Horror mice plague is ramping up again and spreading across new Australian states as summer sparks surge in rodent numbers

Horror mouse plague surges again across Australia
Horror mouse plague surges again across Australia. Picture: PN

Despite a lull over the winter, Australia’s mouse plague never ended – and now it’s threatening new areas of the country.

Large numbers of mice continue to plague rural Australian communities as farmers fear yet another crop will be ruined.

After dwindling in the winter cold, mouse populations have begun growing rapidly again, CSIRO mouse expert Steve Henry said.

We’re quite concerned, given them the numbers that have been reported at the moment,” Mr Henry said.

NSW Farmers vice president Xavier Martin, who operates a farm in Gunnedah, said the new wave of mice would be a hard blow for farmers still reeling from the plague earlier in the year.

A lot of farmers are on edge because they’re still trying to deal with contaminated hay and crops,” he said.

Some contaminated produce had to be buried or burnt. So they’re very wary about this upcoming harvest and hay making.

The mice are multiplying fast across a wide area that stretches from northern NSW to southern Queensland.

The worst-hit areas in recent weeks appear to be around Walgett and Moree in NSW, and in the Darling Downs in Queensland.

But there is also an area in Western Australia where mice are breeding fast, according to Mr Henry.

It’s unusual – historically, there haven’t been many mouse plagues out there,” he said.

Victoria and South Australia also has areas where mice are spreading.

Mouse plague map, Mouse plague map of Australia, Mouse plague map of Australia video, Mouse plague map of Australia september 2021
Mouse plague map of Australia. Picture via CSIRO

The CSIRO has urged farmers to actively monitor the mouse numbers on their properties and consider baiting with zinc phosphide.

The organisation said its experts had been unable to monitor paddocks in person due to coronavirus travel restrictions, and that it had relied on a network of farmers to take stock of the mouse situation.

Mouse numbers are moderate to high in many areas,” the CSIRO wrote in a report last month.

Given the excellent conditions in many areas, mice will commence breeding early (lots of food, cover and moisture) and mouse numbers will only increase.

At the height of the infestation last autumn, it was reported the mouse plague was on track to cause up to $100 million worth of damage and worsen a mental health crisis in the regions.

Some farmers lost as much as $300,000 in ruined crops as the mice chewed through anything they can get their teeth in. [Perth Now]

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  1. I use a pokey stick to pick up dead rodents. Get and ice pick, break apart handle, take the back-shank and put it into a old shovel handle. It’s like those sticks people use to have when picking up trash in the park.
    Then when you get to the fire pit, take out your knife, and flick the dirty bastard into the fire. I avoid touching the tail now. They drag the tail through their poops. No hantavirus on your fingers that way.

    • the map for western australia has been falsified. no one lives in the regions in which has “the high mice problem” we got a lot of snakes in those areas, which means its just more food for them. Perth, Western Australia hasn’t seen any increase in mice.

      • Yeah, I suspected that. We have snakes here too, and this year I captured quite a few. They all had big bulging abdomen from all the mice and rats. Inkicked ’em loose so they can work on the rodents.

        We primarily have bullsnakes. Some get thick as your wrist, and 7′ size. Most are 3-6′. I used to kill them since they eat baby ducks and eggs. This year I only had 5 baby ducks. Last year I had 24 baby ducks. Most of my females have aged out.

        Sometimes we get sidewinders here. They aren’t a large rattlesnake compared to the Western diamondback.

        Bullsnakes do taste as good as rattlesnakes. I decided to eat a few. Now, I leave them to kill rodents. They have a voracious appetite.

        Now that I know you’re from Australia you are alright in my book, Alex.

  2. I killed 8 rats 2 weeks ago. My dog killed 1 rat, 3 mice, and a rabbit. Ranch land has lots of rodents. Keep killing them, don’t stop. Just when you think the problem has subsided, boom, another colony sprouts up. Burn them in the fire pit, or compost them.
    Hantavirus is prevalent lately too. You should spray droppings before clean up. Keep from breathing the shjt dust. I am not joking on this.

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