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Mice chew through $50 bills at NSW country town general store thanks to plague

Chewed-up $50 bills were found in a general store’s till after mice rummaged through the cash amid the relentless and devastating mouse plague gripping regional Australia.

The rodents have been running rampant through large tracts of inland New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland since last year, destroying crops and causing significant damage to tonnes of stored hay and grain.

In the latest hint the end of the plague is nowhere in sight, Nowendoc General Store and Rural Supplies owner Max found the mice had gotten into his business’ notes.

The shop owner, who lives in the Northern Tablelands village 360km north of Sydney, posed for a picture with the nibbled money from behind the counter, in an image shared with Daily Mail Australia. 

Nowendoc General Store and Rural Supplies owner Max (pictured) was left with chewed-up $50 bills after mice snuck into the till

A woman from Coonabarabran said she found mice in her air conditioner

'I turned mine on this morning... Could smell mice. Pulled it apart and found this,' she wrote alongside pictures and videos of the rodents

On Facebook, locals have taken to community groups to share their experiences battling the rodent crisis. A woman from Coonabarabran said she found mice in her air conditioner

Nowendoc is a village about 1.5 hours south-east of Tamworth.  

A survey of 1,100 farmers across NSW found some have already spent more than $150,000 on baiting to kill the animals, while others had lost more than $250,000 worth of grain and fodder. 

On Facebook, locals have taken to community groups to share their experiences battling the rodent crisis. 

A woman from Coonabarabran said she found mice in her air conditioner.

‘I turned mine on this morning… Could smell mice. Pulled it apart and found this,’ she wrote alongside pictures and videos of the rodents.

‘Surely this plague has to end soon.’

One resident said he made a DIY mouse trap with a garbage bin with a rotating lid - which led him to catch 35 mice in one night

One resident said he made a DIY mouse trap with a garbage bin with a rotating lid – which led him to catch 35 mice in one night

One person commented: ‘It’s a bloody nightmare… Just when you think they are slowing up… Bam they are everywhere again!’

‘I left a clean basket of clothes in the laundry and in a hour there was six in it.’

Farmer Sarah Pye, from Dubbo in central NSW, set up a ramp inside one of her shipping containers to force the mice to fall into a large tub of water and drown.

Sharing the footage of her ‘mouse trap’, thousands of rodents were seen struggling to make it out of the tub.

Ms Pye’s method is just one of many farmers have been forced to use to combat mice plagues across regional NSW – with stores across the state selling out of traps.   

Sarah Pye, from Dubbo in central New South Wales, setup a ramp inside one of her shipping containers to force the masses of mice to fall into a large tub of water and drown

Sarah Pye, from Dubbo in central New South Wales, setup a ramp inside one of her shipping containers to force the masses of mice to fall into a large tub of water and drown

Sharing the footage to Facebook, hundreds of mice are seen struggling to make it out of the tub of water

Sharing the footage to Facebook, hundreds of mice are seen struggling to make it out of the tub of water

Multiple Bunnings stores have been stripped bare of rodent-killing products due to overwhelming demand. 

One resident in the Coonabarabran area said he made a DIY mouse trap with a garbage bin with a rotating lid – which led him to catch 35 mice in one night.

‘Attach a ramp to the front. Smear some peanut butter along the ramp to encourage them up, then put a blob of peanut butter on the ridge line of the bin,’ he wrote. 

‘Put about 20cm of water in the bin as well as dishwashing liquid for the smell. Leave it out over night along a wall and there you go.

‘Does work, we got 35 last night.’ 

Another local revealed she caught about 200 mice each night with three of the homemade traps set up. 

Another farmer in Dubbo, Tracey Jones, earlier told Daily Mail Australia she and her husband were struggling to sleep due to the constant scampering of mice in their walls. 

‘People out here are struggling badly with them in our houses,’ she said.

‘My 90-year-old mother in law is living out of an esky because it’s the only way she can mouse-proof her food. 

‘Mice are in everything, rooves and walls eating wiring, cupboards and pantries eating, nesting in and soiling in food and clothing, in cars and machinery chewing through wiring. 

‘The smell of dead mice is overwhelming, it’s everywhere.’    

Farmers have described the crippling plague as devastating to their livelihoods.

The NSW government recently announced a $50 million relief package to address the plague.

Some farmers estimated they’d suffered losses of between $50,000 and $150,000 due to grain and fodder being destroyed, according to the NSW Farmers Grains Committee. 

On top of this, a survey on farmers around NSW found that more than 80 per cent had suffered significant damage to machinery and infrastructure from mice.

It was also found that 75 per cent of farmers couldn’t access bait when they needed it most.

Bunnings Orange (pictured) in central NSW was running low on rodent traps and bait last week due to the mouse plague

Bunnings Orange (pictured) in central NSW was running low on rodent traps and bait last week due to the mouse plague

Farms across New South Wales have been overrun with plagues of mice in recent months (pictured property in Gilgandra)

Farms across New South Wales have been overrun with plagues of mice in recent months (pictured property in Gilgandra)

Despite the hideous plague devastating communities, an animal rights charity has blasted farmers for trying to get rid of the mice. 

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has pleaded with farmers to avoid killing the ‘curious animals’ that are ‘just looking for food to survive.’ 

‘They shouldn’t be robbed of that right because of the dangerous notion of human supremacy,’ PETA spokeswoman Aleesha Naxakis told NCA NewsWire.

The organisation suggests farmers create humane traps that ‘allow small animals to be caught gently and released unharmed’ instead of using poisons. 

‘This cruel killing method not only subjects innocent mice to unbearably painful deaths, but also poses the risk of spreading bacteria in water when mouse carcasses appear in water tanks,’ Ms Naxakis said. 

Deputy Premier Michael McCormack has lashed out at the comments, calling the group ‘idiots who have never been outside the city’ and that the only ‘good mouse is a dead mouse.’   

PETA spokeswoman Aleesha Naxakisas (pictured) has pleaded with farmers to avoid killing the mice as they are 'just looking for food to survive'

PETA spokeswoman Aleesha Naxakisas (pictured) has pleaded with farmers to avoid killing the mice as they are ‘just looking for food to survive’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk