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USDA glues acetaminophen-laced frozen mice to cardboard, bombs Guam treetops to kill snakes
September 30, 2010 8:20 AM   Subscribe


 
finally.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 8:21 AM on September 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


Proof, as if it was needed, that fiction can not hold a candle to reality.
posted by tommasz at 8:26 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tylenol should really try to use this in their future ad campaigns:

"Tylenol: Feel better. Or kill some tree snakes with frozen mouse-bombs."
posted by albrecht at 8:27 AM on September 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Recommended by more hospitals for relief from invasive snakes...
posted by maryr at 8:29 AM on September 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


Reminds me of air dropping vaccine-laced baits to vaccinate wild animals against rabies. As you'd expect from an edible vaccine, the success rate is pretty low, but it only takes a low percentage of immune animals to disrupt rabies transmission.
posted by jedicus at 8:31 AM on September 30, 2010


So now we know what Danny, the champion of the world, did when he grew up -- he went to work for the USDA.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:35 AM on September 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Urgh. Too much work to do.

Can someone else come up with some riff on Snakes on a Plane / unfreezing mice type incidents please? CHeers.
posted by i_cola at 8:40 AM on September 30, 2010


Surely, there will be no unintended consequences.
posted by verb at 8:43 AM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


What about the snakes that consume 3 or more drinks a day?
posted by geoff. at 8:44 AM on September 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


Seriously, how do I get this job?
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:44 AM on September 30, 2010


You are telling me, there is a factory out there that freezes mice, dips them in acetaminophen, then pastes them to cardboard? There are people out there in that factory, and that is their job? To glue dead mice dipped in Tylenol to cardboard? And that, in all likelihood, they won the contract against other firms vying to glue mice to cardboard?

Finally, a job market for art school graduates!
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:47 AM on September 30, 2010 [20 favorites]


Seriously, how do I get this job?

Take some aspirin and glue yourself to a board.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:49 AM on September 30, 2010 [17 favorites]


Or acetaminophen. Dammit. I am never making a joke again.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:49 AM on September 30, 2010


This thread headline reads like something out of the Jabberwocky plugin that we use to create placeholder text at work.
posted by azpenguin at 8:49 AM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Finally, a job market for biology post-docs!
posted by maryr at 8:50 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just bring in something to eat the snakes.
posted by jquinby at 8:51 AM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Heeeere, snakey snakey snakey
posted by AugieAugustus at 8:52 AM on September 30, 2010


And why are they gluing them to cardboard streamers? Because it would take too much time to attach them to little parachutes:
However, a problem with the parachutes and the paper plate and paper cup is that threads have to be secured to them for attaching the dead mice. This is a time consuming effort and with authorized broadcast application rates of 36 baits/hr (3,600 baits/100 hr), resources are not adequate to prepare the thousands of baits needed for large-scale control of snakes. From an operational management perspective, the single and double white flags, also called streamers, appear to have the best potential as materials for delivering baits to the canopy. They are commercially available and dead mouse baits can be glued to them without the tedious effort of attaching threads.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:52 AM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is actually how St. Patrick pulled off driving the snakes from Ireland.
posted by nowoutside at 8:53 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to have a pet mouse, and I generally think rodents are cute. Heck, I've got no problem with most snakes either. But...I've heard first-hand stories about the snakes in Guam attacking people from trees and I've kind of got to support this.
posted by JoanArkham at 8:54 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


You mean it isn't the mice that are relieving my headaches?
posted by orme at 8:54 AM on September 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


My first reading was that these badass mice would revive upon thawing and, with their acetaminophen-fueled superpowers, go all Terminator on those snakes. I actually like that better than the poisoned-bait idea. Webcomic, anyone?

According to the first link these snakes cause power outages every few days on Guam; I shudder to think how many snakes it must take to disrupt a power grid. Eeeek.
posted by Quietgal at 8:55 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is actually how St. Patrick pulled off driving the snakes from Ireland.

no, he drank them under the table
posted by pyramid termite at 9:08 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]




Some background on killing snakes with acetaminophen.
posted by hanoixan at 9:16 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


USDA glues acetaminophen-laced frozen mice to cardboard, bombs Guam treetops to kill snakes

See, this is exactly why I don't get modern art; I understand the frozen mice. I understand the drugs and glue, hell I even understand the snakes.

But cardboard? Surely if the artist wanted to send the message it seems clear that he was going for, ricepaper would have been the obvious choice.

*shrugs*

Whatever. If it makes others happy, I'm content to just not understand the stylistic decision.
posted by quin at 9:54 AM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


A reminder of how dangerous acetaminophen (aka paracetamol) is compared to ibuprofen or aspirin. Seriously, there are often calls to ban it, or at least combine it with the antidote (methionine).
posted by w0mbat at 10:01 AM on September 30, 2010


Previously.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 10:35 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mr. Freeze: Ice to see you! Take two of these, and call me in the morning.
posted by steef at 10:37 AM on September 30, 2010


Surely, there will be no unintended consequences.

