Hibernating ground squirrels are awake, increasing the chance of another plague outbreak in our area.
Health officials are anticipating yet another outbreak this Spring. They say the "whistle pigs" are active from March to July.
If you spend time recreating outdoors, you may want to take precautions.
"We found it the last two years around Memorial Day, so, we just want people to start thinking about it now," says Sarah Correll, Central District Health Department epidemiologist. "We have not had any cases so far this year but we want people to prevent plague in themselves and their pets."
Since fleas act as carriers of the plague, you're advised to cover your legs and ankles when out on a hike, as well as use insect repellent that contains DEET.
As for pets, you may want to consider flea protection for them. Also, keeping their food in rodent-proof containers can cut back the risk of transmission.
If while out recreating you come across five or more dead rodents in the same area, you're asked to file a report with Idaho Fish and Game by visiting http://idfg.idaho.gov/plague .