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PD's and ground squirrels that is.

The fleas on both are primary carriers of bubonic plague.

The flea has an interesting ability. It can immediately sense a drop in body temperature of it's host. Once it senses a drop it will jump to the next warm body that comes near it. Another PD, your dog, or YOU :shock:

Friend of mine got plague about ten years ago. They think it was from stopping along the road to skin a road kill (don't remember the species but probably not a PD, he has more class than that :) )
 

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Never heard of that before, but thanks for the info.

I have a friend that retired and moved to SW Montana. He's having a field day blasting ground squirrels. His wife finally gave permission to "kill everyone you see" after she became tired from two years of trying to keep them out of her greenhouse. I'll pass it along.
 

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LC is right on, I've heard the same warning before at RFC....

Tim

Here are some facts....

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7438.html

Ground squirrels can harbor diseases harmful to humans, particularly when squirrel populations are dense. A major concern is bubonic plague transmitted to humans by fleas carried on the squirrels. Ground squirrels are susceptible to plague, which has wiped out entire colonies. If you find unusual numbers of squirrels or other rodents dead for no apparent reason, notify public health officials. Do not handle dead squirrels under these circumstances.
http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic428.htm

Pathophysiology: The etiologic agent of the plague is Y pestis, a facultative anaerobic, intracellular, gram-negative bacillus.

The organism can be transmitted from a host to a human via the bite of a vector, via close contact with infected tissue or body fluids, and via direct inhalation of the bacterium. Currently, the most common form of transmission involves the bite of a vector infected by a host. Infection through an inhalational route would be of concern if the bacillus was aerosolized.

More than 200 different rodents and species can serve as hosts. These include domestic cats and dogs, squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, deer mice, rabbits, hares, rock squirrels, camels, and sheep.

The vector is usually the rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis. Thirty different flea species have been identified as able to carry the plague bacillus. Other carriers of plague include ticks and human lice.

Rodents resistant to the infection form an enzootic stage that ensures the long-term survival of the bacillus. Occasionally, the infected animals are not resistant to the disease and die. This is known as an epizootic stage and ensures the spread of the organism to new territory. A sylvatic stage occurs when humans are infected from wild animals.

Three forms of the plague exist: bubonic plague, pneumonic plague, and septicemic plague. The bubonic form of the plague involves the pathognomonic “bubo” and is caused by deposition of the bacillus in the skin by the bite of an infected vector. If the vector is a flea, bacillus proliferates in the flea's esophagus, preventing food entry into the stomach. To overcome starvation, the flea begins a blood-sucking rampage. Between its attempts to swallow, the distended bacillus-packed esophagus recoils, depositing the bacillus into the victim's skin.
 

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Yeah, that was one of the things I told the guys. Lookin' at the carnage is OK, but don't touch.

Usually when a town gets the plague it doesn't last long enough for you to shoot at it though. The plague will wipe out a town really quick.
 

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I've seen 80 acre towns gone over the winter!! There while we were antelope hunting and gone when we went back to shoot in May. That was 5 years ago and the towns have still not recovered.

Wally
 

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Yep. I read a similar warning on the Department of Wildlife Resorces web page here in Utah. I forgot about that. I have handled them from time to time. Lucky for me, I never got sick. :oops:
 

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I have handled them from time to time. Lucky for me, I never got sick.
I believe it was yourself that posted the photo of you and a young lady standing with you holding the dead varmint up. That was actually what prompted me to start this thread.

Glad to see you ar surviving! :)
 

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Hmmm, can't recollect ever having the opportunity(or desire!!) to shake the hand of one of them!!! :-D

Tim
 

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No need to touch them.
Crows gotta eat, same as worms. :)

U.P. Bulldog
 
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