With harvest now complete in most areas and bumper crops in many areas across the country, there are large quantities of grain left for pests such as mice to eat. Mice numbers increase rapidly in optimal conditions and plague proportions can be reached if left unchecked. Monitoring mouse numbers can be undertaken using a number of methods as summaries below and outlined in further detail in the attached article.
Walk along a crop line and collapse all mice holes in a 100m stretch. Return each day for 2-3 days and count how many hopes have re-opened. Freshly dug soil at the entrance of a hole indicates that the hole is active, with each active hole can contain up to 40 mice.
These cards are simple to use and can provide a quick indication of numbers. Soak paper squares in canola oil and place them at 10m intervals along a transect. Check the squares the next morning for damage. If monitoring cards have been chewed, there is a high probability that mice are present and will take baits.
As long as there is available food, mice will continue to breed. To limit breeding activity, store your grain securely and apply baits around storage units. If birds of prey are remaining in the area and/or multiple sightings of mice occur during the day, it is likely you need to act now.
Imtrade Australia’s quality rodenticide, Deadmouse (Zinc-phosphide), is a reliable control option for mice. Application to susceptible areas at the first signs of mouse activity will assist in managing a rapid population increase.