Mouse numbers low but need for vigilance is high in SA
South Australian grain growers are being encouraged to remain vigilant for mice as their winter crops mature. Pest monitoring and management authorities warn that mice can cause damage to booting heads and maturing plants, so growers should keep a close eye on their crops as they develop grain. Mouse activity was moderate on Yorke Peninsula during July but relatively low elsewhere in SA.
Dr Peter Brown from CSIRO says that mouse abundance is generally low at the end of winter, but now that the breeding season has started, mouse numbers will increase through spring and into summer. “In South Australia, mouse abundance is generally low but growers on Yorke Peninsula in particular should be vigilant as crops mature and mouse damage can more readily be seen,” said Dr Brown, who is involved in mouse-monitoring programs funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) in collaboration with Landcare Research New Zealand, CSIRO and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries through the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IACRC).
Dr Brown encourages growers to continue to report the presence and absence of mice on their farms via MouseAlert using a smart phone, tablet or computer, and to check what other mouse activity is being reported locally and regionally. The FeralScan app which features MouseAlert is available from the App Store or iTunes. Mouse monitoring progress can be followed on Twitter @MouseAlert.
More information on methods of mouse control:
- GRDC Mouse Control - Minimising crop damage by mice Fact Sheet
- GRDC Mouse Control Western Fact Sheet
- GRDC Mice Hot Topic
- PestSmart Connect toolkit
For further information
Dr Peter Brown, CSIRO
02 6246 4086
Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
Caption: Mallala (SA) grain grower Richard Konzag using the MouseAlert app.