A catch of more than 500 mice in one night has stunned a NSW Central West man who says he doesn't seem to be "winning the battle".
Bradley Wilshire, of Dubbo, set home-made "bucket traps" to control the rodents that invaded his property on the outskirts of the city, damaging assets and fouling the environment.
He said one night's catch of 220 dead mice then more than doubled a couple of nights later to "easily 500 plus".
From 12 bucket traps the Firgrove Estate resident ended up with a massive clump of dead mice when they were emptied in a fishing landing net, which he photographed.
Despite ridding the property of so many mice in one go, Mr Wilshire doesn't think the job's done yet.
"I don't seem to be winning, like I said a couple of nights ago it was only 200 plus, now it's easily 500 plus there," he said.
"It just seems to be getting more intense, it just doesn't seem to be letting up.
"I'm sure if I put more traps out, I'd just catch more.
"It doesn't seem that I'm winning the battle, anyway."
IN OTHER NEWS:
The born and bred Dubbo resident said mice had already damaged the ducting of his reverse-cycle air conditioner, which he estimated could cost him at least $1000.
They had also moved into his son's vintage Holden.
The family also had to put up with "constant chewing noises and movement in the roof".
Lack of sleep, they sound like kangaroos up in the roof, to tell the truth.Firgrove Estate resident Bradley Wilshire
"Lack of sleep, they sound like kangaroos up in the roof, to tell the truth," Mr Wilshire said.
Through the shed, there was "mouse poo everywhere", and while they had been able to control them inside the house, around the house outside there was also "mouse poo everywhere", he said.
"My wife, she's fed up, she's over it, and the whole family is sick of coming home to a smelly house and we open up all the windows," he said.
#Mice numbers are exploding in many parts of NSW. Haystacks are being destroyed, silos invaded, winter crop sowing is at risk and there is a human health impact. @NSWFarmers is calling for action👉https://t.co/c17hSFMiVG#nswfarmers#miceplaguepic.twitter.com/2HH8YnnqJM— NSW Young Farmers (@NSWYF) March 16, 2021
But Mr Wilshire said they were "lucky" because they were only trying to look after their house.
"There's people trying to look after their livelihoods," he said.
When the household first noticed an increase in mice, they tried conventional traps, but it was not enough to keep on top of the problem, so they turned to baits.
"I think I've spent around $450 to $500 on baits and bait stations," Mr Wilshire said.
I've got a kelpie, his name's Ted, he shows no mercy and he's doing his bit to kill as many as he can, but he can't keep up either.Firgrove resident Bradley Wilshire
"I've got a kelpie, his name's Ted, he shows no mercy and he's doing his bit to kill as many as he can, but he can't keep up either.
"And there's a concern about the baits and our beloved dog, we don't want him getting hurt, so I moved on to bucket traps."
It was a neighbour who helpfully shared the idea.
"It was a pretty simple design so we knocked out a lot and we gave them out to all the neighbours, and I've got 12 at my property," Mr Wilshire said.
"...there's the smell of death from the baits, so that's another reason to give up the baits."
Mr Wilshire described the design, saying he was able to source a quantity of buckets, no longer needed at his work.
"It's just a self-tapper screw either side and a bit of electrical conduit, light tubing, I suppose you could use any sort of tubing," he said.
"Then I use a bit of scrap timber from a scrap wooden pallet and I make like a walkway.
"The mice can walk up it, they get on to the conduit and the conduit has peanut butter all around it, and they lose their balance on the conduit and fall into the water.
"I think it's probably the most humane way to kill them actually because I imagine bait would be cruel."