Prairie dogs in Oklahoma are active all year.
The most common calls we get are :
*Prairie dogs damaging the land scape
*Concerns for safety of people and Live stock
*Holes in the roads
*Damage done to lawn mowers , Equipment
Biology / Habit
The most common prairie dog in Oklahoma is the black tailed Prairie dog. same family of ground squirrel, Chip monks .
Prairie dogs got their name for their habits and warning call, which sounds similar to a dogs bark.
Prairie dogs nest in the ground, they dig a extensive tunnel system where they raise their young, it protects them from predators , weather , and winter temperatures.
They prefer open grass lands for food and watch for predators.
Highly social animals ,Prairie dogs live in large colony's , or prairie dog towns that can span 1/4 acre to 50 acres.
On average these rodents grow 12 - 16 " long and weigh between 1 - 3 pounds.
Other places Prairie dogs are found:
*Crawl space of homes / Business *Under decks
*Sheds * under slab foundations
Prairie dogs are herbivorous they feed primarily on grasses , seeds , weeds, roots , fruits , buds , vegetables , and some insects .
Burrowing / Nesting
Prairie dog burrows provide important protection and help prairie dogs control their body temperature .
Burrows are 16 ' - 33 ' long and 6 ' - 10 ' below the ground.
The burrows can have up to 6 entrances. Their entry holes are called Dome craters and Rim craters. they serve as observation post used by the rodents to watch for predators.
The burrows also provide ventilation as the air enters trough the hole and leaves through the other crater holes, causing a breeze through the burrow.
The young spend their first 6 weeks below the ground being nursed.
They are then weaned and begin to surface from the burrow. By five months they are fully grown.
What Diseases do they transmit ?
Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by Bacterium from infected fleas of prairie dogs .
After getting bit by a infected flea, A flu like system that includes fever , Head aches , Vomiting , Swollen and painful lymph nodes.
Bubonic plague is mostly spread by infected fleas from prairie dogs and rodents .
The bacteria enters through the skin through a flea bite and travels via the lymphatic vessels to the lymph node causing it to swell.
Causing the skin where the bite happened to break out in a large open soar, turning the skin black.
How do I get rid of them ?
My advice is to hire a licensed professional with many years of experience handling prairie dogs , due to the transmission of the plague from a infected flea bite.
The most effective way I found to control and remove prairie dogs is the baiting treatment or the use of traps.
Prairie dogs are suspicious and hesitant to anything new in the nesting area such as live traps. trying to live trap prairie dogs is next to impossible and time & cost prohibitive.
Consist of a licensed pest control professional applying a restricted use poison in the prairie dog burrows, when the prairie dog eats the treatment , it works quickly and humanely.
In most cases a 75% reduction of prairie dogs in a baited colony can be achieved .
The baiting treatment can only be applied certain times of the year.
Most of the prairie dogs that die from the baiting treatment , die in their under ground burrows.
Prairie dogs that survive the initial treatment can be rebaited several weeks later.
The traps are placed over the prairie dog entry hole , when they enter or exit the hole they get dispatched quickly.
Several other approaches have been used to control prairie dogs that is expensive, ineffective, illegal, hazardous. consult the laws in your area.
*DIY's "Do it yourselfers" Consult the Oklahoma Department of wildlife laws and Oklahoma Department of Agriculture laws and regulations before you attempt to control prairie dogs yourself.
*Bury fencing 10' deep around property *Vacuum out burrows
*Remove all vegetation, grasses *Fumigants
*Flood burrows *Vehicle exhaust
*Shooting *Propane/ Oxygen explosions
What damage do they cause ?
Prairie dogs create open holes and burrows in the yard and range land. which can lead to people , livestock, pets step in them and get injured or worst.
Lawn mowers and farm machinery can be damaged causing expensive repairs.
Loss of vegetation , vegetable gardens , crops is costly and frustrating.
Medical attention needed from contracting a prairie dog infected flea bite causing a nasty infection and soars.
Who do I call to help me ?
Call Town & Country Critter Evictor today, Your friendly licensed Professional.
A company you can trust 405/409-5987