Australia’s eastern seaboard is being hit with a mouse plague with shocking video showing thousands of the rodents swarming across crops and blanketing highways.
Just as communities were recovering from droughts and fields were beginning to return to green, they are once again turning brown as rodent numbers explode.
In Coonamble, about two hours north of Dubbo, resident Anne Cullen said on Thursday mice were running rampant across the town – she even woke up with one in her hair.
The plague of mice running rampant in Coonamble, New South Wales (pictured)
It comes after another farmer Harry Gaynor filmed hundreds of mice crossing the road in the headlights of a car near the village of Collie, east of Warren, in NSW
Dead mice are seen at a property in Coonamble in central west NSW, Tuesday, February 2, 2021
‘It’s terrible. It’s unbelievable. I came home after a couple of nights away staying down in Dubbo with my daughter, and I went into the house, there were just mice running everywhere,’ she told the Today show.
‘They have eaten my clothes. They have gotten into my wardrobe. There are holes in the couches. They are eating everything.’
She explained she dumps $250 worth of rodent poison around her sheds and set water traps before the mice emerge in the evenings in an attempt to reduce their numbers.
She added farmers in the town were having to burn crops that weren’t safely stored in silos because they have been contaminated.
‘The hay stack is a worry. Apparently, the mouse droppings and the urine all through, it’s very damaging. It can disease cattle. It might be ruined.’
Hay crops have been contaminated by the mouse plaugue (left) with their burrows visible in the hay stacks (right)
The mice breed very quickly, with females having up to 10 pups every month-and-a-half and believes the dramatic increase in their numbers is being caused by a good crop season, Ms Cullen said.
She describes the smell mice plague and their carcasses as now hanging over the town but the only way to keep their numbers down was to keep poisoning them.
Eventually locals are confident once their food source dwindles the mice numbers will recede, but before that they will clean up some of their mess by munching on their fallen comrades.
In early February, Ben Storer filmed a wave of the mice as he drove through the them in a ute on his family farm in Warren in central northern NSW.
The video showed mice running in all directions, surrounding an empty grain shed and crawling all over a surface drill.
Mr Storer’s wife Tanya said ‘everything is being affected’ by the mice plague, which hit their family farm after the last harvest in November, 2020.
‘It’s terrible, everything is being affected, because they’re in the cupboards, there’s dead mice everywhere,’ Ms Storer told Daily Mail Australia.
‘They’re in the car eating up the car seat. I had to throw out my microwave, coffee maker and mixer because they get into everything.’
In early February, Ben Storer filmed the mice as he drove through the horde in a ute on his family farm in Warren in central northern NSW (pictured)
The Storer family grows sorghum crop to sell and feed their cattle but mice have been eating it, which has ‘hugely’ hurt them financially.
‘During harvest, there was not a huge amount around but it was gradually building up and now it’s at a plague proportion,’ she said.
‘We planted a full sorghum crop and they’ve wiped that out.
‘If the mice plague continues, we won’t be able to plant any kind of crop because they’ll just dig it out.’
After months of drought, Ms Storer said a mice plague was the last thing already-struggling farmers needed.