Treatment of Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Burrows with Deltamethrin to Control Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) and Plague

Author(s): David B. Seery, Dean E. Biggins, John A. Montenieri, Russell E. Enscore, Dale T. Tanda and Kenneth L. Gage

Publication: Journal of Medical Entomology

Publication Date: 2003

Abstract: Burrows within black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado, were dusted with deltamethrin insecticide to reduce flea (Insecta: Siphonaptera) abundance. Flea populations were monitored pre- and posttreat-ment by combing prairie dogs and collecting fleas from burrows. A single application of deltamethrin significantly reduced populations of the plague vector Oropsylla hirsuta, and other flea species on prairie dogs and in prairie dog burrows for at least 84 d. A plague epizooticon the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge caused high mortality of prairie dogs on some untreated colonies, but did not appear to affect nearby colonies dusted with deltamethrin.

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