The only good mouse is a dead mouse,” Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister declared this week, as New South Wales stepped up its war on mice with a plan to poison the plague infesting large parts of the state.
For months, mice have ravaged fields and infested homes in eastern Australia, from the Victoria border in the south all the way to the country’s northern state of Queensland, causing millions of dollars of damage to crops and machinery.
As winter approaches, the hungry rodents are even seeking shelter inside people’s houses, according to professional cleaner Sue Hodge.
In the small town of Canowindra, a four-hour drive west of Sydney, Hodge spends her days disposing of dead mice from traps in her clients’ homes. She cleans mouse excrement out of people’s kitchens, children’s rooms, and even their beds.
In her own home, just off the town’s main street, Hodge has blocked every nook and cranny with steel wool to stop mice from crawling in. “I can deal with mice and killing mice,” Hodge said defiantly, demonstrating how she sets the mouse traps each night. Her preference is for the snap-back model that ensures a quick death.
But the New South Wales government is looking at something far stronger.