ITV News Senior Correspondent Paul Davies reports mouse infestation ruining crops and causing misery for farmers across Australia
A mouse plague is raging in the south-eastern parts of Australia, eat away at cables, burn down houses and cut off communications.
Farmers say they’ve been calling on the government to act for months, and a $ 50 million program to tackle the mouse plague was announced earlier in May.
But the infestation continues to spread in the meantime, just as farmers were starting to recover from a recent drought and bushfires last year.
Xavier Martin, vice-president of the New South Wales Farmers’ Association, told ITV News that mice are “getting into everything.”
‘They run everywhere’
“So we are seeing in some parts just an explosion in the number of mice and rats and others we have seen a decline,” he said.
“When they run out of food, when they have no more seeds to eat, they start to cannibalize, they eat each other.
“They are quite disgusting animals and of course they have invaded a lot of our houses, our sheds, our vehicles, our tractors, we have burnt machines.
“We burned down a house just north of us last night, apparently because of mice.
“Look, even in this house here they ate the hose on the back of the dishwasher, so when the dishwasher ran it flooded the kitchen.”
“They closed 44 of our telecommunications towers in the southern half of New South Wales on Monday.
“They shut down one of our main government servers in one of the departments today so they could not respond.
“Mice are in everything. If I get out of the door over there now and stay still, they’ll come out from the outside of my pants and from the inside of my pants, they’re running all over the place.
It comes as experts warn the plague of mice could head to Sydney within weeks, with winter frosts forcing them to warmer areas, according to 7 News in Australia.
It was hoped that the rain and cooler temperatures would drastically dampen their numbers ahead of the winter harvest planting, but both had little impact.