Mouse Plague: How Rural Residents Are Using Data to Outsmart Swarms of Rodents

Rural areas on the East Coast of Australia are being ravaged by a mouse plague, the scale of which feels almost biblical. “They’re everywhere,” says Jackie Coe from Dunedoo in the beautiful Warrumbungle shire of NSW. “We’ve never seen anything like this.”

With mice invading properties in epic numbers, some residents are forsaking traditional methods like poisonous baits and steel traps for SMART Digital Pest Control – an intelligent system which uses data and non-toxic methods to trap rodents. Monitoring the premises 24/7, it’s catching mice in huge numbers.


Mice Cause Havoc for Grocers, Residents and Farmers

Jackie runs a coffee shop out of the converted dining room of the picturesque heritage pub in Dunedoo, as well as a B & B cottage. “My biggest frustration is losing stock. The other day they got into our veggie garden and ruined all the corn. I can only imagine what the big supermarkets and farmers are experiencing.”

The mice have been swarming for the past couple of months, triggered by a confluence of unique conditions. The switch from last year’s drought to a season of regular rain – plus an unusually large grain harvest – has provided rodents with ideal breeding grounds. The mice are causing havoc for grocers and residents, plus farmers who are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of harvest.

Alan Brown, a farmer in Wagga Wagga told The Guardian that “rats are at a nuisance level, but the mice are in plague proportions, particularly in the north and west and south-west of the state. They are causing serious problems now with people getting bitten.”

Jackie says she’s heard similar stories; particularly of one woman with a disability in Dunedoo suffering distress as mice have bitten her feet. They’re being found floating en masse in swimming pools or in skimmer boxes.


SMART Solutions Remove the Risk of Secondary Poisoning

People have been using traditional methods to try and catch the mice, such as steel traps and poisonous baits. Unfortunately, both methods can be problematic thanks to the secondary risks they pose to children and pets.

“We once had a cocker spaniel that died after eating several dead mice that had been poisoned by rodent baits,” says Jackie. “We’ve got lots of pets, including chickens, so we don’t want to take risks. I also saw someone had put down sachets of Ratsak in the park, which is dangerous.”

The risk of secondary poisoning is particularly acute for farms and food businesses. Jackie has taken another method, installing Flick Pest Control’s SMART boxes in her home, B&B cottage and the coffee shop.

SMART is an intelligent system which uses data instead of poison to monitor for rodents, before trapping them with a non-toxic attractant. Flick monitors the system remotely, providing reports and adjusting the solution accordingly. It’s a method that’s particularly effective for large-scale areas or commercial warehouses and farms.

“It’s very effective, fantastic really,” says Jackie. “The boxes are easy to relocate and empty – although that’s not pleasant! We’ve caught 250 in the last month.”

As Australia’s leading pest control business, Flick has a nationwide presence. For more information on SMART and how we’re helping to fight the mouse plague contact:

Kevin Saul

Branch Manager, Flick Dubbo

0417 231 067


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