Mallee mice crisis goes viral

AN Ouyen farmer has been left “dumbfounded” by the reaction she has received to her viral footage of a mice infestation on her property.

Melissa Morrish’s 35-second clip showing dozens of scurrying mice has received more than 127,000 views since she shared it on Facebook on Tuesday.

The grain grower said she didn’t expect the social media storm it has created.

FACEBOOK: Click here to watch the mice video

“I’ve had news reporters and people from Melbourne ringing me,” Ms Morrish said.

“It just really took me by surprise – it dumbfounded me.”

Ms Morrish shared the footage to raise awareness of the Mallee mice outbreak to those outside the region.

She said mice had been running rampant in areas like Ouyen since Christmas.

“Ouyen’s had a fair problem, they’re all through the town and in houses,” she said.

“I knew there was plenty around but I was shocked to see that number.

“When I showed my husband the video, he said, 'you should’ve seen them three weeks ago, they were three times as bad'.”

Last month, CSIRO research officer Steve Henry told Sunraysia Daily a combination of ample food and shelter had led to high mice numbers in the region.

“There was a bumper crop during the 2016 harvest – there was lots of grain left on the ground, which provided a large amount of food for mice,” Mr Henry said.

“Moreover, farmers now control their weeds with herbicide, which means the ground is left undisturbed for 11 months of the year.”

He encouraged farmers to monitor mice numbers in their paddocks and to consider baiting.

Ms Morrish had used bait to control the mice on her property and suggested outside help may be necessary.

“Hopefully we can have a big rain and a cold snap – that’s the only way I can see that we’re going to be able to eliminate a few numbers,” she said.

“If we were to get a subsidy through the Department of Agriculture or some industry like that to help reduce our costs of baiting, certainly that would be helpful.” 

For more local stories, pick up your copy of Friday's Sunraysia Daily, 13/4/2018. To subscribe to our Digital Edition, click here

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