Tag: usda

How to Get Rid of Invasive Tree Snakes: Bomb Them With Parachuted, Poisonous Mice

By Jennifer Welsh | September 23, 2010 1:04 pm

BTSThe USDA and the EPA are in cahoots, scheming against Guam’s invasive brown tree snakes, or are they throwing a party?

Using streamers, cardboard, some acetaminophen (aka Tylenol, aka hangover medicine), some dead mice and a helicopter, the team is looking to destroy the island’s invasive snake population.

Guam has only two snake populations. The first is the island’s only other snake: a tiny, blind worm-like little guy. The second, and more obvious, is the invasive tree snake, which is mildly venomous, can reach 11 feet long, and can be found at up to 12,000 snakes per square mile. The native snake is no competition for this invasive beast, which was introduced to the island in the early 1950′s and quickly decimated native forest species, including all of the forests vertebrates.

It has also invaded the homes of the island’s human inhabitants, causing power outages by messing with electrical systems and biting and scaring people in their sleep. (And there is not much more scary than a snake biting you in your sleep.) The USDA and EPA have been working for decades to solve this problem, but nothing was working.

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