One of the biggest dangers in regards to wildlife on your property is the bacteria they carry. Since most wild animals are practically riddled with bacteria, their mere presence on your property can expose you to some very serious and often life-threatening diseases. This can occur through the presence of shed fur, but also through their droppings, which pose a particular threat for your pets, who might come into direct contact with them.
This is why it’s important to be prepared, and know the most common wildlife diseases that a potential infestation might expose you to.
One of the most common diseases carried by wildlife around your property is histoplasmosis, which is, in fact, a fungus that exists in animal droppings. Histoplasmosis is quite likely, especially if you’ve got birds or bats on your property. The accumulation of bat droppings, also known as guano can lead to spores of the fungus being inhaled.
This causes an infection of the lungs, which is usually pretty mild. About 80 million people in the United States are exposed to histoplasmosis every year, but most cases are mild, and not to worry about. However, if left untreated, the infection can spread to other organs, and may result in death.
Rabies is carried by a wide range of animals, but tends to be more prevalent in bats, skunks, and raccoons. It’s usually transmitted to humans through saliva contact or a direct bite.
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If you suspect you’ve been bitten or in contact with a rabies-infected animal, seek medical help immediately. Rabies can only be treated before symptoms appear. Once they do, the disease goes from flu-like symptoms, to anxiety, hallucinations, paralysis and death. Wild animals’ diseases are serious, and should be treated as such.
Of course, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the diseases most common in wildlife in your area. You can visit pestcontrolanimal.com to learn about pest animals, and if you suspect you’ve got a pest animal on your property, we suggest calling for help immediately. Companies like First Choice Wildlife Services are far better suited for handling wildlife than yourself.
Leptospirosis is most common in rodents, but also raccoons, skunks, deer and foxes. It can be passed on through contact with urine, or the tissue of infected animals. While most people don’t have symptoms, it’s important to treat the disease early. Left untreated, leptospirosis can lead to kidney failure, heart problems, and eventually death.
Roundworms are the most common type of intestinal worm in the entirety of the wildlife world, and affect most wildlife. Aside from the worms themselves, and the occasional diarrhea or vomiting, animals do not exhibit any symptoms, even if infected.
Roundworms aren’t usually passed to humans, although there are exceptions, like raccoon roundworms, and trichinosis. Contact with the feces of an infected raccoon can cause you to contract raccoon roundworm, which is usually a fatal disease (blindness, and loss of motor skills are also symptoms).
Last but not least, we have tularemia, a common disease that affects most mammals, beavers, and rabbits (it’s even known as “rabbit fever” in some parts). Although infected animals appear healthy, the disease can be fatal, due to an enlarged liver and/or spleen.
Unfortunately, tularemia is very easy to contract for a human. Contact with feces, skin, eyes, water, or anything that’s come into contact with an infected animal can lead to infection, as can being bitten by an infected fly or tick.
Tularemia is a very serious illness that must be treated as soon as you suspect infection, or else it may prove fatal.