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New frontiers in invasive species containment
February 23, 2013 5:23 PM   Subscribe

Scientists to drop dead mice laced with Tylenol on Guam from helicopters
posted by silby (51 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
...and they are highly vulnerable to acetaminophen, which is harmless to humans.

It is like hell harmless to humans. It's the most common drug used for suicides. I sense a "Don't let's get our advertisers mad at us" moment here.

(Sorry, not intended as a derail. As you were.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:34 PM on February 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


As god is my witness, I thought mice could fly.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:37 PM on February 23, 2013 [30 favorites]


Terrified and unavailable for comment.
posted by zippy at 5:39 PM on February 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Unless you plan to go on a massive dead mouse eating spree I think it's fair to say it is harmless in this context.
posted by Justinian at 5:39 PM on February 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


Haven't they been doing this for years? Or did I make it up and then misremember and then turn out to be right, years later?
posted by shakespeherian at 5:40 PM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


What could possibly go wrong?

And from the article:

U.S. government scientists have been perfecting the mice-drop strategy for more than a decade with support from the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior.

posted by Pantengliopoli at 5:43 PM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's the most common drug used for suicides.

In humans, it's death by liver failure, stretched out over days or weeks. Even snakes deserve better.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:48 PM on February 23, 2013


And all these years I've been swallowing the acetaminophen-free dead mice to try to cure my headaches like a chump. These will work MUCH better!
posted by nevercalm at 5:48 PM on February 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


Here's hoping those dead mice MIRVs will keep Hawaii's birds safe.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:51 PM on February 23, 2013


One would think that wild snakes would prefer live mice.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:54 PM on February 23, 2013


No, that's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death

I must posted that same line in 100's of other threads about invasive species
posted by wcfields at 5:58 PM on February 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Native Hawaiian birds “literally don’t know what to do when they see a snake coming”...

Have they tried dropping informational pamphlets first?
posted by orme at 5:59 PM on February 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Scientists to drop dead mice laced with Tylenol on Guam from helicopters

Wow, performance art has really reached new lows, hasn't it?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:03 PM on February 23, 2013 [16 favorites]


Imagine being the guy who stuffs these mice full of Tylenol. Talk about your shitty temp jobs...
posted by jonmc at 6:07 PM on February 23, 2013 [8 favorites]


One would think that wild snakes would prefer live mice.

From the article, "The strategy takes advantage of the snake’s two big weaknesses. Unlike most snakes, brown tree snakes are happy to eat prey they didn’t kill themselves, and they are highly vulnerable to acetaminophen, which is harmless to humans."
posted by wanderingstan at 6:08 PM on February 23, 2013


The upcoming mice drop is targeted to hit snakes near Guam’s sprawling Andersen Air Force Base, which is surrounded by heavy foliage and if compromised would offer the snakes a potential ticket off the island. Using helicopters, the dead neonatal mice will be dropped by hand, one by one....To keep the mice bait from dropping all the way to the ground, where it could be eaten by other animals or attract insects as they rot, researchers have developed a flotation device with streamers designed to catch in the branches of the forest foliage, where the snakes live and feed.

So someone is strapping tiny parachutes to dead baby mice and dropping them one by one into the jungle?
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:11 PM on February 23, 2013 [13 favorites]


Previously. (Includes research report on pilot study of mouse dropping technologies.)
posted by cgk at 6:15 PM on February 23, 2013


Now if we can just find a kind of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:26 PM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


So someone is strapping tiny parachutes to dead baby mice and dropping them one by one into the jungle?

I would just tie them to balloons. Then kids all over the island would go "yay, balloons!!!" as the balloons descended, and then it would become clear that this was not the usual kind of party at all.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:30 PM on February 23, 2013 [25 favorites]


This whole thing just sounds like early AppleScript I wrote.
posted by mph at 6:33 PM on February 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


Now if we can just find a kind of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.

I have it on fairly good authority that snake (well, rattlesnake at least) is actually fairly tasty. Never tried it myself, but I would if given the chance.
posted by jonmc at 6:40 PM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find it very rich. It's better as jerky.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:47 PM on February 23, 2013


Not that I'm complaining, but this post is actually a double.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:49 PM on February 23, 2013


OMG MOUSE DROPPINGS.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:59 PM on February 23, 2013 [13 favorites]


Have they tried dropping informational pamphlets first?

