Northern Arizona Prairie Dog Burrows Dusted to Combat Plague

prairie dog
Prairie Dogs

Arizona Game and Fish DepartmentFLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -( The Arizona Game and Fish Department, together with the Kaibab National Forest Williams Ranger District, recently applied insecticidal dust Williams and Flagstaff-area Gunnison prairie dog holes for fleas.

Last month fleas tested near the Red Lake area north of Williams tested positive for plague, a potentially fatal disease that could eradicate prairie dog colonies and other infected animals. Plague-infected fleas were also recently found at an AZGFD research plot at Garland Prairie near Flagstaff.

“Unfortunately, it has been a very busy year for plague,” said Holly Hicks, a small mammals biologist with AZGFD. “An infestation can prove detrimental for prairie dog populations because they are highly communal animals, and the disease spreads easily in a colony. That is why it is important for us to identify an infected colony and dust it with insecticide to reduce the risk of infection to other animals and people.”

Crews recently dusted prairie dog holes across 664 acres near Red Lake about 10 miles north of Williams.

On Sept. 3, an AZGFD biologist found a deceased prairie dog, which tested positive for plague near Garland Prairie. To prevent the spread, an additional 800 acres were dusted, including around plots currently being used for sylvatic plague vaccine research.

The disease is carried by fleas which spread the disease through host animals. While prairie dogs are host to fleas, the fleas can remain in the burrow after their host dies and attach themselves to the next host that comes along, which may or may not be another prairie dog.

Badgers, coyotes and foxes are also host to fleas and are more likely to cause a widespread outbreak of the disease because they travel further distances.

Those in areas where plague and/or rodents are known to be present are urged to take the following precautions to reduce their risk of exposure:

  • Do not handle sick or dead animals.
  • Prevent pets from roaming loose. Pets can pick up the infected fleas. De-flea pets routinely. Contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations.
  • Avoid rodent burrows and fleas.
  • Use insect repellents when visiting or working in areas where plague might be active or rodents might be present (campers, hikers, woodcutters and hunters).
  • Wear rubber gloves and other protection when cleaning and skinning wild animals.
  • Do not camp near rodent burrows and avoid sleeping directly on the ground.
  • In case of illness see your physician immediately as treatment with antibiotics is very effective.

More information is available on their website.

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Wild Bill

If you look closely at the picture, they look just like the Senate Democrat caucus, except that one on the right that looks like Mitch McConnel with his glasses off. Probably have the same agendas.


Seems like the information presented here would make for an overhead dusting of large areas by aircraft since coyotes and long travel ranging animals are at risk of being transporters for the fleas. Think back a few decades to a jungle war where we sprayed chemicals to defoliate an area. Why not dust with flea powder like that. ? Aerial spraying would keep humans out of the areas, it might also prove extremely bad for sensitive creatures who wouldn’t tolerate the chemicals used. Never mind let’s not do that it is to hazardous to health of populations below the targeted… Read more »


Yeah, just like Agent Orange which is still killing guys like me. The unexpected side effects were not so good but the intent worked quite. It’s still killing both Americans and Vietnamese.


Yep, and Government shills like Col (Dr.) Alvin Young continue to deny that Agent Orange is harmful or has ever caused any health problems, here or abroad. The “powers that be” rewarded this immoral shill with promotions to bird colonel and then SEC5 upon retirement. He has no conscience, morality or compassion for the sick, dying or dead due to Agent Orange.

Wild Bill

Shouldn’t the Senate’s democrat caucus go out to investigate the plight of the American prairie dog? They could pet a few. John McCain should be guiding them around.


He is so h*ll bent on doing the right thing, according to his cancer ridden mind, that it would be the proper thing for him to do, oh by the way, he could take Ryan and a few others with him.


ring around the rosy’s pocket full of – Dark ages again? spray everything !


Ring-Around-a-Rosy Rag Arlo Guthrie Had a friend, a friend I could trust He went into the park and got busted Doing the ring-a-round-a-rosy rag Went in the park late at night And he put a lot of people over eighty up tight He was doing the ring-a-round-a-rosy rag Ring around, ring around rose Touch your nose and blow your toes and mind Doing the ring-around-a-rosy rag (It really was a drag) Ring around, ring-around-a-rose Touch your nose and blow your toes and mind Doing the ring-around-a-rosy rag We ought to send Officer Joe Strange To some Australian mountain range So… Read more »


Dave W. That is really weird.

Wild Bill

, A lot of typing for no message sent.