Sunny With A Chance of Toxic Mice Showers: The U.S. Launches Bizarre Attack On The Brown Tree Snake

220px-Brown_tree_snake_Boiga_irregularis_2_USGS_Photograph250px-Мышь_2Something about this just does not sound like a good idea. In the coming months, toxic mice will rain down on the jungles in Guam. They are the solution to the intrusion of the brown tree snake which has wiped out much of Guam’s native bird species after first arriving on the island in U.S. naval ships after World War II. With an estimated 2 million of the snakes on the island, the military has decided to carpet bomb the island with dead mice laced with lethal painkillers. Italy carpet bombed one its islands with poison to combat a similar rat problem. The brown tree snakes have been cutting power lines and even biting residents. However, there is the obvious problem of other animals eating the mice. To reduce this problem, the scientists have developed a flotation device with streamers designed to catch in the branches of the forest foliage, where the snakes live and feed. Yet, if anything goes wrong, we have replaced a brown tree snake problem with an army of airborne paratrooping zombie toxic mice with addiction problems.

Daniel Vice, assistant state director of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Islands insists that “[t]here really is no other place in the world with a snake problem like Guam.” U.S. officials are worried that the snakes will make it to Hawaii and devastate the ecosystem.

The toxic mice are loaded with acetaminophen, the active ingredient in painkillers including Tylenol. It turns out that the snakes are highly vulnerable to acetaminophen. The mice will be dropped one-by-one from helicopters around Anderson Air Force base at the start of the program.

The scientists has stated that the greatest danger is that the birds would eat the mice, but they are already virtually gone anyway. That seems like a curious argument since an infestation of toxic mice is certainly not going to help those that remain — or other creatures. However, officials insist that these are desperate measures for a desperate time. The threat to Hawaii has been put in the hundreds of millions if the snakes are able to hitchhike on a few U.S. transports — environmental horror sequel to “Snakes On A Plane.”

So, as our latest travel advisory, if you plan to be hiking in Guam, you might want to watch the reports to avoid the toxic mice showers.

Source: ABC

22 thoughts on “Sunny With A Chance of Toxic Mice Showers: The U.S. Launches Bizarre Attack On The Brown Tree Snake”

  1. Since its a DoD ‘plan’, I wonder what is the cost of each properly prepared live mouse, the cost of killing each mouse, the cost of each dose of acetaminophen, the cost of injecting each mouse corpse with a dose of acetaminophen and finally, since the mouse corpses are being dropped by hand, the flight time/personnel cost of each mouse drop.

    Sounds like a Golden Fleece award to me.

    Where is Proxmire when we truly need him?

  2. As to the story? I’ve been to Guam. Anything to get rid of the snakes is fine with me. They’re everywhere. As well as roaches the size of a poodle, but I’m pretty sure they’re indigenous.

  3. Bwg,

    Great line but I think it was Mr. Carlson who said it. 😉 Best WKRP episode ever.

  4. if you want to get rid of all the snakes, make shoes, boots, and bags made from their skins the must have fashion item.

    then let it slip out that eating fried brown snake will make your pecker grow.

    they’ll be extinct by the end of the year.

  5. The US military: a very expensive disaster continually happening to the extreme detriment of others as well as the natural world we require to survive in, and with a complete lack of sense or consciousness. Shall I assume this is part of our sacred “defense” spending for which we continually counterfeit dollars to pay?

  6. Gypsy moths were accidentally introduced to the US from Europe ~150 years ago. They are an invasive species that have destoyed millions of acres of forest since then. Back in the 70’s in central Ct. we have winter summers..trees w/ no leaves. During the caterpillar stage you could literally hear them eating leaves. They got into your hair if you even walked near a tree. They become white moths and in August it would look like a blizzard @ night as they swarmed any source of light. They have now gotten to Wi. They have no natural enemies. The way they’re currently controlled[they will never be eradicated] is by airplane spraying contraceptive powder. I don’t know how they’ll deal w/ that in the Bible Belt! When will we humans learn you don’t f@ck w/ mother nature?

  7. I don’t think there is much danger to Hawaii since they have a large population of mongooses. They would welcome such a bunch of easy prey to munch on. The brown snake does not appear to be as nasty as the cobras the furry critters have as their normal prey.

  8. A slightly more expensive alternative would be chicken wire bait traps; make a chicken wire box that the snakes can get into but birds and other animals (like cats) cannot; put the dead mice in there, the snakes will eat them and leave to die. One large box can contain a hundred dead mice; I doubt the snakes eat more than one at a time. Tag some snakes to find out their hunting radius; and put down one box for all the snakes within one hunting radius, on a hexagonal grid.

    Of course the biggest issue is that if you don’t make them extinct, then the problem will return within a dozen generations of when the poisoning stops.

  9. Thank you Justice Holmes for the added info.

    Frankly, I actually had written a ‘joke’ about just rounding them (the snakes) up and shipping them all to Australia to eat the Cane Toads but ended up checking out invasive species and the damage they have done to Australia (and Hawaii) and it was just too sad and awful. And that was just critters, the list didn’t even get to the colonists and ‘regulators’.

  10. lotta – thanks for the info. it does make me feel marginally better about the whole fiasco.

    Given the spread of invasive species we are going to have to find methods of controlling outbreaks of non-native flora and fauna or watch very valuable natural resources turned to shit. Given the rush we are in to bring about our own destruction I don’t doubt we will fail

  11. I gather that if there’s a feral cat problem, that will be solved by this project too. Cats can’t metabolize acetaminophen. Any cat that looks at the sky raining dead mice and thinks “Thank you, God!” will be dead.

  12. According to Discovery Magazine the “poison” being used is the active ingredient in Tylenol which strangely enough is lethal to these snakes. . As to the issue of carrion apparently brown tree snakes do eat carrion. If the report in Discovery is correct the only thing we have to fear is the cost of the mice.

  13. Frankly, the mice are dead which raised the question in my mind on whether the snakes are carrion eaters. Most snakes like their supper alive. I too hope this works as planned.

  14. Please tell me the mice have been sterilized before being dropped. If not they may have to import brown tree snakes to solve the mouse problem in a few years

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