QUOTE – (fill in whatever title you like)

When the mouse laughs at the cat, there’s a hole nearby.
Nigerian Proverb

Despite being told there was a mouse plague in Melbourne, I liked the whole idea of field mice living under my Rosemary potted plant, but after disposing of the 3rd dead mouse from my apartment balcony tiled floor in as many weeks, I had to take action.

I let the potted herb dry out to make it lighter in weight and then wheeled it down in the lift in my shopping trolley, though the ground floor car park and out the back ‘gate’.

THE CAR PARK ENTRANCE IN MY BUILDING IS JUST BEHIND THE MAGNOLIA BUSH ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THIS PHOTO. THERE IS A LARGE FIELD BETWEEN THE BUILDING AND FROGS HOLLOW NATURE RESERVE IN THE CENTRE OF THE IMAGE.

The field behind the building seemed to be the ideal place to empty the Rosemary pot.

I’d pulled the plant out the previous week so knew there was a ‘spiral staircase’ from the bottom of the plastic pot’s largest drainage hole right up to under the soil level where the Rosemary’s roots splay out to catch any moisture or nutrition.

The ‘spiral staircase’ starts in the lower left of the image above and rises (unseen) around the back of the soil and ending up near the base of the plant.

I gave the plant a good shake to dispose of any loose soil clinging to the root system and out popped another dead mouse.

I felt more than a little sad at destroying the tiny critter’s home.  But decided the mice just had to be removed from my 1st floor apartment balcony before any more residents on the ground and (my) first floor apartments, which are built into the steep hillside, are baited by the maintenance team who look after the housing estate’s 5-6 buildings.

Sigh!

After I removed the pot, I caught a glimpse of a Spotted Turtle-dove on the balcony fence rail and wondered if it approved.

I haven’t got any fresh bags of potting soil at the moment, so some old dried up soil remaining in another pot will have to do for re-potting.

Hopefully, I can find that old tiny bit of netting to line the Rosemary pot’s base before refilling it with soil and the Rosemary bush (to ensure no more mice make homes there).

I’ve disposed of dead birds who’ve crashed into my floor-to-ceiling lounge windows 3-4 times but this is the first time (I remember) disposing of little critters.

BIRTH.  DEATH.   IT’S THE LITTLE EVENTS THAT COME IN BETWEEN THAT OCCUPY MY DAYS.

Melbourne, we have a problem.

The city is currently in the grip of a mouse plague.

This issue has left Melbourne residents and businesses struggling to cope with this widespread rodent infestation, the likes of which have not been seen since Western Australia’s similar mouse scare in 2010. Recent reports regarding Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), an extremely dangerous disease commonly carried by rodents, has led to escalated health & safety concerns statewide.

A perfect storm involving weather, food and timing has provided the ideal conditions for a mouse population explosion.

Earlier in the year, the CSIRO issued an advanced warning to farmers, since the mice could potentially have calamitous effects on their newly sown seed. This pre-emptive action allowed farmers to take preventative measures and avoid a repeat of the devastation caused by a similar plague in 1993.

Let’s have a look at the reasons behind the current plague and discuss ways to prevent or minimise its impact on homes and businesses.

Ideal Conditions

The opening rains of the season saw the mouse population burst into action. A bumper harvest this spring exacerbated the issue, escalating the problem to another level, for obvious reasons.

Initially reaching plague numbers in country Victoria, they have since fast tracked their way down south to Melbourne. These mice can now be found in booming numbers throughout the CBD. Worse still, unusually low temperatures across the state have resulted in mice seeking shelter indoors, with inner-suburban householders and businesses regularly being overrun with these pesky pests.

 

15 thoughts on “QUOTE – (fill in whatever title you like)

  1. As it happens, I found my first rat dining at my bird feeders today. I’ve never minded the squirrels or the opposum, but where there’s one rat, there’s a multigenerational family, so action is going to be taken. I think that a first step will be a really good cleaning. Then, I can move the feeders each night into covered bins in a separate closet. We’ll see if that takes care of the problem. For a while, I didn’t have to worry because the feral cats were taking care of the mice. Of course, they were stalking the birds, too. Now, it seems as though the coyotes have dispatched the cats, so it makes sense that there would be mice or rats around. Ah, the balance of nature! If the coyotes move away, maybe we’ll get more cats! If I were on a farm, I’d just collect a few barn cats, and all would be well.

    I hope you’ve taken care of your problem. It certainly sounds more widespread there than my little annoyance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like you have a problem too, Linda.
      Something to come out of the pandemic I suppose. 95% of the city’s human population in lockdown and curfew must have meant the city streets are a blank ‘dance floor’ for the mice.

      I’ve only seen a field mouse once in the area in the 4 1/2 years I’ve lived in the western suburbs.

      Like

  2. Wow, so biblical! First the pandemic, now mice, geez! More cats needed. 🙂
    I’m impressed with the way you handled your rosemary plant, no stinkin’ mouse is going to get the better of you. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My brother didn’t believe that a mouse could have made it a home until I emailed him a photo of the mouse’s nose poking out of the plastic pot’s drainage hole 😀

      Like

    1. A surprising amount of damage. Earlier today I watched a news clip showing the damage to crops in New South Wales (north of my state of Victoria).

      Nothing to do with mice, but I also saw a news item suggesting a lot of our fresh foods will disappear off the supermarket shelves because we’ve got no backpackers or overseas workers to pick the crops. Australia has some of the most expensive fresh food in the world anyway…… strangely. The Government are bringing in 800+ workers, but the farmers actually need 8000 workers. Our quarantine rules are very, very strict at the moment, but at least they’re keeping the virus out.

      Maybe I’d better get my balcony garden re-set up before next Spring (as planned). I still can’t carry much weight so I’ll have to raise it up and carry lighter watering cans I suppose.

      We’re had quite a lot of rain lately and of course, if you’ve seen the international news, the north-eastern coast is flooded and parts of Sydney are being evacuated. Earthquake in Japan and severe dust storm in Mongolia are just some of the severe weather the world is experiencing that I’ve read about in the last 24-36 hours.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My younger brother never believed that a mouse could fit through that small hole, but I knew from the changes to the mounds of earth that some little critter was going in and out of the plastic pot each day. I kept sweeping it up and the next day the pile of dirt would be back again.

      Liked by 1 person

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