Tweed Daily News

Mice make winter moves

TWEED residents have been warned mice have begun moving indoors to escape winter chills.

Pest experts are advising householders and business owners to act now to control mice populations in the lead-up to cooler months.

Their warnings come on top of mouse plagues that have already created severe problems for towns and farms in southern Queensland.

Murwillumbah/Tweed Heads branch manager for Amalgamated Pest Control Trevor Bathie has warned mice have begun seeking food, water and warmth indoors.

“We usually see more mice this time of the year because of seasonal changes and available food sources,” Mr Bathie said.

“In summer, mice feed on grains, seeds and grasses, but when these are no longer available in winter they seek out alternative food sources, usually indoors.”

Mr Bathie said the Tweed's most-often-seen rodent was the common house mouse which is small, has large ears, a pointed snout and a tail that is as long as its body length, with fine coloured brown to grey fur.

They normally live for about one year and can breed as young as five weeks, with each female having six to 10 litters a year and an average of five to six babies per litter.

“We frequently respond to calls from local residents who have tried to manage mice themselves without success and found the rodent population has exploded,” Mr Bathie added..

“Early detection is the key, and people should act at the first sign of mouse activity, because left unchecked mice numbers can become problematic.

“Mice can cause considerable damage to buildings, furniture, books, equipment and machinery through their characteristic gnawing.

“Rodents can even gnaw electrical cables, causing short-circuits and even electrical fires”.

Rats and mice have been implicated in the transmission of diseases including the Black Death (bubonic plague), salmonella, typhus fever, Weil's disease and trichinosis.

Mr Bathie said simple measures could help control mice populations in the Tweed, including reducing their access to food, shelter and water supplies.

But he warned homeowners to take care if using baits or poisons around the home.

“Many treatments are toxic to domestic pets and native animals when applied in a loose form,” he said.

More information about the treatment of rodents can be found on the Amalgamated Pest Control website

Top mouse tips
  • Trim plants and trim tree limbs 60cm away from roof, eaves, and utility wires.
  • Elevate items stored outdoors, including woodpiles, at least 45cm above the ground and 30cm from walls.
  • Keep compost bins sealed
  • Seal gaps around pipes with hardware.
  • Weather-strip exterior doors
  • Do not leave pet food out overnight
  • Store dry food and goods in containers with a tight lid.

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