U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Proc. 25th Vertebr. Pest Conf. (R. M. Timm, Ed.) Published at Univ. of Calif., Davis. 2012. Pp. 186-189.


U.S. government work.


Small mammals pass through or under chain link security fences, triggering sensors and undermining facility infrastructure at sensitive military sites. Traditional methods of rodent control are not practical because of the vastness of land to be maintained with limited manpower. Permanent barriers (above and below ground) and low-maintenance, long-term bait stations offer potential permanent and cost-effective solutions to mitigate rodent intrusions. We assessed Richardson’s ground squirrel populations, activities, and burrows at Malmstrom Air Force Base, MT. We also conducted preliminary barrier trials in the outdoor rodent buildings of the USDA National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, CO. Ground squirrels were very numerous and active at most sites visited in Montana. Burrows were both simple and short as well some being elaborate and deep (to 5+ ft). Squirrels readily passed through and under the 2-inch mesh chain link fences as well as under site gates. Several effective barriers were identified in pen trials that prevented above-ground and below-ground intrusions. These will need to be field tested. Future studies will investigate designs for a low-maintenance, long-term rodenticide bait stations for deployment at remote sites.

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