Sickening photo shows ‘plague’ ripping through Aussie states

Nick Whigham
·Assistant News Editor
·3-min read

WARNING - DISTURBING IMAGES: A woman in rural NSW has shared a sickening photo highlighting an ongoing plague affecting Australia's eastern states.

Taking to Facebook, the woman from the rural town of Elong Elong, outside of Dubbo, revealed her grim discovery as she urged others to check their water tanks.

"Please share this far and wide during this mice plague," she wrote, alongside a picture of the filter from her water tank filled with some unfortunate intruders.

"This is the filter for my water tank at 630pm TODAY after 25mls of rain," she wrote on Thursday.

"We drink for our house water," the woman added.

The woman urged people to share the image 'far and wide'. Source: Facebook
The woman urged people to share the image 'far and wide'. Source: Facebook

"I cleaned this one a week ago and took out handfuls of mice fur that was clumped together," she wrote, before urging others to check their water tanks and stay safe.

Mice populations have been on the rise across the wheat-farming regions of NSW and Queensland following heavy rains due to the La Nina period.

The post attracted more than 400 comments and was shared more than 1,600 times in the first 16 hours.

"Bet that didn’t taste too good," one Facebook user commented.

"You need to check water tanks and pool filters daily in the current situation check," another said.

"[Check] that all grain bins are secured and there are no holes, no canvas left on the ground so as they can hide."

Worst mouse outbreak since 2011

Some locals say it's not as bad as it has been in the past, but some have labelled it the worst mouse plague in a decade with farmers and property owners sharing pictures and videos across social media to reveal the immensity of the surging scourge.

In some places, the boom has caused a shortage of mouse baits and traps.

There are growing fears the mouse plague could threaten to undermine post-drought recovery efforts among harvesters.

Elevated mouse populations have been recorded from Central Queensland down to northern and central west NSW and into western Victoria.

Mice feast on the stubble of crops and reproduce roughly every three weeks once they reach six weeks old, making population control a near-impossible task, CSIRO mouse researcher Steve Henry told AAP last month.

The last big mouse outbreak in Australia occurred around 2011.

'Impossible to stop them'

"The mice have continued to breed through the spring, into the summer and now the real concern is that they'll continue to breed into the autumn and cause a lot of trouble for the sowing of winter crops (in March/April)," Mr Henry said.

"You can force a farmer to do something about rabbits or foxes but because they're all-pervasive when in high numbers, everywhere you turn there's a mouse ... it's just impossible to get on top of them."

The Centre for Invasive Species Solutions' "FeralScan" online reporting tool showed record activity with 1,221 reports as of Friday.

Mouse alert shown on map of Australia.
Mouse alert shows a record amount of mice activity being reported. Source: Feralscan.org.au

People getting 'nibbled' in their beds

Coonamble Chamber of Commerce president and newspaper owner Lee O'Connor, said some locals and farmers were doing it tough with the mice populations adding to their problems.

"One supermarket said they were catching 200 a night, there have been people catching a couple hundred in their pool filters every night," Ms O'Connor said.

"They're in beds, people getting nibbled on at night ... it's everywhere."

The NSW Department of Primary Industries said in a statement that regular monitoring was "the key to ensuring the frequency and severity of mouse plagues is kept as low as possible".

The department does not typically intervene in mouse plagues as they are not deemed a noxious species.

with AAP

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