Plague is spread by fleas and known to be present in ground squirrels in the endemic area of southern Idaho, most prominently southeast from Boise to Mountain Home. The disease is primarily spread between animals by fleas.
As of this post, in 2018, Idaho Fish and Game did not find any evidence of mass die-offs of ground squirrels in the area. However, three cats and a human did appear to contact plague this year. At least one cat did die while the boy is recovering.
The ground squirrels appear to be hibernating at this time and the risk is expected to decline over the summer. We encourage people to take precautions to greatly reduce the risk of becoming infected with plague like avoiding contact with wild rodents, their fleas and rodent carcasses. You should not feed rodents in picnic or campground areas and never handle sick or dead rodents.
If you do come across areas where large numbers of rodents have died, please report the findings using our online form.
We anticipate this will be our last update of plague in 2018. If the situation changes, we will update our plague information page, however.