They did try but unfortunately, ended up killing more birds that way. The birds literally don’t know what to do when they see informational pamphlets dropping from above.
posted by asra at 7:07 PM on February 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


Previously. (Includes research report on pilot study of mouse dropping technologies.)

Thank you. I thought I was having deja vu.
posted by maryr at 7:08 PM on February 23, 2013


Oh hey cool, my note saying this was a double was a double.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:20 PM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Those snakes need to be careful not to overdose on mice during flu season.
posted by homunculus at 8:27 PM on February 23, 2013


All my adult life I've been avoiding acetaminophen because I was scared of liver toxicity issues. Turns out it's because I'm a Guamanian brown tree snake.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:40 PM on February 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


Scientists to drop dead

Oh god!

mice laced with Tylenol on Guam from helicopters

Oh, well... wait, what?
posted by dirigibleman at 8:49 PM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


"The strategy takes advantage of the snake’s two big weaknesses. Unlike most snakes, brown tree snakes are happy to eat prey they didn’t kill themselves, and they are highly vulnerable to acetaminophen, which is harmless to humans."

Um...not exactly.
posted by Chuffy at 9:06 PM on February 23, 2013


I'm confident the writer implied harmless in the sense of not being an environmental toxin, like PCBs or something.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:09 PM on February 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Acetaminophen inside of dead mice is pretty harmless to humans.
posted by maryr at 10:11 PM on February 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wow, performance art has really reached new lows, hasn't it?

No, that’s about average.
posted by bongo_x at 10:47 PM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought they were going to have trouble convincing wild snakes that are accustomed to eating live prey to eat the dead mice, and that there would just be dead Tylenol mice rotting in the trees, poisoning species that do eat carrion, but

U.S. government scientists have been perfecting the mice-drop strategy for more than a decade with support from the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior.



Well OK I guess they have been working on this for decades. Carry on then with your ..thing.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:22 PM on February 23, 2013


OPERATION FIEVEL DROP
posted by not_on_display at 1:45 AM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Still beats coding in PHP
posted by DWRoelands at 4:12 AM on February 24, 2013


> Acetaminophen inside of dead mice is pretty harmless to humans.

Speak for yourself. I don't go around eating live mice.
posted by ardgedee at 6:18 AM on February 24, 2013


Missed headline opportunity: WRIGGLIES CHEWING GUAM, MOUSE DROPPINGS PLANNED
posted by ardgedee at 6:26 AM on February 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


I love the smell of dropped mice in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' snake body. The smell, you know that wet fur smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... (sniffing, pondering) victory.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 6:43 AM on February 24, 2013


Turns out it's because I'm a Guamanian brown tree snake.

If you were really a native you'd know the proper word is "Guamish".
posted by scalefree at 7:12 AM on February 24, 2013


Funny, she doesn't look Guamish.
posted by maryr at 8:51 AM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


So the demonym is not "Guammybear"?
posted by clockzero at 8:58 AM on February 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


where are the mice coming from?
posted by clavdivs at 10:39 AM on February 24, 2013


The sky. RTFA.
posted by maryr at 3:09 PM on February 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Now we know what's worse than raining cats and dogs....or is that the next phase of this program?
posted by mightshould at 3:20 PM on February 24, 2013


But what about the children.
Kids, better ask your Guamommy before you go around picking up dead meece.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:04 PM on February 24, 2013


So someone is strapping tiny parachutes to dead baby mice and dropping them one by one into the jungle?

Field biologists do a lot of extremely weird stuff. A willingness to along with the PIs mad scientist plans is an important attribute in a young biologist. That, basic small engine repair skills, a strong back and a complete lack of motion sickness.
posted by fshgrl at 6:01 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Death of Rats is going to be working overtime in Guam.
posted by misha at 10:20 PM on February 24, 2013


Is there a Death of Snakes? How does he pick up the scythe?
posted by Pyry at 11:02 PM on February 24, 2013


Isn't this a Roald Dahl book?
posted by zeoslap at 8:29 AM on February 25, 2013


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