AN Aussie farmer has compared a recent mouse plague to "trying to control Covid on a cruise ship" as the country faces its worst infestation in 30 years.
Mick Harris' 2,500-acre farm in New South Wales is one of thousands being deluged by mice in the worst scourge in living memory.
The 35-year-old farming consultant worries a current lull in numbers means the mice are regrouping ahead of the Spring planting season.
"It’s like trying to control Covid on a cruise ship," he put it.
"If some cabins are contaminated, it’s going to keep spreading from one to the other.
"It’s the same with paddocks: if you only do one paddock here and there, they’ll just spread again."
As the Australian winter sets in, home and car owners have been forced to deal with rats and mice looking for warmer places to live.
They've eaten through electrical wires, which sparked a house fire in Narrabri, New South Wales, while cars have been damaged.
Many have resorted to putting the legs of their beds and tables into buckets of water to stop mice crawling up.
Meanwhile, a recent cold snap has made the indoors a primary target.
"At this time of year, with the heating systems on, the smell of hot mouse urine and faeces is pretty repulsive," one senior official from the New South Wales Farmer's Association described.
Just last week, a farmer's wife was rushed to hospital after a mouse chewed her eyeball while she slept.
Mick and his family have also been attacked.
He recounted how one morning he was rudely awoken by a mouse clamouring over his face.
"I felt a tickly, furry sensation as it crawled from behind my ear across my cheek," he said.
"It made my skin crawl. My hair stood up and I jumped out of bed. For the rest of the night I didn’t sleep a wink — until I caught the mouse in a trap under the bed."
In February, his wife Tina had been sleeping with her hand underneath the pillow when she felt something nibbling her wedding ring finger.
"She was horrified,” he said. "We’ve got two young kids. It does make you worry that when they wake up crying it’s because they have a mouse in their bed."
The outbreak is the worst the Lucky Country has experienced in over three decades as mice blight farms across Queensland, Victoria, and South Australia, racking up a predicted £550million in damages to crops.
Farming animals and marine life are gorging on the plethora of excess food with farmers citing mice being found in the digestion systems of local fish.
Meanwhile, the population of highly lethal venomous snakes are also on the rise.
Experts claim a drought in the southeastern state of New South Wales followed by a wet summer led to a bumper harvest of wheat, barley, and rapeseed, providing the perfect conditions for mice to flourish.
Farmers are pressuring the Australian Government to declare a natural disaster so they can claim insurance.
The government of New South Wales has set up an emergency fund for distressed farmers.
It's also seeking approval from regulators to allow the use of a napalm-like substance called briomadiolone.
Briomadiolone is lethal to most livestock and farm animals.
It's understood mice have also begun eating each other.
Tens of millions of rampaging mice have sparked horrific outbreaks stretching 1,000km from Brisbane down to Melbourne and tormented farming communities for nearly a year.
Animal rights activists are trying to stop farmers from killing the mice.
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