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.
- Monitoring mice in Australia – October 2018 - Update #17 Summary Mouse numbers are low in all areas (Figure 1) – There is a low risk of damage of crops leading up to harvest. Mice began breeding in […]
- Monitoring mice in Australia – August 2018 - Update #15 Summary Mouse numbers have declined in all areas and are now low in all areas, but there are some isolated patches of activity (Figure 1). There is a low […]
- Monitoring mice in Australia – March 2018 - Update #15 Summary High populations of mice in Victoria and South Australia (Figure 1) – Mice are likely to cause damage at sowing. Moderate populations of mice in Ravensthorpe and […]
- Monitoring mice in Australia – October 2017 - Update #14 Summary Figure 1. Current mouse abundance (Oct 2017) High populations of mice in Mallee and Wimmera, Victoria (Figure 1 – High populations of mice in Mallee and Wimmera, […]
- Monitoring mice in Australia – July 2017 - Update #13 Summary Moderate populations of mice for this time of year were detected in NW Victoria, Northern Adelaide Plains & Yorke Peninsula (Figure 1) – potential risk of damage to crops […]
- Monitoring mice in Australia – March 2017 - Update #12 Summary Mouse abundance is increasing across South Australia, Victoria and southern NSW, and remains low in all other regions (see below) (Figure 1) – We expect significant damage […]
- Monitoring mice in Australia – December 2016 - Update #11 Summary Mouse abundance is low across all monitoring sites (see below) (Figure 1) – Trapping, mouse chew cards and active burrows were low on all sites. Mice should […]
- Monitoring mice in Australia – July 2016 - Update #10 Summary Mouse abundance is moderate/high on parts of the Darling Downs, Queensland – Significant densities of mice (~400 mice/ha) are present in sorghum stubble in the Central Downs, […]
- How you can help predict the next big mouse plague - We need people in the grain growing regions of Australia to record mouse activity
- Monitoring techniques for vertebrate pests – Mice - Manual on the techniques available for monitoring mice in Australia
- Mouse plague survival guide for rural lands protection board staff - A basic, easy to read outline of what seemed to work in the 1999 mouse plague