Cautionary tail: mice numbers up in southern NSW

MICE IN THE MILLIONS: Farmers and residents should take preventative measures to avoid a pile-up like this. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

MICE IN THE MILLIONS: Farmers and residents should take preventative measures to avoid a pile-up like this. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Landholders and residents are warned to be on high alert with increased mice activity around southern NSW and the Riverina. 

CSIRO researcher Steve Henry, who has been surveying mouse activity for Grains Research and Development Corporation project MouseAlert, said reports around the Wagga region have been “patchy” with high numbers flagged around Coleambally and Griffith. 

“I’ve heard from a grower who lost a hectare of canola in Ganmain,” he said. 

He encourages farmers around the Riverina to remain vigilant and push numbers down as much as possible through the winter.

“We're running hot with the rodents this year.” - Brett Randal, Amalgamated Pest Control

“Over 200 mice per hectare is the threshold for economic damage,” he said. 

“Growers should be actively monitoring for signs of damage like stems being chewed through.” 

Fears of a plague have been growing after last year’s bumper harvest produced ample food and shelter, followed by a mild summer. 

Brett Randal from Amalgamated Pest Control in Wagga said while increased activity at this time is normal, they are “running hot with the rodents this year.” 

Mr Randal said he’s taken a lot of calls from rural properties and numbers are higher than average.

While there’s no indication of a plague epidemic, residents should get in touch as soon as they see any signs of activity.

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