Mouse plague ravaging farms in NSW and southern Queensland, scurries south to Victoria


As the worst mouse plague in years continues to damage farms throughout New South Wales and southern Queensland, great deals of mice are taking a trip south and making their method into Victoria.

Don Hearn owns a beef livestock farm and vineyard simply east of Barham, in New South Wales near the Victorian border.

He stated over the previous 3 to 4 weeks, mice numbers had actually increased on his residential or commercial property and were triggering damage.

“It’s certainly not as bad as a little further north, but with most plagues, they start in the north and work their way south.”

In northern New South Wales, insect populations had actually been messing up crops, stripping supermarket shelves of food and even biting hospital patients.

NSW Health verified clients were bitten in Tottenham, Walgett and Gulargambone.

Baiting to control numbers

“All we can do is start putting baits up in the ceiling, and do a lot of manual baiting around the outside of the house and sheds to try and control the numbers,” Mr Hearn stated.

“Our neighbours have some rice crops in and they’re about to be harvested, so the water will be drained, and once the water comes off, there’s really nothing protecting those crops.

“One favorable is the rain and the cold wind does normally looks after them when they’re in plague numbers.”

Mice are burrowing underground to consume the seed throughout sowing.(

Supplied: Wayne Niejalke

)

Victorian Farmers Federation grains group president Ashley Fraser lives in Rutherglen in northern Victoria, and has heard a number of reports of mice on farms.

“I’m positioned in the north east, and we’ve definitely seen increased numbers in the paddocks, however insufficient to have a genuine effect.

“It’s certainly a watch and act, everyone I know is making sure they’ve got enough bait in stock ready to combat if they decide to multiply quickly.”

He stated the floods in New South Wales and cooler temperature levels might drive down mice numbers.

“The rain can flood a lot of the holes in the paddock, but it could drive them inside and into hay sheds, looking for a bit of cover,” he stated.

In a declaration, Agriculture Victoria stated it understood increased mice populations in some parts of the state, however thought it was not extensive.

“If there are any farmers that are concerned about any local increases in mice numbers, there are commercial baits available,” Natural Disasters and Emergencies north east supervisor Banjo Patterson stated.

“Mice can damage newly-sown crops by eating the sown grain. They can cause some damage around harvest.”

Populations aggravate in New South Wales

Deniliquin agronomist Adam Dellwo stated mice numbers in the southern Riverina had actually been developing given that Christmas and were still an issue for growers.

“They are becoming more and more widespread, we are certainly not dealing with the plagues and the big numbers the growers in the north are, but people have certainly started baiting around here,” Mr Dellwo stated.

He stated growers were baiting in summer season crops consisting of rice, corn and cotton.

“People are being very vigilant as numbers are building in paddocks, they are venturing into offices, houses and everywhere else,” Mr Dellwo stated.

He stated mice were the significant issue pestering growers presently — who have both winter season sowing and summer season harvest looming.

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