'HORRIBLE": Millions of mice descend on farmer's property

WARNING – DISTRESSING IMAGES: A NSW farmer believes he’s been plagued by about two million mice as farmers in the region cope with an ongoing rodent plague.

Scott Mudford, a farmer near Dubbo, told A Current Affair he has “never seen mice like this”.

“It’s just horrible,” he told the program.

Scott Mudford, a farmer near Dubbo, uses a hose on grain to filter out thousands of mice. A bucket full of mice is also pictured.
Scott Mudford, a farmer near Dubbo, estimates he's seen about two million mice on his property. Source: A Current Affair/ Nine Network

Mr Mudford estimates he’s seen two million on his property, caught 150 in the house alone last month and 300 outside.

He added he resorted to gluing lino to his front door to stop the rodents getting into his house as they were chewing through the door.

They have also wreaked havoc on his grain harvest which Mr Mudford said he can no longer sell.

Ground ‘moving’ amid thousands of mice running

Brody Roche, a farmer near Tottenham, told Storyful last month the plague is the worst he’s seen and while much-needed rain helped reduce numbers the mice “are still bad".

Gilgandra farmer Ron Mckay told the ABC he noticed the ground “moving” at night from “thousands and thousands of mice just running around”.

Pompy Singh, the manager of the Spar supermarket in the town of Gulargambone, said they started to notice the number of mice increasing before Christmas.

They used to set one or two traps a day, he said. They started buying much larger traps and setting many more of them until they had 20 set at all times.

Suddenly they began catching 100 or 200 mice each day. The critters began eating through everything, getting into the lettuce, the potato chips, the dog food, even the tobacco.

Mr Singh said they started storing everything in refrigerators or sealed containers.

Still, he said, the mice kept coming. Some days, they were catching up to 600. Even the fridges kept breaking down as the mice chewed through the wiring.

Mr Singh said the numbers of mice seem to have decreased somewhat since the floods hit, although they're still catching plenty.

Dead mice are seen at a property in Coonamble in central west NSW.
A Coonamble resident cleans up dead mice in February. Source: AAP

NSW Farmers call for action

NSW Farmers president James Jackson last month pleaded for state government intervention.

“Farmers need some more control options. We are requesting that an Emergency Use Permit be issued for Zinc Phosphide to treat seed,” Mr Jackson said.

“This will allow farmers to have their own grain professionally treated, removing the biosecurity risks posed by using foreign seed.

“It will also reduce the cost of sourcing sterilised or de-vitalised grain by farmers using their own treated seed to be sown for winter cropping.”

Mr Jackson has also called on the NSW Government to provide $25,000 grants to farmers to fight the plague.

He told ACA the mice plague will have “serious impacts” on the state’s economy.

with The Associated Press

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