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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Cuterebra infestations in small-mammal communities as influenced by herbicides and fire

Published source details

Boggs J.F., Lochmiller R.L., McMurry S.T., Leslie Jr D.M. & Engle D.M. (1991) Cuterebra infestations in small-mammal communities as influenced by herbicides and fire. Journal of Mammalogy, 72, 322-327


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Remove vegetation using herbicides Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1986–1988 of a woodland in Oklahoma, USA (Boggs et al. 1991, same experimental set-up as Lochmiller et al. 1991 and Leslie Jr. et al. 1996) found that applying herbicide did not reduce bot fly Cuterebra infestation rates of rodents and cottontail rabbits Sylvilagus floridanus. Prevalence of bot fly did not differ between plots treated with herbicide (present on 64 of 342 animals examined, 19%), or untreated plots (25 of 133 animals examined, 19%). Eight 32.4-ha plots were treated with the herbicides, tebuthiuron or triclopyr (at 2.2 kg/ha), in March or June 1983 and four plots were not sprayed with herbicide. Rodents were collected using snap traps in July–September and December–March during 1986–1988. Cottontail rabbits were collected by shooting in January and July of 1987–1988. Animals were examined for bot fly burden.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Use prescribed burning Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1986–1988 in a wooded area in Oklahoma, USA (Boggs et al. 1991) found that prescribed burning did not reduce bot fly Cuterebra infestation rates among rodents and cottontail rabbits Sylvilagus floridanus. The percentage of animals infested with Cuterebra larvae did not differ significantly between areas that were burned and sprayed with herbicide (14–20% of animals) and areas sprayed but not burned (18–20%). Eight plots (32.4 ha each) were burned annually in April, from 1985, and eight were not burned. Four burned and four unburned plots were sprayed with the herbicide, tebuthiuron (at 2.2 kg/ha), in March 1983. Remaining plots were treated with the herbicide, triclopyr (at 2.2 kg/ha), in June 1983. Rodents were surveyed using snap traps, in July–September and December–March 1986–1988. Cottontail rabbits were collected by shooting in January and July 1987–1988. Animal carcasses were opened up and examined for Cuterebra presence.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)