9 votes

US to bomb Guam with dead mice

In a desperate attempt to kill off two million brown tree snakes that are plaguing the territory of Guam, the US is bombing the island with poisoned dead mice, hoping that the snakes will eat them.

“We are taking this to a new phase. There really is no other place in the world with a snake problem like Guam,” Daniel Vice, assistant state director of the US Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in Guam, told the Associated Press.

The pile of dead mice, laced with painkillers that are deadly for snakes, will rain down onto Guam’s jungle canopy as scientists drop them from helicopters in a last-ditch attempt to eradicate the invasive species.

Even though the venom of brown tree snakes is nonlethal for humans, the snake infestation has damaged infrastructure and wiped out other species in Guam. Slithering into homes, the snakes often bite people and damage power lines and wires, resulting in large-scale blackouts. The tree snakes can grow to more than 10 feet in length, although most of them are usually just a few feet long.


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

When I lived on Guam in the mid 80's

I did my civic duty and killed every snake I saw. We called them Philippine rat snakes. At the time there were still a few birds left, including a few pairs of the Guam Rail. Some of them were captured and taken to California to prevent extinction. I hope they are doing well.

Back then there were some junker B-52's parked on the edge of the jungle off the Anderson Air Force Base runway that had to be blown up in some sort of agreement with the Soviets. The Soviets were supposed to use their satellites to reassure themselves that we had destroyed the bombers. The games we play. Well, the military had to delay the plan for a year because there were some Guam Rails nesting in one of the old planes.

One time one of my children spotted the folds of a rat snake in the bathroom sink overflow hole. It had come in through the plumbing from outside the house. A couple of guys from " base housing" came over to collect the snake. They nicked it with a screw driver, which caused it to come out of the overflow hole. They finished pulling it out and popped it into a paper bag and rolled the top of the bag shut. That snake had to have been over two feet long.

Those snakes are not dangerous to humans because their poison is located way in the back of their mouths, where only rodents and birds fit.

That was the only rat snake we ever had in our house, but we did get a two foot long Monitor lizard inside one time. We saw it on the lawn, ran out to look at it, leaving the door open, so of course the lizard ran in through the open door. I never made that mistake again. We looked everywhere for it, but no luck. Two days later I heard rustling in the kitchen trash. It was up on its long legs tearing open the tall kitchen trash bag with its rows of alligator teeth. We quickly barricaded the room's door openings with the cushions from the sofa, and shooed it back outside, where it took up residence under the hood of a Guam Bomb (super rusted out car) across the street.

One time when we were driving on a back road through the jungle we had to stop for a huge six or eight foot long Monitor that was standing in the middle of the road.

Reminds me of......

The stuff they did in Hawaii.

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

..and the US taxpayers are

..and the US taxpayers are paying for this, why? I am just positive there is no way they can twist the Constitution to make this a power of our government...

The US military created the problem

Whether or not this is specifically written in the Constitution, if the US military caused a problem that is destroying the ecosystem of Guam, then the Federal Government should be held accountable. Whether or not the solution is going to work, I do think it is appropriate that the government is attempting to remedy the situation.

I also think that calling attention to something like this, and criticizing the policy, is the type of thing that has alienated many voters against the Republican Party, which has a reputation for being anti-environment. There are many problems with big government solutions in the name of environmental protection (i.e., the EPA creates more problems than it solves) but criticizing the more legitimate efforts just reinforces the false perceptions such as: "libertarians want to remove govt. regulations = they are unconcerned about the environment" when in fact libertarians are very concerned about the environment, but they simply believe that the government is too incompetent to be put in charge of taking care of the environment.

This effort might be one of the exceptions, where in fact the government might accomplish something positive.

Concerned about the impact of feeding poison

within the ecosystem. Usually it results in killing off much of the beneficial natural predators. But perhaps if the land is "dripping with snakes" with 8-20 per acre, there might not be much else for the snakes to eat. Likely that many will die, leaving more food for the survivors who will grow enormous and continue the breeding. It can't be a long term solution. But boy, I wish them luck, 'cuz I hate snakes.

They may have to talk to St. Patrick.


"Please beam me up, Scotty".

O.P.O.G.G. - Fighting the attempted devolution of the rEVOLution
Ron Paul 2012...and beyond

Michael Nystrom's picture

Brilliant idea

What could possibly go wrong?

How will they fight the coming black plague? What will they bomb that with?

What are the snakes currently eating?

Can the good snakes read the ingredient label on the poisoned mice that clearly says "For bad snakes only?"