15 June, 2020

Abstract: People across Australia have watched in horror as a mouse plague cuts a destructive path through parts of Eastern Australia.

The mouse plague impacting large tracts of inland New South Wales and southern Queensland is said to have cost some farmers more than $100,000 in destroyed crops and damage to stored hay and grain.

Millions and millions of mice have invaded homes, schools, supermarkets and even hospitals. The NSW Government announced a $50m support package last month, promising it would ‘knock these things into oblivion’. It came after the NSW Farmers Association and the Country Women’s Association of NSW said the plague was an urgent economic and health emergency.

However, not everyone is happy with the planned use of the anti-coagulant bait at the centre of the package, bromadiolone. This Farm Weekly article looks at the different products being considered and reveals the thoughts of the CSIRO.

Meanwhile, the RSPCA says people need to be aware of the danger poison can pose to pets and wildlife who can either ingest it directly, or become poisoned by eating a poisoned mouse.

Signs of bait poisoning vary depending on the size of the pet but can include lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, bruising or vomiting blood.

"Rat bait poisoning can be treated, but the chance of recovery depends on how severely the dog or cat is affected, the amount of bait consumed, and what kind of bait they ate," the RSPCA said.

If you think your pet has eaten mouse bait contact the vet immediately.

Did you know? Wikipedia states a 1917 mouse plague was one of the largest in Australian history, starting in the Darling Downs area of Queensland and eventually reaching the Goldfields-Esperance and Wheatbelt regions of Western Australia.