A Smart or Dumas Move? Italy Set To Bomb Island of Montecristo With 26 Tons of Rat Poison

This is a bizarre story. We are all familiar with the island of Montecristo from the famous novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo. If you go to the uninhabited island, however, you are likely to find not the treasure from the book (or Red Beard’s treasure, as has long been rumored to be buried there). What you will find are rats. Lots of rats. One for every square yard of island. Now, the Italian military is planning to literally bomb the island to kill the black rat (Rattus rattus) population — and save the island.

It appears that Italian officials may have gotten the idea from the novel from Jacopo: “Why not just kill them? I’ll do it! I’ll run up to Paris – bam, bam, bam, bam. I’m back before week’s end. We spend the treasure. How is this a bad plan?”

The black rats on the island off the coast of Tuscany and Corsica were introduced from boats and rapidly bred. Roughly 1000 tourists visit the four-square mile island every year.

Now, the military will drop 26 tons of poison pellets on the island. Putting aside the environmental damage that such poison could cause the sea and island from runoff and contamination, my chief question is what happened to tens of thousands of dead rats. The danger of a displacement effect on another species (let alone the smell) is considerable.

Source: Telegraph

29 thoughts on “A Smart or Dumas Move? Italy Set To Bomb Island of Montecristo With 26 Tons of Rat Poison”

  1. Gene H:

    I wouldn’t taste good. To much red meat and beer and cigars. But my arteries are clear as glass.

  2. raff,

    As funny as it is, it’s still a perfectly sensible solution to the problem that is the very definition of ecologically friendly.

  3. Marxism and socialism are different things. North Korea is a Communist state, ergo, a Marxist state. If you’re interested in feeding the North Koreans, I say we send people who make false equivalences to Pyongyang, Bron.

    And what pete said. A couple of thousand cats would clear the rat problem right up.

  4. Why no an economic blockade of the island? Remove all the human foodstuffs from the island and let the rats starve down to a normal population.

    A rat population like this doesn’t exist without a reason, clearly there is far far too much food waste on that island. The rats are just the counterbalance to food waste, the same as most everywhere else urban rats are found.

  5. a couple of thousand spayed or neutered american shorthair cats. gets rid of the rats and you don’t have to worry about the cat population because they can’t breed.

    if the cats take care of the rats to soon i’m not going to suggest they get sent to n.korea.

  6. in fact send them to North Korea as food aide. Kills 2 birds with one stone. And does some good to help actual starving people under a repressive Marxist/socialist dictatorship.

  7. shano sez: “The problem is the poison means any bird (or other animal) who snacks on the dead rats is poisoned as well.”


    By the time a predator consumed a dead rat, the Warfarin would be so diffuse as to not be a threat. Warfarin is the prescription medication Coumadin, which is nothing more than a commonly used as an anticoagulant. Warfarin is the most commonly used rat and mouse poison because the risk to the environment is minimal, unlike arsenic, cyanide or other highly dangerous poisons. Unlike metallic poisons, Warfarin is organic and the original compound on which the medication is based, is found naturally in sweet clover which has spoiled.

  8. in DC they just catch them and dump them in Virginia.

    Maybe Italy could harvest them and sell them to some country which likes to eat rats.

    although we, in Virginia, are typically more fond of pork and beef than rat.

  9. The problem is the poison means any bird (or other animal) who snacks on the dead rats is poisoned as well. I use an electric devise to kill rodents. They go into the chamber for a food treat and get electrocuted.

    This seems to be the most humane way and the least messy way to kill rats, imho.
    Why dont they spay & neuter a bunch of Jack Russell terriers or cats and let them loose instead?
    Good living for the predators and no possibility of another foreign species taking over. Probably cheaper, too.

  10. Put some inmates on the island and tell them it is populated by rats. They will be irradicated.

  11. Ahhhh . . . rat killing. Reminds me of when i was a wee lad. The rat killings took place on my family’s farm. I recall it involved a hose attached to the exhaust pipe of a 56 Ford. The rats (big Norwegian types) would spill out of their dens beneath the faring houses, snot-slinging red-eyed yellow-fanged demons intent on giving what-for and me with nothing but a itty-bitty stick. For years their spirits occupied my bedroom closet, the space beneath my bed, and my dreams.

    I say nuke the damn island.

  12. I wonder why 1000 tourists visit a tiny uninhabited rat infested island every year.

    I don’t like the poison, nor the lead from the ammo (they still use lead in ammo, right?) How about catching them and using some humane way of disposing of them.

  13. “Roughly 1000 tourists visit the four-square mile island every year.”


    There’s the tourist-trade… Wanna go?

  14. Rat poison is not really poison in the general understanding of the meaning of the word. It is Warfarin, which we know as Coumadin. It is a commonly used blood thinner taken by millions of people around the world. It is harmless in small doses, but in large doses it thins the blood until internal hemorrhaging occurs. It also biodegrades quickly.

    Food attractive to rats or mice is laced with Warfarin so that it becomes an overdose for a small animal such as rats. The drug is orderless and tasteless, and does not cause physical distress. Therefore, the rodents do not learn to fear and avoid it.

  15. I lean toward the Dumas move choice. Why not send the military in to shoot them all and get some practice? That would seem to be the less environmentally dangerous. However, if the island is uninhabited, why the big concern?

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