Squirrels eat fruits to get essential minerals and vitamins for proper growth and healthy life. They can climb the trees and bite different fruits and leave the remaining part hanging on the tree.
Is It Safe to Eat Squirrel Bitten Fruit? It is better to avoid eating squirrel bitten fruits because they can contaminate the fruits with pests, can transmit traces of urine and feces, and pass dental diseases with their bites. However, you can eat it safely by cutting the damaged portion, washing it under tap water, and making jams and canned food products if they bite only a little section.
They can spoil a large number of eatables in your garden, and people remain confused about whether to use squirrel-bitten food items or how to use them without getting diseases and germs.
Why is it not safe to eat squirrel bitten fruit?
We all know squirrels carry various diseases, which are contagious to humans and other animals if they bite them. However, it is not safe to eat food that is left over by the rodents.
Contaminate the fruit with pest
These rodents have different pests inside their fur and hair, such as fleas and ticks, which can bite other pets, animals, and humans and spread diseases.
They groom each other and themselves by licking the fur and body, which causes these pests to enter their mouth. They can transfer these pests from their mouth to the food they bite, which is not safe for humans and other animals.
Moreover, their roll their bodies in the soil, which causes different germs on their bodies, and these germs can contaminate the fruit when they bite it with their dirty mouth.
Professionals recommend avoiding eating animals’ bitten food because it can be dangerous for humans, as we do not know if the animal has a deadly disease. Therefore, it is better to avoid taking any risk on your health and eating such food items.
Traces of urine and feces on paws
These rodents hold the food items, such as nuts, vegetables, and fruits, with their paws. Their paws can contain debris, such as traces of urine and feces.
Animals do not care much about their hygiene, especially wild animals. Squirrels care about hygiene but not in a way humans do, as they usually take dust bathe to remove the oil from their fur.
They can contaminate the food items with those dirty paws and transfer the germs into the food items, which can be toxic for animals and humans who eat the contaminated food.
Their paws can also contain the feces and urine particles of other animals. It is not safe to eat fruits with so many germs and bacteria because it can lead to digestive problems.
They do not wash their paws as we wash our hands before eating; therefore, you should avoid eating those food items.
Pass dental disease bacteria to fruit
Squirrels can have some dental diseases, such as dental malocclusion, which causes the teeth not to align or overgrow. It becomes difficult to eat nuts and fruits with weak teeth.
Another tooth problem in these rodents is tooth decay, which can cause tumors and infection in their teeth or gums. They use their teeth to bite the food item, which spreads germs and bacteria due to dental diseases in the food.
Therefore, it is not safe to eat fruits that these rodents bite because they can carry teeth disease bacteria and germs, which are contagious for those who eat the bitten food products.
How can you tell if the fruit is bitten by a squirrel?
Squirrels, birds, and other animals can eat the fruits, and sometimes it becomes difficult to guess which animal has bitten the food item.
Their bites look like small holes in the fruit. The large and rough biting shows other animals eat it and bite from different sides with several large bites.
Squirrels cannot bite a large fruit portion, as they have small mouths and little sharp teeth. Moreover, they let the remaining fruit hanging on the trees while other animals can pluck them, eat them, and throw the remaining part.
You should not eat it if you do not know which animal or insects have eaten or bitten it because many insects contain toxins, which can cause several health problems.
Does squirrel-bitten fruit carry diseases?
It can carry various diseases if the infected or sick rodent bites the fruit and you eat it. For example, Tularemia can spread from the bacteria in saliva and parasites like ticks when they bite humans and animals.
It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, chills, pneumonia, exhaustion, abdominal pain, and headache. The traces of feces and urine in contaminated fruit can cause Stylvatic typhus, usually caused by flying squirrels.
Bubonic plague in these rodents can cause them to transmit the bacteria and disease germs in bitten food items, which causes the humans and animals to get this disease when they eat the contaminated food.
It can also spread from the saliva of the infected rodent.
Leptospira can also transmit from bitten fruits, as this disease needs a damp environment to spread, and fruits are one of the possible options for the bacteria to spread from rodents to other animals and humans.
There are fewer chances of getting rabies from the squirrel-bitten food items, but it can transmit to you and other animals if you eat food items the infected squirrel bite.
There is no medicine and treatment for rabies, as it is a deadly disease; therefore, you should avoid eating that rodent bite to keep yourself safe.
How can you use the squirrel bitten fruit safely?
You can use the fruits safely using the following techniques if the squirrel bites are small and the fruit is damaged from one or two sides. It is better not to use it if it is bitten from all sides, and throwing it in the trash can is a better option for your health and safety.
Cut the damaged part and wash it
You can use the bitten fruit by cutting the damaged or eaten portion with a knife and washing it under tap water. There are chances that these rodents do not bite deep inside it, and germs do not penetrate it.
It is better to cut a large section around the bitten area to minimize the risk of diseases and germs. Water can also help to remove the bacteria and dust from it, and you can eat it after satisfying that it is now safe to consume.
You can also utilize them by making jams or other canned food products, such as apple jam, mango jam, banana jam, and many more.
The jam-making process involves cooking the fruit pulp at a high temperature, which will remove the remaining germs and bacteria.
You can cut the damaged portion, peel the outer skin, and cook it at medium or high flame. It saves these from getting wasted and reduces the risk of germs.
Do not use soap or detergent to wash it
It is better to avoid using soap or detergents to wash or clean squirrel-bitten foods because fruits have porous nature, and the soap and detergent can penetrate inside them.
The toxic chemicals used in soap and detergent manufacturing can cause more health issues, and these harsh chemicals are not safe to consume.
You can use the tape water to wash them and cut the bitten part to remove the disease-carrying germs, but never wash them with laundry and other detergents.