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Mouse chew cards test populations in grain growers' paddocks

NSW Farmers are being urged to check for signs of mouse activity and crop damage to determine the future severity of the plague.


CSIRO researchers said cold and wet weather may have reduced mouse populations, but it is critical to monitor paddocks regularly and be ready to bait in the lead up to spring.


Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) are working closely with CSIRO and hold concerns for the upcoming growing season.


“Once mouse numbers are very high, it is very difficult to reduce damage and control strategies can be costly” said a GRCD spokesperson.


GRDC have produced “mouse chew cards” to test mouse populations in grain growers’ paddocks.


“Mouse chew cards are a simple and effective technique that can help show if mouse numbers are increasing in your paddocks”.


The chew cards work by printing off a sheet of paper, cutting the cards out and soaking them in canola or linseed oil. The laced cards are then placed into a few paddocks and left alone overnight to monitor fresh mouse activity.


The next step is to retrieve the chew cards and assess for evidence of mouse damage:

If <10 squares per card are eaten = low-moderate mouse activity. „ If >10 squares per card are eaten overnight (on average across the 10 cards) = moderate to high mouse activity, with possibility of some damage.


If >20 squares per card are consumed (on average across the 10 cards) = high to very high mouse activity, damage is likely and an ongoing mouse problem is present.


You can access your mouse chew cards for free off the GRDC website, or by accessing this link:


https://grdc.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/307961/Mouse_card_A4web_compressed.pdf