Mitigating plague risk in Utah prairie dogs: evaluation of a systemic flea-control product

  • Published source details Jachowski D.S., Brown N.L., Wehtje M., Tripp D.W., Millspaugh J.J. & Gompper M.E. (2012) Mitigating plague risk in Utah prairie dogs: evaluation of a systemic flea-control product. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 36, 167-175.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Control ticks/fleas/lice in wild mammal populations

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Control ticks/fleas/lice in wild mammal populations

    A replicated, paired sites, controlled study in 2009–2010 on six grasslands in Utah, USA (Jachowski et al. 2012) found that following treatment with a grain-bait insecticide product, there was no consistent reduction in flea burdens on Utah prairie dogs Cynomys parvidens. After one summer, fewer fleas were recorded on prairie dogs in treated than untreated colonies at two sites, there was no difference at one site and more fleas were recorded in treated than untreated colonies at one site. After the second summer (with treatments applied twice) there were fewer fleas on prairie dogs in treated than untreated colonies at one site and no difference at two sites. See paper for full data. At six sites with prairie dog colonies, treatment and control plots were established, covering 2–190 ha, depending on animal density. Four sites were monitored in 2009 and three in 2010. In 2009, 56 g of imidacloprid-treated oat grain bait (Kaput®) was scattered within 2.4 m of each burrow in treatment colonies, once in May–June. Imidacloprid is an insecticide that can reduce burdens of fleas and, thus, reduce the risk of transmission of plague. In 2010, the treatment was applied twice, five days apart, in April–May. Prairie dogs were trapped monthly, using 100 live traps for five days in both treatment and control areas at each site, in June–October, and combed to count fleas.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 19

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust