Do Pine Martens Attack Humans?

Martens make themselves comfortable in your attic, especially during the colder days. There they find conditions that make them stay and from there they start their forays for fresh prey.

The marten is a very shy animal. It often chooses the same paths, trying to avoid people. Nevertheless, the marten attracts the unpleasant attention of humans, for example by staying in car hoods and eating cables there.

But what happens if you catch the marten in the act? Does the marten also attack humans, or do they prefer to flee?

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The natural instinct of the marten


If you discover the damage a marten is doing in a chicken coop, you might get the impression that it is a small monster that attacks its enemies indiscriminately. In reality, however, the marten is relatively small and rarely goes on the attack. It is considered a flight animal and when it meets humans, it prefers to keep its distance.

The marten is small and agile. You will hardly manage to get your hands on him. In addition, there is a hunting ban, so you must not harm the marten. However, if the animal poses a threat to your garden or livestock, it is advisable to set up special traps. It might take some time until the marten gets used to the traps and no longer perceives them as a threat, but after that a simple relocation is possible.

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So usually the marten will not attack the human. The marten is a flight animal and only when cornered will it go on the attack itself.

How dangerous is the marten for humans?


Rarely it comes to attacks of the marten on humans. But what are the effects when it comes to an unpleasant encounter?

Damage to the vehicle


The main danger of the marten comes from the fact that it causes damage to the vehicle. If it bites through brake hoses or causes other damage, the safety of the vehicle occupants is at risk. Therefore it offers itself to proceed with an ultrasonic device against the marten. This device continuously emits unpleasant sounds that disturb the marten but cannot be heard by humans. Such a device is combined with flashing lights and optional electric shocks. Also a grid under the car can prevent the marten from entering the engine compartment.

Fortunately, in most cases the damage is limited to property damage. This is however not insignificant in the sum. According to one estimate, martens cause damage of around 60 million euros every year. Although this is covered by the insurer, the economic damage remains.

Physical attacks


If the marten attacks chickens or other prey, it is known for its aggressiveness. The marten itself has only relatively small teeth. With these he can attack, but the resulting wounds are hardly threatening. These are sometimes painful, but can be easily treated.

The open question remains, however, whether the marten suffered from rabies. Even if the teeth of the marten are only small and radiate little danger, the deadly virus could be transmitted over it. Therefore, in the event of a marten attack, the animal must always be examined for rabies.

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Thus, in the case of physical attacks, the greatest danger does not come from the bite itself, but from a possible infection with rabies. Since rabies is not fully controlled, the risk is always present, so a marten must always be treated with caution.

The behavior of the marten towards humans


If the marten encounters humans, the animal always tries to escape. The marten is relatively small and recognizes humans as a danger. As a flight animal, it will always look for another way out than to go on the attack.

If the marten feels constricted and no escape route is available, it could attack the human. The marten’s teeth are relatively small, but because of its aggressiveness, it can bite and cause injury. The greatest danger comes from rabies transmission. This infection is fatal and must always be taken into account when the marten attacks.

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  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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