Baiting mice vital

Staff reporterMidwest Times

Mid West grain growers are being urged to assess mouse numbers on their properties amid high numbers being reported in the Geraldton port zone.

The pest can pose a risk to crops at sowing and has been reported in areas including Binnu, Mullewa and Ogilvie. But mice could also be present at damaging levels in other areas.

CSIRO researcher Steve Henry said mouse numbers could vary across a region and their activity could be hidden in heavy crop stubble.

“It’s important that, in the lead-up to seeding, growers get out of their vehicles to assess mouse activity,” he said.

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“Walk about 30m in from the edge of the paddock and set a 100m by 1m wide transect, following the furrows, and record the number of mouse burrows that look active. Repeat this across two to four transects in larger paddocks.”

Mouse hole in stubble.
Camera IconMouse hole in stubble.

Mr Henry said an average of one burrow per 100sqm would indicate there were about 100 burrows per hectare.

“Assuming there are about two mice per burrow, growers should consider baiting because the threshold for economic damage at sowing is 200 mice per hectare,” he said.

Report and map mouse presence via the MouseAlert website.

More at GRDC’s Better Mouse Management Tip and Tactics fact sheet.

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