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.
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.
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.
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Pocket Gopher mounds in Montana. Photo by Stephen Vantassel.
Specific Training for Applicator Licensing
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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.