House mouse

Mice are found worldwide and the introduced house mouse  probably came to Australia with the First Fleet. Mice are closely  associated with human activity and are now distributed throughout  the continent, especially in agricultural and urban areas.

Normally  population levels are relatively low, however, when conditions are  favourable mice numbers can increase exponentially  to plague  proportions and they become a serious pest. Similar  plagues are uncommon in other countries.

The earliest reported mouse plague in Australia was in 1917 on the Darling Downs in Queensland and they have been occurring, with increasing frequency, ever since. Mouse plagues now erupt in the grain growing regions of Australia on average every three years, causing massive disruption to communities and losses to farmers.

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Last updated: April 9, 2015