Rather less than the GMO soy (seems it effects your reproductive system in rat studies) and the BT in the corn is water soluable - thus is washing into the watershed when it rains.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:40 AM on September 30, 2010


If you're going for headlines, I think "Rain of Tropical Mice-sicles Slay Snakes, Protect Power Lines" might be alright.
posted by adipocere at 11:16 AM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait wait wait. Are these wireless mice? Those are like $35 wholesale.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:19 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


rough ashlar: Rather less than the GMO soy (seems it effects your reproductive system in rat studies)

Just avoid soy in general as they all have phytoestrogens, although fermented soy products have less (none?).
posted by cftarnas at 11:58 AM on September 30, 2010


If this doesn't work, Plan B is ready to go: Operation Dumbo Drop 2.
posted by m@f at 12:01 PM on September 30, 2010


My first reading was that these badass mice would revive upon thawing and, with their acetaminophen-fueled superpowers...

Me too!

Well, sort of. I thought that snakes wouldn't eat dead mice and the mice wouldn't be killed by the drop if they were in suspended-animation.
posted by mmrtnt at 12:06 PM on September 30, 2010


I wonder if they tried a mouse exchange program first.
posted by Danf at 12:09 PM on September 30, 2010


seems it effects your reproductive system in rat studies
If my reproductive system is in a rat study I've got more urgent things to worry about.
posted by hattifattener at 1:27 PM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


A reminder of how dangerous acetaminophen (aka paracetamol) is compared to ibuprofen or aspirin. Seriously, there are often calls to ban it, or at least combine it with the antidote (methionine).

The NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, etc) cause far more hospitalizations and deaths every year than acetaminophen. They also have a much higher side-effect rate at therapeutic doses, including severe side effects. A large proportion (possibly a majority, depending on the study) of acetaminophen-related deaths are intentional overdoses (i.e., suicides). Taken at therapeutic levels it is extremely safe.
posted by jedicus at 2:43 PM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


What are the severe side effects of the NSAIDs? All I ever really heard about is indigestion (or stomach problems due to long term use).
posted by maryr at 2:47 PM on September 30, 2010


What are the severe side effects of the NSAIDs? All I ever really heard about is indigestion (or stomach problems due to long term use).

There are a bunch. Most significantly they can cause gastrointestinal ulceration and bleeding, which can be pretty severe in some cases, even to the point of causing death. In people with other GI problems that they may or may not know about (e.g., Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis), those side effects can be exacerbated significantly.

NSAIDs can also cause kidney-related side effects. Usually this is fluid retention or hypertension, but in certain cases they can cause kidney failure. Also, NSAIDs, especially aspirin, are generally not to be used during pregnancy except in special circumstances because they can have pretty significant side effects on the fetus, whereas acetaminophen is considered safe.
posted by jedicus at 3:01 PM on September 30, 2010


These snakes are rather cute individually, with their big heads and big eyes. Anime snakes.

But they are reportedly everywhere on the island, cause frequent power outages (they like to climb, so they climb telephone poles and nest in the wiring); as an invasive species they lack natural enemies and are devastating the native bird population. Hence increasingly all-out efforts to kill them.
posted by bad grammar at 3:08 PM on September 30, 2010


This entire story sounds like a response to "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
posted by rokusan at 4:38 PM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Four billion years of evolution, 4 years of college, and this is what we get to do in the New Economy?

Time to pull out that Pancho Villa bio, I think.
posted by Twang at 5:21 PM on September 30, 2010


...they lack natural enemies and are devastating the native bird population.

Or, have already devastated the native bird population. Apparently Guam (like most islands) used to have fantastic songbirds until the snakes arrived. (Yes, they arrived -- as stowaways -- on planes, starting in WW2.) Now Guam is silent.
posted by phliar at 5:42 PM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


A headline that lives up to the poster's name. Not an easy thing to do in this case.

Killing off invasive species using relatively brute-force methods has worked in other cases to restore habitats and endangered species. (Can't find the link I'm thinking of at the moment, but wasn't there a MeFi post about some island in the Pacific with some kind of birds?) The point about unintended consequences seems rather moot -- this is already an unintended consequence, and the measure being taken seems intuitively safer than letting the snakes continue to run wild. Might be the right call, might not, but if I had to put money on it, I'd bet on doing something after careful consideration working out better statistically than not doing anything at all and hoping for the best.
posted by Xezlec at 8:12 PM on September 30, 2010


"Paracetamol toxicity is the foremost cause of acute liver failure in the Western world, and accounts for most drug overdoses in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.".

Liver failure from intentional overdose = death. It has also been remarked upon that the fatal dose for this drug is not that much higher than the standard dose.

That's a pretty severe risk profile for a drug that fixes a headache no better than aspirin.
posted by w0mbat at 9:57 AM on October 8, 2010


Aspirin is not safe to give to children or pregnant women. Yeah, it wouldn't pass FDA regulation if it were brought to trial today, but you know what? Neither would aspirin.
posted by maryr at 10:37 AM on October 8, 2010


Or Hitler!

Wait.. what are we talking about, again?
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:21 PM on October 8, 2010


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