Control 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 (i.e., no-till, stubble retention) could be contributing to mice becoming an annual, rather than cyclical, problem.
- Apply broad scale zinc phosphide bait: According to the label, at the prescribed rate.
- 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.
More information: Tips and tactics: Better mouse management.
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