Rural communities in the Australian state of New South Wales are experiencing the worst rodent infestation in decades, with thousands of mice invading homes and farms. This pest comes amid the high rates of grain harvest, according to Reuters.
Numerous videos and photos are posted on networks that reveal the scale of the crisis caused by these pests, which destroy crops and store hay. The infection is exacerbated by the odor spread by both live rodents and their rotting carcasses.
“Sometimes we don’t want to go in the morning (to the store). They stink and die and it’s impossible to find all the bodies … Some nights we pick up more than 400 or 500 (specimens),” the Guardian quotes Nav Singh, a shopkeeper in Dubbo , Who has to empty traps full of rodents, as well as sweep their excrement and dispose of products that have touched the animals before opening the shop.
Meanwhile, at least three people have gone to hospitals after being bitten by mice, and the same type of accident has been reported among several other residents, ABC says.
Australian farmers are urging state authorities to take emergency measures to deal with the pest, as massive bait programs have not had much success. Thus, James Jackson, president of New South Wales Farmers, has called for livestock keepers to be allowed to use the deadly rodenticide known as zinc phosphide to kill pests.
In addition, the victims seek financial support to overcome the prohibitive consequences of this struggle.
Adam Marshall, the state’s Secretary of Agriculture, said he still didn’t know what was the most effective way to contain the outbreak. “I met repeatedly with farmers in New South Wales to discuss this, and in our last meeting there was no clear proposal on how to tackle the problem,” the official said.