Fears Australia’s horrifying mouse plague could explode again – hammering another nail into the coffin for struggling farmers
- Predicted rainfall thought to hinder mice populations could trigger a plague
- Excess grain left in fields could lead to a plague worse than this years
- Government is funding biocontrol that could offer farmers some reprieve
Torrential rainfall and flooding will only dent mouse populations, not destroy them, and create ideal conditions for another plague.
CSIRO researcher Steve Henry said mice were excellent swimmers and would be able to swim to safety in the coming wet season.
The wet conditions also mean there will be more grain in fields attracting mice to farms that are already suffering after recent weather.
Last year’s mouse plague (pictured) is estimated to have cost the NSW farming sector close to $1 Billion last year, now experts are saying predicted rainfall could lead to a second
‘They’re incredibly resilient little critters and they can swim out of quite a bit of water,’ he told ABC News.
‘(They can) get themselves to safety and then re-establish when the water goes down.’
NSW Farmers Association vice-president Xavier Martin said this year’s mouse plague likely cost the NSW farming sector close to $1 billion.
Mice are described as ‘resilient’ and ‘very good swimmers’ and will not be impacted by the wet conditions that could lead to another plague even worse than this year’s (pictured)
Mr Martin warned farmers to prepare for another autumn plague as machinery leaves even more grain in fields than last year, providing the perfect nesting place.
‘There’s a serious risk of doing the same thing or potentially even worse next autumn, given the level of grain left behind,’ he told ABC News.
Government has recently started investing into biological mouse controls that could offer farmers some reprieve from the fast-breeding rodents.
CISS chief executive Andreas Glanznigsaid is hopeful Australia will find a solution.
‘Australia has been a world leader, for example, in biocontrol technology,’ he told Cosmos.
‘So we’re used to thinking big and really backing technology to deliver those large-scale outcomes.’
Government is investing in biocontrol technology that could offer farmers reprieve from a second mouse plague fueled by predicted rainfall and flooding (stock image)