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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  • 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, […]
  • Monitoring mice in Australia – May 2016 - Update #9 Summary GRDC have funded additional monitoring across the Australian grain belt until June 2017.  Mouse numbers are generally low in all locations, except moderate/high activity in Yorke Peninsula (SA) and […]

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Last updated: April 9, 2015