Natural Resources, School of
Evaluating the Efficacy of the RodenatorTM (Propane-Oxygen Device) for Control of Black-tailed Prairie Dogs in Montana
Date of this Version
Proc. 28th Vertebr. Pest Conf. (D. M. Woods, Ed.) Published at Univ. of Calif., Davis. 2018. Pp. 180-183.
Black-tailed prairie dogs’ feeding and burrowing behavior is a significant economic nuisance to agricultural producers. We tested the RodenatorTM on two portions of an isolated prairie dog town in Lewis and Clark County, Montana to determine how effective it was in reducing prairie dog numbers. Though other studies have been done using propane-oxygen devices, our study employed updated application techniques and an aggressive hole closing procedure to reduce the likelihood of false failures. In the southern area, we treated 53 burrows for 30 seconds with oxygen set at 40 psi and propane at 45 psi. In the northern area, we treated 120 burrows with an injection time of 45 seconds using the same oxygen and propane psi rates. Using the open burrow method for determining efficacy, our results were 58.7% for the southern area and 65% for the northern. Our study revealed that future studies should incorporate population surveys and appropriate control plots to determine the true efficacy of the RodenatorTM, and we provide suggestions to improve overall method efficiency.
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