Separate black-tailed prairie dog,Cynomys ludovicianus(Ord), towns on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado, were treated with technical pyriproxyfen (Nylar) spray, powder, and oral bait. The treatments were applied to reduce relative abundance of the plague vectorOropsylla hirsuta(Baker). Because pyriproxyfen is a juvenile hormone analog, we were also concerned with the effects of the treatments on nontarget arthropods, which is the focus of this study. Pitfall traps and sweep net sampling were used to measure relative abundance of arthropod populations pre- and posttreatment. Nontarget arthropod sampling produced a large number of statistical comparisons that indicated significant declines (P< 0.05) in relative arthropod abundance. Many of the significant declines were probably because of natural fluctuations in arthropod populations rather than treatment effects. Because arthropod populations appeared to fluctuate randomly, we only made inferences about highly significant (P< 0.001) declines. In doing so, we hoped to abate some of the confusion created by the natural fluctuation in arthropod abundance and increase our chance of correctly attributing a population reduction to a treatment effect. Only Homoptera at the pyriproxyfen powder site exhibited highly significant reductions that appeared to be attributed to the treatments. Pyriproxyfen spray treatments did not significantly reduce relative arthropod abundance.
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Vol. 37 • No. 4