Riverina invaded by mice as poison and traps sell out

By Ken Grimson
Updated November 7 2012 - 3:30am, first published March 22 2011 - 11:44am
PEST CONTROL: Pest controller Glenn Lawson refills a rodent bait trap at a Wagga business. Picture: Michael Frogley.

MICE are on the march in Wagga and in plague proportions in Hay and Griffith where they are invading homes, businesses, schools and hospitals.Farmhouses in the Wagga area and homes on the city's outskirts bordering open land are battling against mice now.The mice are hard on the heels of the locust plague, massive mosquito infestation and other insect attacks over recent months. Poisonous baits and rodent traps are in huge demand."It's going crazy, we are struggling to keep stock on the shelves," said Bunnings' Wagga complex manager, John Hunter."It is the most unbelievable season I have seen, ranging from flies, moths, grasshoppers and other bugs."Brian Chapman, of the Riverina Co-op, said the business had run out of stocks of rodent poison a couple of times as demand soared."You hear stories of farmers cutting grass and there are lots of (mouse) holes in the paddocks," Mr Chapman said.Glenn Lawson, of Kooringal Pest Control, said mouse numbers were definitely increasing and he was the busiest he had been for 10 years answering requests to fight the pests.On Wagga's outskirts, mice are so prolific some residents are setting mouse traps during one television ad break and emptying them during the next break.Mice are a huge problem in Hay, where residents are trapping as many as 20 mice a night and the smell of dead rodents is filling businesses and public buildings.Baits and traps are everywhere in the Hay War Memorial High School. The school has even implemented a plan of action as mice eat away at junction boxes for fibre optic cables.The new science and library laboratory is receiving special attention, while measures are in place to protect the school kitchen.Griffith City Council has issued fact sheets to businesses to help them prevent contamination by mice, with food outlets facing the biggest risk.Businesses have been told that mice and their faeces carry salmonella, tape worm and round worm.Wagga City Council has not yet had to issue warnings.The Hume Livestock Health and Pest Authority is encouraging landholders to monitor mouse numbers in their paddocks, around sheds and along fence lines.

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