Prairie Dogs are burrowing rodents that live in colonies called towns. The most abundant and commonly found species is the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus).
- Length: 14” to 17” long.
- Weight: 2 to 3 lbs.
- Tan hide with a white or buff belly.
- Tips of tails covered with short black hair.
- Short ears.
- Large black eyes.
- Prairie Dogs are diurnal.
- Most species are active year round, but may briefly go dormant during the coldest parts of the year.
- Prairie Dogs dig intricate burrows systems with funnel shaped openings of 3” to 4” in diameter.
- Burrows are typically inhabited by 1 male and multiple females with offspring.
- Prairie Dogs are almost exclusively herbivores, dining on native vegetation.
- Prairie dogs feed on many of the same grasses that livestock feed on.
- Dietary overlap ranges from 64% to 90%
- Prairie dogs begin feeding on pastures and rangeland in early spring, reducing available forage
- Prairie dog burrows increase soil erosion and are a threat to livestock, machinery, and horses with riders.
- Damage may also occur to ditch banks, field trails, and roads
- Prairie Dogs have tested positive for plague, which is most often transmitted by fleas, which can be fatal to humans
- Sexual Maturity is reached in 1 to 2 years.
- Gestation period is 30 days.
- Prairie Dogs have 1 litter per year.
- Life span is 3 to 5 years.
- Hunting Parties
- Typically, not cost effective.
- May slow population growth in a given year.
- Not good for eliminating entire populations.
- Not good for large infestations or for long term control.
- Only work well for small infestations or as a secondary method of control after baiting.
- Only effective in compact and moist soils.
- Can be dangerous to non-target species.
- Natural Predators
- Black-Footed Ferrets
- Sylvatic Plague
- First documented in Lubbock, TX in 1946.
- 13% of human plague cases are attributed to Prairie Dogs according to the CDC.
- Plague outbreaks cause nearly 100% mortality in Dog Towns.
- Plague has been transmitted to humans.
- Poison Baits
- ZP AG contains the active ingredient Zinc Phosphide
- Zinc Phosphide is an effective toxicant for controlling Prairie Dogs
- Pre-baiting is typically recommended for best results
- ZP Ag is a Restricted Use Pesticide - see product label for complete application details