Warning of mice plague conditions

Industry and Investment New South Wales is advising Tweed farmers to remain vigilant and monitor for mice after heavy rain and floods.

Continuous rainfall generates high-protein feed for mice and causes them to breed rapidly.

Industry and Investment NSW invasive species program manager John Tracey said mice could reach plague levels if they were not monitored correctly.

“Mouse numbers tend to hit plague levels when soaking rains follow drought; conditions currently being experienced in much of NSW,” Mr Tracey said.

“Mouse damage can be prevented if farmers monitor mouse activity during routine farm management and act early.

“Just walking through a paddock on either grassy verge to crops or check-banks in irrigation allows farmers to look for mouse activity.”

Mouse plagues tend to occur when there is plenty of food and water available, when environmental temperatures are not extreme, when soil is moist and easy to dig, nesting conditions are favourable, and diseases, parasites and predation are at a low level.

Information released by Industry and Investment NSW shows mouse plague events seem to be increasing in frequency, possibly because of changes in agricultural practice.

A mouse plague is defined as being an excessive and increasing population of mice that have a reasonable economic or environmental impact.



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