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Did you know that, with the exception of China, Australia is the only country to experience mouse plagues? Whilst scientists aren’t entirely sure why they don’t occur elsewhere in the world, what they do know is that they take place in southern and eastern Australia, particularly in grain-growing regions, approximately every four to five years. Yes, that often!

With the recent, devastating mouse plague in New South Wales in 2020 still fresh in our collective memory, it’s important that we take measures to ensure that the next mouse plague doesn’t occur closer to home.

Mice are prolific breeders

When you consider that a female mouse can start reproducing as early as two months old, can give birth to up to 10 offspring each time, fall pregnant immediately after giving birth and then give birth to another 10 mouse pups just 20 days later, it’s not hard to see how a relatively small mouse issue can grow exponentially within a short period. Just a single mouse mum can birth up to 300 babies in her 2–3-year lifespan. Eeek!

The NSW Mouse Plague of 2020-22

The recent mouse plague in NSW destroyed $1 billion worth of crops and seeds as well as causing considerable damage to homes and property. Experts say it was the result of a perfect storm of events. After years of intense drought, heavy rainfall during summer saw bumper crops produced which researchers consider to be the most significant factor in the increased propagation of mice. The unprecedented 2019-2020 NSW bushfires, which covered 5.5 million hectares of NSW (7% of the state), further aided mouse numbers to swell as they enjoyed fewer predators and competition for food sources in the area.

How to prevent a mouse plague

To prevent a mouse plague, farmers need to employ appropriate practices and precautions that minimise the availability of food that mice can access. In addition, mouse monitoring and early detection are key to avoiding another plague in susceptible areas of Australia.

Are mice a problem in Brisbane?

Wet summers and tame winters, like the ones we often experience in Brisbane, are ideal conditions for rodents, allowing them to breed through spring into the warmer months. As Dr Luke Leung, an associate professor at the University of Queensland’s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, has previously pointed out, Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate is perfect for mice, making it a hotbed for rodent activity. According to Dr Leung, the average Brisbane resident is probably never more than 10 metres from a rat! The worst rodent-affected areas in Brisbane are generally those that border farmland or forests such as The Gap, Bracken Ridge, Wavell Heights, Carindale, Moorooka, and Sunnybank Hills, although they can be found everywhere.

What to do if you have a mouse in the house

Nobody wants a mouse – or a rapidly expanding family of them – moving into their home. If you spot any of the common tell-tale signs that you might be sharing your space with rodents, such as droppings, a foul odour, gnawed holes or bite marks, or you hear scratching or scampering, it’s time to call in the pest professionals. Mice and rats often bring diseases and parasites with them and can cause significant damage to your home and other property. They have even been known to start house fires by chewing through electrical wires so don’t wait for the problem to reach mouse plague proportions.

 

Send pesky mice and other pests packing!
Get in touch with Brisbane City Pest Control today
for fast and effective solutions.