According to Pestsmart, a service provided by the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, high populations of mice have been detected in recent surveys.
The Pestsmart survey results showed mouse abundance is high in the Mallee in South Australia and moderate in the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas.
Mouse abundance for the Victorian Mallee and Wimmera is listed as moderate to high and estimates of 300 mice/ha were very high for this time of year, according to Pestsmart.
Pestsmart recommends growers should actively monitor mouse activity (with mouse chew cards or active burrow counts) and take walks through paddocks.
If mouse populations are high, there are several steps which can be taken to try to reduce the impact of mice activity:
1. Reduce grain residues in stubbles by grazing, prickle chaining, small disk chaining and speed tilling if applicable to a cropping system. Baiting will be more effective when little alternative food source is available.
2. Consider application of zinc phosphide bait now and/or at sowing (within 24 hours of sowing/seeding).
3. Manage over as large an area as possible to reduce the chance of re-invasion.
* Communicate with your local bait supplier to understand supply time-frames.
* Please report and map mouse activity using MouseAlert (www.mousealert.org.au) so other growers can see what mouse activity is being observed in their neighbourhood. Follow on twitter using @MouseAlert.
Pestsmart says mouse abundance is also moderate across southern Western Australia (Ravensthorpe and Esperance areas), the North Adelaide Plains (SA), southern, central and northern NSW and the Darling Downs in Queensland.
Mice have continued to breed through summer and will reach a peak in abundance in early autumn (coinciding with sowing).
Growers should remain vigilant and act accordingly if damage is likely. Because of patchy activity between paddocks, growers are advised to monitor across multiple paddocks to gauge mouse numbers and inform their management decisions. Please continue to report activity on MouseAlert www.mousealert.org.au.