Farm Management

Monitoring key to mouse management

Reports that mouse numbers are on the rise in parts of the country and the release of new advice from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) are timely reminders for farmers to keep up their mice monitoring activities.

NSW DPI invasive species strategy manager, Quentin Hart, said monitoring is the key to ensuring the frequency and severity of mouse plagues is kept as low possible.

“Monitoring delivers an early warning system if mouse numbers are on the rise and early intervention, before mouse numbers reach plague proportions, is the best approach,” Mr Hart said.

“Effective mouse management involves reducing the availability of food and shelter for mice, in combination with poison bait control if required.

“Regular inspections around buildings, crop perimeters and throughout the crop at all stages of sowing and growth is crucial in detecting a build-up of mouse numbers.”

Farmers are advised to check paddocks, especially where stubble loads are high.

If mice are about farmers should apply bait straight off the back of the seeder or follow with a spreader to distribute bait.

Grains Research and Development Corporation-supported website MouseAlert allows farmers to access and contribute to mouse monitoring reports from across the country.

Mr Hart said once mice are in plague numbers there is little farmers can do to control their population.

“Mouse numbers irrupt when food, temperature and nesting conditions are in their favour – so we advise farmers to activate control options before a plague situation exists,” he said.

“Mouse-proofing and barriers to prevent mice entering buildings, traps and baits can all be used.”

NSW DPI’s new Reducing the frequency and severity of mouse plagues primefact is available on the DPI website at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/714970/PrimeFACT-Mice-and-their-management.pdf.

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