Country music makes mice go west

 

A NEW and possibly humane solution to rodent infestation may yet emerge from this year's Young Scientist Exhibition. Mice, it appears, do not like country and western music, a discovery made by 15 year old Mary Cannon of Sandymount High School, Dublin, in a study entitled Musical Mice.

"Everyone knows the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin who drew rats from the city by playing his flute, and they say there's some truth in every tale," said Mary.

To test her theory, she built a series of mazes through which a number of mice were put, accompanied by a selection of musical genres. Confirming the views of right thinking people everywhere, country music proved most unpopular with the mice, who found that being bombarded with tracks like Another Bottle, Semi Track and Truck Drivin' Man interfered with their ability to find their way through the mazes.

Irish music provided the least disturbance to the mice, although they performed better when there was no music at all. "They have very good hearing and it distracts them," said Mary.

She was unable to say why country and western selections should have proved particularly unpopular, though inherent good taste may play some part.