A quiet mouse plague is going on in Queensland's Darling Downs and the north of New South Wales. I haven't seen any media attention as yet, but a massive amount of bait is getting hauled north to cope with big mouse numbers. I drove west from Brisbane a couple of weeks ago and the country was looking magnificent, probably the best season in the last decade. It would be terrible if mice took out crops only weeks away from harvest.
It's quite a while since we've experienced a major mouse plague. Northern mice plagues don't tend to get to the incredible densities of those in the west of NSW or the Mallee, but the Darling Downs actually has them with more regularity than the south.
Those that live through a serious mouse plague tend to remember it for life. When I've taken them into an animal house, they might shudder at the smell of mice, for example. Our memory seems to lock in smells that bring back emotions associated with particular events, places or people.
Let's hope that those experiencing this mouse plague are able to get on top of it with early, intense baiting. Maybe then it won't be an event they remember for life.