Australia is known all over the world for being home to some of the world's most deadly creatures. From venomous snakes to nightmare spiders - if you're scared of it, there's a good chance they've got it.

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With this in mind, it may come as a surprise to many of us that the monster that is hitting the headlines of late is the innocent, unassuming house mouse. Now on their own these creatures are delightful enough - but like a drop of rain when compared to a tsunami - a plague of mice presents a very serious problem.

Scientists say that the key catalysts for the plague have been favourable weather conditions after years of drought and the nation's second biggest grain harvest on record.

As well as threatening winter crops, the plague is also threatening the mental health of farmers, who have already absorbed the devastating impact of drought, bushfires, floods and Covid-19 in recent years.

Dramatic footage showing mice overrunning grain stores, fields and houses have been broadcast all over the world, with residents in rural towns fighting pitched battles against the furry critters, which continue to gnaw through wiring on home appliances, infect water courses and there have even been reports that they have bitten patients in hospital beds.

In the worst affected state, New South Wales, farmers unions are warning that the invading army of wild house mice could cost them A$1 billion (US$765 million) in lost crops and poison baits this season. 

There is no way of telling when it will end either as predicting how long the mouse plague will last is also very difficult because it can end abruptly as a result of disease, food shortages and cannibalism.

Not only does the mouse plague have costly financial implications for farmers but it also threatens public health. Mouse urine could spread serious diseases to humans, including leptospirosis and lymphocytic choriomeningitus, which could cause similar symptoms to meningitis.

Preventing a plague of this size is serious business and taking preventative action to ensure your facility is not a soft target is in the best interests of anyone who stores grain or any other type of food on their property, whether in Australia or anywhere else in the world.

An article written by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) contains a number of measures that if put into place, we can all try to restrict any damage we suffer as a result of rodent infestation to an absolute minimum...

To continue reading this article, follow the link HERE.

by Andrew Wilkinson, Milling & Grain magazine

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