Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Australia mouse plague: Family’s home burns down after rodents chew through wires

‘They crawl over the kids at night. They wake up, they are in our shoes’

Joe Middleton
Thursday 27 May 2021 10:29 BST
Mice ‘rain from sky’ in Australia as rodent plague continue

A family has been given a brand new house after theirs was burnt to the ground when a mischief of mice chewed through electrical wires in the roof and caused a fire.

The blaze engulfed the property in Gwabegar, New South Wales, and left Rebekah Ward and her young family without anywhere to live, as reported by MailOnline.

Ms Ward said the mouse infestation, that has plagued eastern Australia in recent months, has been so bad that her sons John, 12, Charlie, nine, and Oliver, seven, have all been bitten by rodents.

She told The Today Show: “They crawl over the kids at night. They wake up, they are in our shoes, they are on our benches, they are everywhere,' she said.

“They eat the food. We've had to put the food into a toolbox. They come through the lounge. They will bite you on the back.”

The community have rallied round and supported the mother-of-three and her young family by giving them food and also providing them with a new home.

Ms Ward added: “We can start again and get back on our feet and not stress for three months and work out what we're gonna do.”

“It's a roof over the boys. We can get back to normality and get the boys back into school.”

New South Wales and other hotspots in eastern Australia are currently in the grip of a mouse plague causing chaos for the regions farmers as the rodents eat crops and break their way into grain silos.

There are multiple reports of people being bitten in hospitals and of farmers keeping the legs of their beds in buckets of water to prevent mice biting them while they sleep.

Videos posted on social media have highlighted the sheer magnitude of the problem with thousands of mice seen scurrying around farms, swarming roofs and invading storage where grain is kept.

Xavier Martin, a grain farmer from the Liverpool Plains of New South Wales, discussed the situation on BBC’s Radio 4’s Today Programme on Wednesday.

He said: “As they run out of food and cannibalise each other they do decline but in other places they are just absolutely exploding and it’s not thousands it’s billions.”

“In my family farm we put out two billion baits mainly by aircraft, and we are only moderate sized farmers and they are all gone, the baits have all been all taken.”

The government has lodged an emergency permit to grant the use of a poison called bromadiolone to help deal with the issue.

However environmentalists have warned that the poison could also harm other animals, such as eagles, that eat mice.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in