Wildlife Damage Management
Brown Treesnake Research at NWRC
Fumigants and Toxicants
A potential means for deterring the spread of brown treesnakes
from Guam is to apply a fumigant to outbound cargo. Products already registered
with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for fumigation were
tested by NWRC scientists, and methyl bromide was found to be highly effective
against the snakes. However, when methyl bromide was also found to be an ozone
reducer, attention shifted to two other fumigants: sulfuryl fluoride and magnesium
phosphide. Methyl bromide is now also registered with the USEPA for use on
treesnakes and registrations for sulfuryl fluoride and magnesium phosphide
are pending. There is limited potential for application of cargo fumigants
as the compounds are highly toxic, expensive and difficult to apply.
Tests have shown that baiting poses minimal risks to crows, coconut crabs or land hermit crabs. Thousands of hours of video monitoring of dead mouse baits and snake carcasses in the field showed that risks to nontarget species were negligible.
October 11, 2007