Prairie Dog Pros utilizes aluminum phosphide tablets as our preferred method to control prairie dog problems because of its ability to rapidly control the prairie dog population. These tablets are applied directly into the prairie dog burrow. Aluminum phosphide reacts with the ground or atmospheric moisture inside the burrow to activate the tablets, creating phosphine gas. The treated burrow is immediately plugged with a paper wad and soil is then used to thoroughly seal the burrow essentially creating a gas chamber. The prairie dog within the treated burrow will be rapidly affected by the phosphine gas. Phosphine gas can remain active inside the treated burrow for 7 to 14 days under ideal conditions and soil types. We follow all the laws and regulations listed on the aluminum phosphide label which are required by the EPA as well as all local and state requirements. By law we will not use fumigants to treat any prairie dog burrow system that is within 100 feet of any structure that can be inhabited by humans or pets. We will also be required to perform a pre-control survey to access the area being treated. The EPA has required these steps be taken to protect the safety of endangered wildlife species and the public from the potential dangers while using fumigants.
Pre-control surveys are listed on the label requirements for all aluminum phosphide products and must be performed. There are customers and some pest control companies that find these surveys to be an inconvenience that hold up progress, but they are required by law and failure to perform these surveys will lead to trouble. We will provide a complete survey for your needs before treatment begins and if the project is extremely sensitive we can provide you with resources that can provide detailed surveys that will keep you out of legal trouble.
Gas cartridges will be used as a treatment method for prairie dog burrows that are within 100 feet of a structure. Gas cartridges are activated by lighting the cartridge fuse and placing the cartridge into the burrow. The cartridge will release a carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide smoke that fills the burrow system. We will seal all burrow systems with a paper wad and soil to keep the smoke inside the burrow which will affect the prairie dog underground. Gas cartridges are considered safe to be used around occupied structures and they can be purchased by the general public for use. We have used gas cartridges on many locations and find them to be somewhat effective but they have failed to produce effective results on many occasions. We believe that the depth of the prairie dog burrow system and soil type are contributing factors on the effectiveness of this treatment method. Gas cartridge treatment can often end in limited success if used as the sole treatment method.
Prairie dog baiting services can provide excellent results often achieving better than 95% control of a treated prairie dog colony. Success rates are usually greater when baits are applied during winter and early spring season when natural food sources are scarce.
Prairie dog baiting services are legal within the state of Colorado between October 1st and March 15th. Prairie Dog Pros will check the federal bulletin for Endangered Species before baiting services begin as baiting services are often restricted until November 1st of every year. These guidelines are in place to protect non-target wildlife and migratory birds from the potential hazards of bait applications.
There are specific label requirements that must be followed during and after applying prairie dog baits that you should know:
● No livestock should be allowed to graze inside the treated areas for up to one month.
● All bait applications must be applied six inches down active prairie dog burrows.
● No surface baiting or broadcast baiting is allowed.
● Bait applications are limited to rangeland and adjacent non-crop areas.
● Prairie Dog Pros will make follow up visits to the treatment area 4-5 days after the initial application
and every 2 days thereafter for up to 2-3 weeks to check for dead or dying prairie dogs.
● Any dead prairie dogs found during follow up visits may be buried at the treatment location.
Prairie Dog Visibility Fencing and Landscape Modification
Visibility Fencing and Landscape can provide some degree of control by limiting the view and access of prairie dogs onto your property. Keep in mind that fencing will only slow the spread of prairie dog colonies but will not completely eliminate your problem. Prairie dogs will eventually find their way under or around fencing and you should factor this into the costs of any natural landscape modification or fencing projects before they begin.
We would be happy to advise you on the different types of landscape modifications and fencing products available to you and our thoughts on their effectiveness. We would also recommend that you contact a fencing contractor to install your fencing using the correct products that can withstand our harsh Colorado weather.
Fencing is a good method of control for those customers who seek a humane method of prairie dog control but it will not provide complete control of your prairie dog problems.
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