RESIDENTS in Adelaide’s south are battling plagues of mice, brought on by our wettest summer in 80 years.
Pest experts say mice populations in some areas are “astronomical” because wet weather has provided them with plenty of food.
Murray Pest Control area manager Mark Shuttleworth, who works on the Fleurieu Peninsula, said the company was running short of mouse bait.
“This is a bad year for mice,” Mr Shuttleworth said.
“We would get a dozen calls a week about mice and I’ve noticed hardware stores have sold out of mouse traps but all we can really do is bait and kill as many as possible.
“It’s in the very early stages but we are preparing for a big season and there is every indication of that happening. The populations in rural areas are astronomical.”
Mr Shuttleworth said peanut butter was a popular way of catching mice, as well as sealing vents around homes with fly wire.
Residents from Reynella, Clarendon, Happy Valley, Trott Park, Woodcroft and O’Halloran Hill have been sharing their vermin stories on social media.
Natika Sharp, 24, said she had been catching up to five mice a night for the past two months at her Reynella home.
“I posted on my Facebook wall and it seems to be an infestation across the whole Onkaparinga Council area,” Ms Sharp said.
“I’ve had people report from Clarendon, Happy Valley, Trott Park, Woodcroft and O’Halloran Hill.”
Ms Sharp said the mice had made their way into her washing machine and dishwasher, making them hard to catch.
“It’s getting frustrating too because it’s starting to affect my major appliances because the mice are eating the cords and they’ve eaten the insulation in the dishwasher,” she said.
“So we can’t really catch them — we have to wait for them to come out.”
Other people commented on Ms Sharp’s post, saying they were “everywhere in Clarendon, Happy Valley and Trott Park”.
“We had a huge issue with them a couple of months ago and eventually had to get pest control to come in and put in bait that our dog couldn’t get,” Tamyka Vendrasco said.
Burniese Boomingdale wrote the “little buggers are everywhere”.
BioSecurity SA senior research officer Greg Mutze said it was usual for populations to peak at this time of the year.
Mr Mutze said there was more food around because of the wet weather.
“Populations increase late spring, summer and autumn as they breed and produce young, which also start breeding,” Mr Mutze said.
“Mice are small animals but have high energy demands to stay warm, as the temperature gets colder it exposes them to a need of more food.
“There was more rain last spring and summer there will be more mice in the metro area because of local populations.”
Onkaparinga Council’s corporate services director Alison Hancock said the council urged residents to pest-proof their properties.
“In addition, there are a wide range of commercial products available from supermarkets and hardware stores to help deal with mice issues in the home,” Ms Hancock said.