The animals are host to many small worms and tiny pests. On a microscopic level, they carry infinite bacteria and viruses in their bodies. Many of them are beneficial, yet some can prove harmful. Hookworms are parasitic worms but do squirrels carry hookworms?
Yes, squirrels carry hookworms sometimes. Many wild animals like rodents and squirrels have hookworms in their bodies. People who have pets must ensure they do not feed on such animals carrying hookworm.
In this article, we will read about squirrels being infested with hookworms and what can be done to get rid of them. You can save your squirrels and other animals that might feed on them.
What Kind Of Parasites Do Squirrels Carry?
Like many other animals, Squirrels are rife with parasites like mites, ticks, fleas, and some worms, including hookworms. Why is this a danger for us and other animals?
That is because the squirrels live nearby the residential areas and can pass it on to the pets and humans in the proximity.
Due to this, many people can get diseases like encephalitis, Lyme disease, and rocky mountain spotted fever. When we talk specifically about hookworms, they can penetrate human skin. Most people do not develop symptoms.
The condition of hookworms leads to blood loss. This later leads to anemia as well as protein loss. Hookworm infections in humans can be treated by either getting rid of the source, i.e., squirrels, or treating yourself with proper medication.
Where Do Hookworms Come From?
The hookworms and their eggs are excreted in the fecal matter of an infected person. For instance, if this waste lies outside out in the open, like in the fields, garden soil, or bushes, then the soil becomes infected.
Sometimes, this soil is used as a fertilizer, which is the starting point where these eggs mature, hatch, and release their immature worms. Squirrels roam around in the soil from dawn till dusk.
During this time, they can catch hookworms. These worms or the toxascaris larva can complete their development stages inside the host, such as a squirrel. The cats and dogs can feed on this squirrel so that they will get infected too. The cat releases the eggs in the outside environment, which become part of the food chain again.
Do Squirrels Get Worms In The Summer?
It is said that summer is the season of worms. They are up and about in it. Most of them have life cycles that are most suited to be completed in the optimum summer temperature conditions.
The worms thrive in humidity, and their eggs can only hatch under moist warm conditions. The same is the case for hookworms. Though they live inside the host’s body, their egg stage occurs in environmental conditions.
All the above-stated reasons contribute to the completion of a hook worm’s life cycle inside the host and the external environment. If the conditions are cold, the worm does not live, and its transmission eventually stops as the eggs do not hatch.
How Do You Deworm A Squirrel?
If you suspect that your squirrel has worms, you might want to do something about it as soon as possible. In the case of hookworms, the symptoms may not be visible at first, but you can have your suspicions confirmed by noticing the gastrointestinal symptoms.
You should not worry if your squirrel has worms, for they can be dewormed within a short time. You should follow these steps:
- Does your squirrel with a walnut meat piece?
- This should be given with the ivermectin paste horse dewormer. This paste is known to be safe for squirrels.
- For Ivermectin, you have to use the method involving injections
- The treatment is carried out till the worms die out.
You should be careful while treating outdoor squirrels. Capturing them is complex and curing them of worms is harder. You must be good at handling animals and giving them medication.
Moreover, it would be best if you preferably took the squirrel to a veterinary doctor for the proper treatment.
Why Do Squirrels Have Worms?
Squirrels feed on the seeds and nuts they pick up from the ground. When they do not find enough, they resort to eating worms. However, this is not their preferred or desired amount.
What do the squirrels gain out of it? The worm diet is rich in nutrients and provides trace elements like copper, iron, zinc, and manganese. This helps with improving metabolism. Moreover, it also boosts the immunity of squirrels.
The squirrels are exposed to the outside environment and need this to cope with the stress induced by the wild. However, the worms can come with pros as well as cons. The roundworms are good, but the hookworms can cause health issues for many squirrels and other animals.
What Animals Carry Hookworms?
Other animals are the primary hosts for hookworms. They are commonly found in carnivores like dogs and cats. About 80% of the cats and 96% of the dogs are infested with hookworms.
However, the list does not just end here. Many other animals like rodents and cattle can also be infested with hookworms. However, once the chain has started, it is hard to put a pause on it.
Once the dogs or cats excrete their fecal matter, the eggs enter the ecosystem.
After this, they can infest the squirrels or other animals that are prone to soil and explore it for their food source. The hookworms can also be transferred when one animal consumes the other one.
Wrapping It Up
Squirrels, like many other animals, carry hookworms in their bodies. These worms can be transferred to humans, other animals as well as the environment. People who want to protect their squirrels, as well as other pets, must take action immediately.
This article has given you the needed guidelines. You can work on these to keep squirrels safe and get rid of the hookworm problem. This is will ensure the better health of animals.