Mouse Plague: How to Claim the NSW Mouse Control Support Package

mouse plague nsw government

It’s been a trying year and a bit for regional New South Wales, from bushfires to COVID, flood disasters and now the mouse plague.

It may sound peculiar, or even biblical, but the toll that this plague of mice is having is astronomical, on several levels — environmental, economical, and mental. The mental health impacts this year’s mouse plague is having has been likened to those who live through natural disasters.

The mice are chewing through the roof and cavities of buildings, cars, machinery. When starving they’ll eat live cattle. They’re clogging up heaters and fridges; they’re destroying grain harvests — people’s livelihoods. One rural reporter recently posted a video of it “raining mice.”

When asked how those who are not in the area can help, associate professor from the School of Psychology at Charles Sturt University, Dr Gene Hodgins, suggested “advocating for the government to provide financial support for bait.”

It seems that the NSW state government has listened to this plea, announcing a new $50 million package called the ‘Mouse Control Program’, on May 13.

What is the Mouse Control Program?

The Mouse Control Program offers a $500 rebate for eligible households, $1,000 rebate for eligible small businesses, and free mice bait (grain treatment) for farmers.

Expert workshops will be held, both online and in small towns, and according to the Western Advocate, the NSW Department of Primary Industries will also launch a body of research to identify and potentially develop future tools to combat mice plagues, including biological controls.

ABC Rural reporter, Lucy Thackray, Tweeted that bromadiolone — usually an illegal poison — has been made legal for use. NSW Agriculture Minister, Adam Marshall, compares it to “napalming”. According to Marshall, it’s the strongest mouse poison in the world and will kill mice in 24 hours.

Who can get rebates and mice bait from the Mouse Control Program?

Currently, as of May 13, the dedicated NSW Government web page has no information, but states that it will be “available soon.”

What are the mouse control workshops?

This is one area where the NSW Government has provided more thorough information. According to the site, a free statewide webinar on “mouse management” that offers “practical strategies for reducing mice numbers” is happening on Friday, May 14, from 12pm to 2pm. CSIRO researcher, Steve Henry, will be presenting and you can register online here.

Mice control workshops, also presented by Henry — who is Australia’s leading mouse expert — will be held across the Central West, North West, Central Tablelands and Riverina up until May 26. The workshops will cover “practical strategies to reduce mice numbers leading up to sowing, protecting crops during sowing and controlling in crop mouse numbers.” You can book online, or access tickets at a location near you, by following this link.

For more information about the mouse plague, including information on the Mouse Control Program, visit NSW Government’s Mouse Control Program page right here.

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