Prairie dog bait seen as tool in restoring ferrets
DENVER, Colorado – Federal officials are testing an insecticide by two Colorado companies that they hope can help restore the endangered black-footed ferret.
The product protects prairie dogs from plague-carrying fleas. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is interested because prairie dogs are the ferrets’ main prey.
Ferrets born in captivity have been released in prairie dog towns. Plague carried by fleas can quickly wipe out the prairie dogs, and the ferrets starve.
Genesis Labs used federal grants to develop a prairie dog bait. The rodent eats the bait, absorbing an insecticide into the blood that doesn’t hurt the rodent but kills fleas that bite it.
Scimetrics Ltd. Corp. is marketing the bait under the name Kaput Rodent Flea Control Bait.