Prairie Dog Removal and Control

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Prairie Dogs are usually classified as a pest species due to their tunneling habits. They form large colonies, and a large network of underground tunnels. The most common complaints include the following:

  • Landscape destruction
  • Holes pose risk to horses or ankles
For these reasons, many people wish to have nuisance prairie dog trapped and removed.

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How To Trap A Prairie Dog
Prairie dogs are rodents that can prove to be particularly problematic if they choose to make their home in an agricultural area, but from time to time they will also stray to domestic gardens. They will usually prefer landscapes where they can see for a long distance, and as their name suggests the prairie is their natural habitat. Unfortunately, if you see one prairie dog above the surface they you will usually find many more of them in the network of burrows that is to be found below the surface. This tendency to live in colonies means that a single animal trap will not usually work when you are dealing with the problem of prairie dogs.

Choosing Your Traps To Catch Prairie Dogs
One of the main reasons that many people will want to avoid catching and relocating prairie dogs is that it can be terribly expensive, and it really is just moving the problem into some else’s area. Cage traps can often be used to catch prairie dogs, but the reality is that even with repeater traps if they are well placed then they will fill up quite quickly. There are some trappers who will offer a trapping facility that will relocate the animals, but for amateurs and people looking for the cheapest solutions to a prairie dog problem then the lethal option will often prove to be the most economical.

There are many different lethal traps that can be used, with body grip traps being the most common trap. The issue with trapping a prairie dog is that they are living in such large numbers, but most traps will not be able to handle the number of animals that will need to be eradicated.

This is why many trappers have come up with alternatives in order to catch or kill the animals, and options such as fumigating the prairie dog ‘town’ or even vacuuming the animals into a tank are also options that can be used.

Choosing The Best Location For A Prairie Dog Trap
A challenge that is facing the prairie dog trapper is finding the right location for the trap. This isn’t because it is difficult to choose the right location, but rather it is choosing the exit to the burrow that will be used most frequently by the animals. For those who are looking to catch as many prairie dogs as possible, traps will need to be laid near as many exits to the ‘town’ that can be found. These are usually quite obvious when compared to the surrounding area, as they will be indicated by where the soil has recently been turned.

What Bait Should You Use For A Prairie Dog Trap?
For those who are looking to catch the prairie dog alive, the popular baits will be grains or oatmeal mixed with peanut butter which is well known for attracting rodents. There are also a number of commercial bait products that are available, but the majority of these will be poisoned bait products that are specifically designed to kill the prairie dogs that are caught in the traps with the bait.

Handling And Removing Prairie Dogs
Much like many other rodents, prairie dogs can carry a number of different diseases and parasites, although they are not considered to be a particularly large rabies threat. It is still worth wearing protective clothing when handling traps holding live animals in case there is any chance of a bite being delivered.

In terms of removing an animal, many trappers will be familiar with local regulations regarding the removal of pest species. This can vary from state to state, so it is worth checking before releasing prairie dogs back into the wild. For those who are able to release prairie dogs, it is best to do so in a flatland area as far as possible from urban and agricultural land.

Oh, and there is no such thing as an effective prairie dog repellent.

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