Millions of mice are wreaking havoc on Australia’s crops, potentially costing the country $775 million.
According to the Associated Press, Australian farmers could lose more than $775 million in crops due to a mouse infestation that has taken over their fields in New South Wales.
The state administration has ordered 1,320 liters of bromadiolone, an illegal poison, from India to try to keep the mice from consuming everything. There is yet to be approval from a federal government regulator, and there are fears that other wildlife, such as wedge-tail eagles and family pets, would be exposed to the lethal toxin.
“We’re at a crucial position now where if we don’t drastically reduce the number of mice in epidemic proportions by spring, we’re facing an utter economic and social crisis in rural and regional New South Wales,” Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said.
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Shed flooring are hidden beneath carpets of scampering mice at night. The noises of scratching fill the ceilings. Mice gnawing electrical wires was blamed by one family for their house catching fire.
A mouse plague is threatening vast swaths of land in Australia’s New South Wales state, which the state government characterizes as “totally unprecedented.” It’s impossible to say how many millions of rodents have infected the state’s agricultural plains.
Bruce Barnes said he’s taking a chance by growing crops on his family’s farm at Bogan Gate, in central New South Wales. “All we can do is sow and hope,” he remarked.
“We have no choice but to go down this path because we need something incredibly strong, the equivalent of napalm, to simply blast these mice into oblivion,” Marshall explained, referring to the poison.
Farmers in Australia’s most populous state have been hit by fires, floods, and pandemic interruptions in recent years, only to be confronted with the new scourge of the invasive house mouse, or Mus musculus.
The same government-commissioned advisors who helped farmers manage with droughts, fires, and floods are also helping people cope with the stress of mice.
The worst happens at night, when millions of mice that had been hiding and inactive during the day awaken.
The crisis is less visible during the day. Squash mice from the road are strewn across patches of the road. This is a condensed version of the information.