Australian farms get destroyed by a mouse plague every four years

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Between their bird-eating spiders, strangling kangaroos, and toilet snakes, Australia has plenty of objectively awful animals to go around. Yet despite the country being festooned with dangerous predators, there’s one prey species that has managed to thrive in these inhospitable environs: terrifying hordes of mice.

mysterious aussie mouse plague
mysterious aussie mouse plague

As protocol dictates, when the British founded their first Australian colony in 1788, they brought along a plague or two. But this time it wasn’t typhus or cholera, but itty-bitty mice.

Weirdly, the European rodents were able to thrive in the savage wilderness, seeing as how Australian carnivores preferred to take on more worthy prey (i.e. your tender face).

In just one season, a pair of mice can produce up to 500 babies, and every four years or so, those suckers gather together to form rolling plagues of tiny teeth, devouring everything in their path. And we mean everything. They’ll even try to eat pigs and other livestock.

The worst invasion to date occurred in 1993, when the mice destroyed thousands of hectares of crops, rubber, electrical insulation, and even farm vehicles. By the time the plague died out, it had racked up approximately $96 million in damages — and that’s not accounting for all the therapy bills of the farmers left on cleaning duty.

The next plague should occur in 2021. Be ready!

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[NatGeo]

4 COMMENTS

  1. I just sent the Australian Farmers Federation a message on their website…
    I have a SIMPLE solution that kills two mice with one stone….
    The number is currently estimated at about 58 million in the United States as of 2018, based on surveys, telemetry studies, numbers brought to shelters, etc. But this is a hard number to estimate. It could be as low as 35 million or as high as 75 million.

    Cyprus’ cat population is now a staggering 1.5 million animal according to welfare groups who blame years of chronic underfunding of spaying and neutering programmes.

    Cat shelters are now overwhelmed while every town has its ‘cat ladies’ who feed the local cat population and often pay for vet bills out of their own pockets. Some public areas even have ‘cat stations’ established by animal lovers where the public can come and put out food.
    https://cyprus-mail.com/2017/08/06/cats-humans-population-control/

    The abandoned and homeless companion animals – known as stray cats and stray dogs – lawless and without status. The European Union estimates that there are about 100.000.000 (one hundred million) of these animals in Europe and most of them living in the Union’s Member States.

    Spend 10 million capturing / collecting stray cats from just a few of these nations, and air freight them to your Aussie farmers NOW, and save MILLIONS perhaps now, BILLIONS in coming damages….
    Just my two pennies though…..

  2. Adopting a cat is the best way to solve the mice problem in a house. I used to have mice problem in my house. I encountered so many mice feces which might contain some viruses. Since my cat, kitty-chan, had come to my house, I did not have this problem. She can catch 2~3 mice a day. And the best of all, she looks so adorable.

  3. My 8 y/o granddaughter once asked me what is Australia? I said it is a wondrous exotic place where 99% of all things, animal,vegetable or mineral, can and will at some point try and kill you.

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