Billions of mice are running rampant in the Eastern part of Australia, and farmers are struggling to contend with them eating crops and destroying equipment.
“People are putting the legs of their beds in buckets or pots of water, but the mice are still climbing curtains, jumping onto their beds and biting them,” Xavier Martin, a grain farmer, told the Telegraph.
“As they run out of food and cannibalize each other they do decline but in other places, they are just absolutely exploding and it’s not thousands, it’s billions,” Martin told BBC Radio 4’s Today Program. (RELATED: With Return Of Cicadas, Experts Warn Of Rat Infestation)
“The ground just moves with mice”
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) May 25, 2021
“In my family farm we put out two billion baits mainly by aircraft, and we are only moderate-sized farmers and they are all gone, the baits have all been all taken.”
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) showed the extent of the pestilence after creating a map that tracked mouse hotspots called MouseAlert. The map allows farmers to report mouse sightings. A report in March warned that the mice have, “continued to breed through summer/autumn, to reach a peak at sowing of winter crops.”
“In daylight, you go out and you might only see a few here and a few there until you disturb them in the crops or the paddock or in the shed,” Martin added, “But at night time they are just going in both directions across the road and if you stand still they will climb up your trousers, the outside if you’re lucky, the inside if you’re unlucky.”
The size of the plague has caused the national government to permit the usage of poison to kill the mice, but environmentalists warn that it could have an impact on other animals who eat mice.