Reporting mouse numbers

Farmers have been encourage to monitor mouse numbers ahead of winter. Photo: CSIRO

Grain growers across Australia are being urged to check their paddocks and record mouse numbers activity as part of a campaign aimed at early detection and effective control ahead of this year’s winter crop.

Concerns about increasing mouse numbers was a hot topic of discussion at the latest meeting of the National Mouse Group (NMG).

NMG is a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investment, developed to coordinate action to counter mouse plagues, made up of specialist researchers, grain growers, advisers and industry stakeholders.

GRDC supported mouse researcher Steve Henry has encouraged growers to monitor and log mouse activity this season on the MouseAlert website.

Mr Henry said monitoring also had a key role in providing organisations with a more comprehensive understanding of mouse activity, which could assist in research that informed and improved management strategies for growers.

“We are urging growers to get out of their utes and check their paddocks,” he said.

“Even if you think mouse numbers may be low, get out, walk through paddocks and look closely for any signs of current mouse activity.

“High stubble loads can hide the signs of mouse activity.

“While mouse numbers varied across cropping zones, if present in high numbers, they could have devastating impacts on crops being sown in the coming months.”

If left unchecked, a mouse population can quickly escalate and result in crop loss, reduced yields, and increased costs associated with pest control measures.

In addition to eating crops, mice can also damage farming infrastructure like irrigation systems and buildings.

While correct use of bait products is critical, GRDC pest manager Leigh Nelson said chemical control was only one part of the solution.

“It’s not just about putting the bait out and hoping for the best, growers need to continue checking paddocks, assess the situation and decide if additional actions are necessary,” Dr Nelson said.

“Safety is also a key concern, particularly when handling bait.

“Growers should take care when transferring bait from bulk bags to spreaders to avoid spills and ensure the safety of all involved.”

For more information on mouse monitoring, visit, or