'At my wits' end': 'Scary' photo highlights escalating 'plague'

A photo of hundreds of mice caught in one night has highlighted the escalating plague regional NSW communities are struggling to deal with.

A man from Dubbo posted the image to Facebook on Thursday, saying the mice were collected using a dozen home made bucket traps before being emptied into a giant bag.

"How’s this for a way to use your fishing landing net?!?!

"My mate Bradley Wilshire in the next estate over from us...500 plus mice trapped last night," he said.

The image posted drew hundreds of comments, with many people sharing their own experiences with the mice.

a net full of over 500 mice caught in rural NSW
A rural NSW resident claims over 500 mice were caught in one night. Source: Facebook

"I’m at my wits end. I can’t live like this anymore! I can’t even get into bed and rest without them invading me!" one person wrote after finding a mouse in her bed.

"I only caught three today ... but no sooner had I reset the trap in the pantry this afternoon that I got another one, lots of dead ones on the lawn after the rain though," another commented.

"That is scary - check your rainwater strainers," one user said, showing a photo of dead mice caught before they fell into rainwater tanks.

'Farmers need some more control options'

NSW Farmers is seeking urgent action from the NSW government as farmers in many parts of regional NSW report a drastic increase in mice populations, which are decimating crops, destroying stored hay and invading silos, sheds and homes.

NSW Farmers President James Jackson said grain growers hold grave concerns about the winter crop planting season, which is due to start within weeks.

"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 on Wednesday.

Dead mice in a rain water tank strainer (left) and a home made bucket trap to catch mice (right)
Rural NSW residents and farmers are reporting an increase in mice, with rodents popping up in water tanks (left) some have turned to home made bucket traps to deal witht he plague (right). Source: Facebook

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

One of the many farmers calling for help, Norman Moeris, told the ABC his property in Gilgandra was overrun with the rodents.

"[The mice] have done a hell of a lot of damage to hay that people were storing for the next drought … silo bags. They are just demolishing them," Mr Moeris said.

"We need to control them now for winter sowing.”

It is costing farmers about $2,000 every two weeks in poison costs, but efforts are barely making a dent, property owners told the publication.

The rodents are also affecting human health, with the NSW Western Area Health Service reporting increased cases of leptospirosis - a rare disease which can cause kidney failure and meningitis - as a result of mice in domestic dwellings.

Three residents at NSW Health facilities in Tottenham, Walgett and Gulargambone received minor bites, a spokeswoman said.

"The current mouse infestation across western NSW is a natural occurrence. NSW Health staff are responding with appropriate control measures," she said.

with AAP

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