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U.S. government bombs Guam with frozen mice to kill snakes

September 30th, 2010 1 comment

Ah, Guam.

This tiny island just next to the Marianas Trench has had trouble with snakes for a long time.  When I was a Boy Scout there, my dad fitted a machette to my camping pack, half for clearing the jungle, half for tackling these little buggers.

Always look before you sit (particularly on toilets) and always zip up your tent.

Well, it looks like the latest effort to rid the island of this invasive species is to bomb the forests with frozen dead mice laced with acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol… are we trying to kill the snakes, or just help them get over their headache from the last power outage they instigated?

As for how they will actually “bomb” with mice, here’s this little jem from the article:

Initially mice were tested with a variety of ‘delivery systems’ until researchers with the National Wildlife Researcher Center in Fort Collins, Colorado settled on a streamer attached to cardboard on which the mouse is affixed via glue. This contraption is meant to catch in the tree tops: perfectly positioning itself for hungry brown tree snakes. Researchers want to make certain the mice don’t make it all the way to the ground where they could threaten local wildlife such as crabs and lizards [PDF].

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