Coonabarabran, NSW: Mouse seen sitting on cat's head as scale of Australia's mouse plague exposed

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The scale of the mouse plague gripping regional Australian towns has been laid bare by footage of a rodent clinging to the fur of a sunbathing cat.

The mouse was pictured perching on the cat’s forehead as he laid down on a ledge in Coonabarabran in New South Wales’ central west on April 25.

‘Quick look up – he’s on your head. Get the mouse,’ a voice can be heard urging the cat from behind the camera.

Farmers in northern parts of the state and southern Queensland have battled plagues of mice in recent months, complaining that they are ravaging crops and spread potentially fatal bacterial diseases.

The owner of the cat said the feline had been chasing mice endlessly in recent weeks and vomited up three whole mice in a single evening.

Australia's regional mouse plague is so widespread even the nation's cats have been overrun by the tiny creatures. Pictured a cat with a mouse on his head in Coonabarabran in NSW's central west

Mojo recently vomited up three whole mice in a single evening, his owner said

Australia’s regional mouse plague is so widespread even the nation’s cats have been overrun by the tiny creatures. Pictured a cat with a mouse on his head in Coonabarabran in NSW’s central west

‘This day he was enjoying the sunshine on the front step when my partner hung a mouse in front of his face for a reaction, but nothing,’ the owner said.

‘Then he dragged it in front of him waiting for a playful strike, and nothing.’

The owner told how Mojo seemed undisturbed even when the mouse was placed on his head.

‘He couldn’t care less,’ the owner said. ‘Obviously, he had a big night and was completely over them by this point.’

Countless rural properties have become overrun with mice in the wake of heavy floods and record-breaking rainfall across Australia’s east coast. 

The cat’s nonplussed response comes just a day after it emerged Australians in one rural town were spreading peanut butter onto bin lids in a desperate attempt to kill the masses of rodents.

A fed up woman in Tamworth, in northern NSW, explained she had bought a bin with a swinging lid to use as a cheap alternative to a mouse trap after struggling to find one in stores. 

She said when the mice crawled onto the lid to taste the peanut butter they would fall down inside the bin, which she would then fill with water to drown them. 

Louise Hennessy, a resident of Elong Elong in the New South Wales central west, posted this photo to social media of dead mice in the filter of her tank that supplies her property's drinking water

Louise Hennessy, a resident of Elong Elong in the New South Wales central west, posted this photo to social media of dead mice in the filter of her tank that supplies her property’s drinking water

‘I have the bin in the corner of two brick walls so the mice have been climbing up the bricks to get to the top of the bin but if that’s not an option I’d suggest some kind of ramp for them to climb up,’ the woman wrote on Facebook.

The grim method was quickly picked up by other rural residents in NSW who struggled to find a real mouse trap, with many admitting it was slowly ridding their homes of the unwanted guests.

The rodents have caused headaches for farmers trying to protect their crops. 

In March, paramedic Louise Hennessy discovered close to a dozen rodents dead in a rural resident’s water tank which supplies drinking water to locals.

Dead mice are seen at a property in Coonamble in central west NSW on February 2

Dead mice are seen at a property in Coonamble in central west NSW on February 2

She uncovered the ‘horrifying’ sight at Elong Elong, in the New South Wales central west region, where mice have been ravaging food crops. 

Ms Hennessey posted an image of the dead mice and clumps of fur tangled in the filter to social media as health authorities begged residents to take precautions to protect themselves against the potentially fatal disease leptospirosis. 

The disease is spread from animals to humans by bacteria found in infected animal urine and tissues and is most commonly reported in Australia when the country is in the grips of a mouse plague.   

In Coonamble, about two hours north of Dubbo in central western NSW, resident Anne Cullen said mice were running rampant across the town as recently as March – and she even woke up with a rodent in her hair one morning. 

‘It’s terrible. It’s unbelievable. I came home after a couple of nights away staying down in Dubbo with my daughter, and I went into the house, there were just mice running everywhere,’ she told the Today show.

‘They have eaten my clothes. They have gotten into my wardrobe. There are holes in the couches. They are eating everything.’ 

Ben Storer filmed the mice as he drove through the horde in a ute on his family farm in Warren in central northern NSW two weeks ago

The video showed mice running in all directions, surrounding a barn and crawling all over a surface drill.

In early February, Ben Storer filmed the mice as he drove through the horde in a ute on his family farm in Warren in central northern NSW (pictured) 

She said farmers in the town were having to burn crops that weren’t safely stored in silos because of contamination.  

In early February Ben Storer filmed a wave of the mice as he drove through them in a ute on his family farm in Warren, NSW.

The video showed mice running in all directions, surrounding an empty grain shed and crawling over a surface drill.

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