Mouse populations appear to be on the rise, with farmers being asked to report activity levels to keep the situation in check.
Two years after the devastating mouse plague, authorities are receiving reports of mice infestations across south-east Australia. Although numbers are fairly low, the latest reports are still worrying for farmers who are still reeling from the effects of the 2021 mouse plague when millions of mice overran towns and decimated crops.
Xavier Martin from the New South Wales Farmers’ Association told news reporters that mice activity had been reported from Queensland to Victoria and west towards Adelaide. At this stage, activity in paddocks is patchy and considered at a medium level. Reported crop damage is minimal with no significant economic losses yet.
“You can see the mice have run out of the winter crop that was left behind from the flooded harvest over summer and they’ve started to look for other food sources,” said Mr Martin. “The summer crop’s the obvious one, they’re building their larder up for winter. If we manage them properly they won’t explode into the spring, hopefully.”
Michael Rosatto, a farmer from the New South Wales Riverina region, told reporters that mice had been eating his corn crop along the perimeter, so it’s a race to get the harvest finished.
Although mouse activity is currently at a moderate level, the situation could easily change and there are growing concerns about winter crop sowing.