Wimmera mouse numbers increase

PESTS: Mice numbers are building to worrying levels in parts of South Australia and Victoria, including the Wimmera and Mallee. Picture: CONTRIBUTED
PESTS: Mice numbers are building to worrying levels in parts of South Australia and Victoria, including the Wimmera and Mallee. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

WIMMERA pest controllers have warned mouse numbers are increasing in the region, but the population should not reach plague proportions.

Bug R Off Pest Busters owner Steve Olver said he was getting daily calls from residents having issues with mice.

“They are certainly on the move,” he said.

“We are probably seeing similar numbers to what we saw about three or four years ago.

“They won’t reach plague numbers, but they will be a lot heavier than usual.”

Mr Olver said mice were hard to keep out of houses.

“If you can put an end of a pen or a pencil into a hole, a mouse can get in,” he said.

“To fool proof your home is near impossible, but the best thing to do is to bait, especially in the ceiling.

“Mice will nest up there because it’s warmer.

“Also try to block up any nooks and crannies that a mouse could get into.”

Horsham Pest Control owner Bryan Chapple said conditions had been good for mice.

“This is their normal breeding season, so numbers are increasing,” he said.

“We’ve had no real rain to drown them and they are starting to come out of paddocks into town.

“We’ve had a lot of calls about mice in roofs – they are definitely out and about.”

Invasive Animals Co-operative Research Centre’s Simon Humphrys said the team behind the Mouse Alert program had been baiting throughout autumn and had found an increased abundance of mice in several regions.

He said numbers were well below the official definition of a mouse plague, which was numbers greater than 800 mice a hectare, but populations were still climbing.

Mr Humphrys said farmers with high mouse numbers would need to look at baiting. 

He said through Victoria, numbers were not as high as in South Australia, but mice were on the increase, particularly in the Mallee and Wimmera.

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