Mouse Control

2021 GRDC Grains Research Update, online - Mouse Update

Mouse control is now a year-round activity

Until recently, explosions in mouse populations in grain-growing areas were often followed by population crashes and consecutive years of little activity and damage.

However, mice now appear to have become a more persistent problem with base populations carrying over from one year to the next, particularly in parts of the southern and northern cropping regions.

It is believed current farming systems (ie, no-till, stubble retention) could be contributing to mice becoming an annual, rather than cyclical, problem.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) recognises the enormity of the mouse problem and the severe impact it has on growers’ businesses, their families, their communities and the broader industry.

In response to the increasing prevalence of mice in many key grain-growing regions of Australia, the GRDC is injecting a further $4.1 million into mouse control research, development and extension (RD&E) initiatives.

The three key investments, to be led by CSIRO, will focus on understanding mouse ecology, biology and management, increasing surveillance, and mouse feeding preferences.

The GRDC is committed to exploring all options in an effort to provide growers with better mouse control solutions. In addition to the new investments, the GRDC continues to support a wide range of other ongoing mouse-related RD&E.

More information about the GRDC investments can be found here.

Mouse Monitoring – Latest National Report

This page provides practical information for growers and advisers and links to other useful resources.

Five quick tips for mouse control:

  • Apply broad scale zinc phosphide bait: According to the label, at the prescribed rate of 1kg/ha.
  • Apply bait at seeding or within 24 hours: While seed is still covered by soil increasing the likelihood of mice taking the bait, prior to finding the seed. Rebait through the season as needed.
  • Timing is critical: Delays of 4-5 days in baiting after seeding can give mice time to find crop seed. High populations can cause up to 5% damage each night.
  • Monitor paddocks: Check paddocks regularly and update local data using the MouseAlert website.
  • After harvest and prior to sowing – minimise sources of food and shelter: Control weeds and volunteer crops along fence lines, clean up residual grain by grazing or rolling stubbles.

Practical tips on baiting set-up

Equipment options for spreading mouse bait

Spreading mouse bait – rates and coverage

Spreading mouse bait – 12-volt spreader calibration - part 1 Adjusting the choke

Spreading mouse bait – 12-volt spreader calibration - part 2 Spreader calibration

Spreading mouse bait – Calibrating conventional linkage and trailing units

Spreading mouse bait – PPE, clean-up and storage

More information

Monitoring and baiting mice

Know your mouse numbers

When and how should I bait?

How many applications of bait are required?

Useful Resources

GRDC Research Codes

IAC00002 CSP1806-017RTX CSP1804-012RTX CSP1806-015RTX DAW1904-009RTX CSP1908-002RTX

Disclaimer: Any recommendations, suggestions or opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Grains Research and Development Corporation. No person should act on the basis of the contents of this publication without first obtaining specific, independent, professional advice. The Corporation and contributors to this publication may identify products by proprietary or trade names to help readers identify particular types of products. We do not endorse or recommend the products of any manufacturer referred to. Other products may perform as well as or better than those specifically referred to. The GRDC will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information in this publication.

Any research with unregistered pesticides or of unregistered products reported in this document does not constitute a recommendation for that particular use by the authors or the authors’ organisations. All pesticide applications must accord with the currently registered label for that particular pesticide, crop, pest and region.