Rain has "checked" but not "wiped" out mouse populations in the region, says an expert who's warning there's no cause for complacency in efforts to control the pests.
CSIRO scientist Steve Henry has urged landholders to remain vigilant and says predicting the end of the plague is impossible because there are too many variables.
Mr Henry visited the region in the lead-up to Easter to deliver workshops tofarmers who have spent months battling the rodents.
Mice have destroyed some summer crops, stored grain and hay, and invaded houses and businesses, and even bitten three patients in health facilities.
Mr Henry said he hadn't been sure what he would find in the region, after wet weather in March.
"... our suspicion was the rain would have set the population back, but not got rid of it completely," he said.
...farmers were saying they thought the rain had checked the [mouse] population, but not wiped it out.Steve Henry
"And that was pretty much confirmed from discussions with the farming groups.
"I think we averaged about 30 people at each of the presentations I gave, and pretty consistently farmers were saying they thought the rain had checked the population, but not wiped it out.
"And that, particularly in pastures, there were still plenty of mice in areas where they had pastures."
Mr Henry gave presentations at Collie, Armatree, Coonamble, Burren Junction, Walgett, Baradine and Tooraweenah - some of the districts at the centre of the plague that's come after last year's bumper harvest.
He reported seeing "numbers of mice running across the road" on the outskirts of Gilgandra.
At Walgett there was water lying on some paddocks, but he said it would only have wiped out one generation, and the mice were still there.
Mr Henry's message to farmers was to continue to monitor mice in their stubbles in the lead-up to sowing and be prepared to bait.
"But then also continue to monitor after they sowed the crop, because as mice deplete food in the pastures, there's a chance they'll move out of the pastures into the developing crops," he said.
The researcher said it was a crucial time.
"There's no cause for complacency at the moment, they need to keep monitoring, and they need to know what's going on so they're prepared to deal with them," Mr Henry said.
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