Mouse plague hits Australian farmers and communities

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Over the last six months, the Australian farming community has experienced floods, fires, and locust plagues, and now they are facing a mouse plague.  Already farmers in South Australia, NSW, and Queensland are experiencing a mouse invasion of plague proportions, with rodents eating their way through crops and moving into suburban homes.

Devastating Mouse Plague

Every year there have always been regular localised mouse plagues, but this year is different. With drought-breaking rainfalls (La Niña) and a bumper grain crop, the conditions have been just right for a major mouse plague.

The recent mouse plague started in Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales. The plague has been slowly moving up the grain belt up into the Darling Downs in Queensland. The plague has seen crops harmed, people bitten and budgets stretched in a bid to address this growing problem.

Historically, rodents have been responsible for enormous losses of food, whether it is crops or food and they pose a serious threat to health. Rodents consume and contaminate vast amounts of food and their constant gnawing can cause serious damage to a range of materials including electrical wires and cables which has even resulted in fire damage. Rodents also transmit diseases such as food poisoning (Salmonella).

Government Support

With the current mouse plague, the NSW Government has announced $50 million in funding to tackle the ongoing mouse plague. It is predicted that rodent numbers will reach a peak in late autumn 2021, and are constantly being monitored by CSIRO and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Professional Mouse Control

The common house mouse (Mus musculus) also referred to as the field mouse tends to live for about 1 year, and may have 6-10 litters per year, each with 5-6 young. When controlling mice most homeowners try DIY products but these normally fail especially when mice are in plague proportions, they then have to call a professional pest controller.

The colder winter conditions will see mice looking for domestic homes. Speak to your professional pest controller for rodent protection in your home. Reach out to the Experts if you are noticing signs of rodent activity.

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Kathryn Birett

2 Comments

  1. re:mouse plague australia.

    if the farmers stored the grain in a container starved of oxygen they will be able to overcome this plague.

  2. Amazing that in one part of Australia (Victoria) there’s a cat epidemic and in the grain belt, a mouse epidemic. Methinks perhaps it’s time to introduce Australia’s feral cat population to the farmlands.

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