If the Pixar movie Ratatouille strengthened your fear of mice and killed your appetite, you may want to stop reading. Australia is experiencing one of its worst mouse plagues in years, and there doesn’t seem to be an effective way to stop it.
Reuters reports that parts of rural Australia—most of them located in New South Wales—are experiencing a devastating plague of mice. According to multiple outlets, both local and international, it is one of the worst mouse plagues in decades, one that has local farmers extremely concerned. Many residents have expressed their hope that heavy rain will drown the mice and quickly put an end to the infestation. Attempts to mitigate the growing problem have largely been unsuccessful, leaving it to Mother Nature to help stop the infestation.
Gilgandra, a rural town with a population of just over 3,000, was hit hard by the plague. Ron McKay, a local farmer, said, “At night… the ground is just moving with thousands and thousands of mice just running around.” Outlets have posted videos that match this description. Watch the nightmare unfold below.
If you know anything about Australia, you know that the continent is no stranger to weird phenomena, so billions of mice invading homes and towns likely isn’t the strangest thing locals have experienced. Especially if they have lived in the area for a while. Still, that is one breathtaking pest problem, one that threatens the health and safety of countless residents and significantly hurts crop yields.
But according to many residents, the problem covers pretty much every inch of their lives. Cupboards, closets, and other spaces in which you never want to find these pests have recently become home to thousands of wild mice, and people are understandably sick of it.
But as alarming as this is, mice plagues aren’t a new problem in Australia. In fact, Australia and China are two examples of countries prone to such plagues. European colonists introduced wild mice to Australia in 1788, and a number of outbreaks similar to this one have happened in the centuries since their release. Think about that for a second. That’s hundreds of years of mice causing problems for residents of the continent. Hundreds of years of grain silos being invaded, bales of hay being decimated, etc.
If you have seen videos of the mouse infestation, you know how bad it has gotten and how likely it is that it will get even worse. It really puts things into perspective for Americans, honestly. The natural phenomena going on stateside are nothing compared to the craziness constantly on full display in Australia. The best we can do against a mouse plague is a bunch of reported UFO sightings, and even that is not confirmed. That is just hearsay. People in Australia, however, don’t have the luxury of doubting their current predicament.
The residents of Gilgandra and other parts of New South Wales can assure you that the threat—and numerous inconveniences—posed by these mice are absolutely real, and are making life unnecessarily difficult for countless people. Hopefully, the problem subsides sooner rather than later.