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I have a nest that blew out of a tree in the recent storms.  I’m pretty sure it is a squirrel’s nest   Online I read that it is possible to get certain diseases from squirrels.  Does this apply to their nests also?  I have grandkid who come over and I don’t want to expose them to any possible diseases.  Thank you.

Susan Hopkins, Goleta - February 4, 2019

Curator Response

Hi Susan,

The main disease risks from rodents come from 1) direct bites from rodents or 2) bites from the mites, fleas, and ticks that live on rodents. Once a nest isn’t in use by a rodent, the associated insects will also abandon the nest. So if those animals have had time to leave the nest, there shouldn’t be much of a risk.

Having said that, my doctorate is in zoology, not medicine, so this is not medical advice, just the natural history perspective!

Curator of Vertebrate Zoology Krista Fahy, Ph.D.