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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 May 2009
Trials were conducted in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California to test the effectiveness of 10% DDT dust in insecticide bait-box stations against the fleas of native diurnal rodents. The principle host species involved were the chipmunks Eutamias amoenus and E. speciosus, and the golden-mantled ground squirrel, Citellus lateralis. The important flea species were Monopsyllus eumolpi and M. ciliatus on chipmunks, and Diamanus montanus and Oropsylla idahoensis on ground squirrels. When baited daily for 12 days and furnished with 50 g. of 10% DDT dust, the bait-box stations reduced fleas strikingly within 24 hr., but very little residual control was obtained. A second application in which boxes were baited only twice weekly but for 28 days, also resulted in rapid knockdown and a residual control still effective 42 days after removal of the bait-boxes. The effect of the DDT was apparent at a distance of 400 ft. from the nearest bait-box due to the relatively extensive home ranges of the hosts. Although, in these trials, bait-box stations were spaced 100 ft. apart, 200 ft. spacing probably would be as effective with these hosts.