Vertebrate Pest Training Calendar

«April 2021»
  • Control of Voles & Pocket Gophers around Gardens

    Control of Voles & Pocket Gophers around Gardens

    Stephen M. Vantassel, Vertebrate Pest Specialist for the Montana Department of Agriculture, will be giving a Zoom Webinar on the control of voles and pocket gophers around gardens. This training will focus on techniques homeowners can use to manage these two pests.  Pesticide education credits are available for the following categories, 

    10 - Dealer     


    32 - Agricultural Vertebrate Pest Control     


    39 - Demonstration & Research Pest Control     


    54 - Rodent     


    60 - Private Agricultural Pest Control     



    To learn more visit https://mtplants.mt.gov/PesticideApplicator/MeetingDetails.aspx  

    If you require pesticide credits, please register with Stephen by sending your name, license number by e-mail to svantassel@mt.gov 

    If you do NOT need pesticide credit then simply follow the log in instructions available at the link above. 



    Read more

Richardson's Ground Squirrel, a common vertebrate pest in Montana.

The Montana Department of Agriculture's Vertebrate Pest Program provides the agricultural community and the general public with information on the management and control of many vertebrate species. These are animals that sometimes cause damage to agricultural crops, yards, and gardens. Department specialists are available to provide information and demonstrations of management techniques.


In-Person Programs

Requests for presentations to groups are encouraged. The program format is usually in the form of slides and display of vertebrate pest control materials. Programs can be individualized to address problems and questions of local concern. Individuals requesting programs are encouraged to suggest topic areas of greatest interest to the people likely to attend.

Field Demonstrations

In field, hands-on field demonstrations of rodent control methods need to be scheduled during optimum control periods for each rodent species. Ground squirrels - spring to early summer; pocket gophers - spring, early summer, and fall; and prairie dogs - late summer to early fall.

Depending on the specialist's schedule, some programs and demonstrations can be arranged on short notice. For best results, requests should be made at least 3-4 weeks in advance. To conserve travel and time, it is helpful if counties in an area coordinate training to make effective use of the specialist's time.


Click Here for
How-To Videos & Demonstrations
on the MDA YouTube Channel


Pocket Gopher mounds in Montana. Photo by Stephen Vantassel.

Specific Training for Applicator Licensing

  • M-44 (Sodium Cyanide) - Coyote Control

Special Problems

Specialists are available to assist or advise counties or individuals on a variety of special or unusual vertebrate pest problems. Please feel free to ask. If it is beyond our ability or responsibility we can usually direct you to the best assistance available.

Technical assistance is also available. A list of technical reports (field studies) and copies of individual reports are available on request.

Additional Vertebrate Pest Publications

Field damage from Prairie Voles in Montana. Photo by Stephen Vantassel, used with permission by the Montana Department of Agriculture.

Although the following publications were written for Nebraska residents, much of the information is suitable for Montanans. Do note, however, that pesticides and use regulations may be different. Always follow the pesticide label, as "THE LABEL IS THE LAW." If you have questions feel free to contact our Vertebrate Pest Specialist for further assistance.