Plague Of Mice Grows To Biblical Proportions In East Australia
Rural communities in Australia are dealing with swarms of mice akin to a biblical plague.
A bumper grain harvest has seen one of the worst mice plagues ‘in decades’ across New South Wales, with thousands of rodents – dead and alive – being chased, trapped or found in homes, farms, shops and even hospitals.
It’s not uncommon in Australia, with a 1993 plague of mice causing around $96 million worth of damage to crops, machinery and animals.
Steve Henry, a rodent expert, told The Independent: ‘You can imagine that every time you open a cupboard, every time you go to your pantry, there are mice present. And they’re eating into your food containers, they’re fouling your clean linen in your linen cupboard, they’re running across your bed at night.’
For reference on how quickly a mice infestation can surge, one pair of mice can feasibly produce around 500 offspring in a single season.
Naav Singh, a resident of Gulargambone, north of Dubbo, explained to The Guardian how he has to arrive at work five hours before his shift in order to clean the aftermath of the mice invading the supermarket. While a horror to deal with, it’s also cost the business around $30,000 and ‘so many customers’.
He said: ‘We don’t want to go inside in the morning sometimes. It stinks, they will die and it’s impossible to find all the bodies… some nights we are catching over 400 or 500.’
Pip Goldsmith, from Coonamble, also told the publication: ‘They stink whether they are alive or dead, you can’t escape the smell sometimes… it’s oppressive, but we are resilient.’
Three people being treated in Tottenham, Walgett and Gulargambone hospitals were bitten by mice, according to NSW Health. ‘Reports of residents or patients receiving minor bites have been made… and appropriate treatment has been provided,’ a spokesperson said.
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