreciate it instead of being afraid.
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