NSW mice monitoring tool

Local Land Services has worked with Cotton Info to develop a mouse monitoring tool, which can help you make better-informed management decisions.

To work effectively, we need you to use mouse chew cards and record your results by filling out a quick online form. The results are then fed into the online dashboard below to help track when populations are increasing in your area.

View the dashboard in full screen.

What we need you to do

Put out some Mouse Chew Cards once a week

We have decided to use mouse chew cards so we have objective data and so the method of monitoring is consistent between the farms.

The GRDC has produced a chew card template that can be downloaded on their website.

Check cards the next day and send in results

Retrieve your chew cards and assess the damage. Then fill out the quick form that requires some basic information on mouse activity, crop type and damage.

Repeat each week

This system is only as accurate as the information that is provided, which is why we are encouraging landholders across the state to regularly engage with this new tool, so it is as useful as possible.

Instructions for using mouse chew cards

Chew cards are set out overnight and the proportion of the card that has been chewed by mice is recorded when it is collected the following day.

How to use chew cards: 

  1. Pre-soak the cards in canola oil (for about 10–15 minutes) and ensure you have enough fasteners; bent wire pegs or long bamboo skewers are the best.
  1. Select one or two paddocks that are representative of the farm.
  • Research has found that mouse outbreaks are very dependent on paddock history.  They love barley stubble.  Where there is more food and more shelter you will see more mice.
  • Also, a risk of higher numbers where there has been significant grain loss prior to or during harvest.
  • Don’t forget your pastures, they can be in there too. You could monitor crops adjacent to pastures.
  1. Place the chew cards approximately 30 m in from the edge of the paddock. Peg each chew card to the ground in a line of 10 cards spaced at 1 card every 10 m. Follow the furrows to make it easier to find the cards again the next morning.
  1. While walking through the paddock, look for signs of fresh mouse activity or damage.
  1. Retrieve the chew cards the following morning and assess for evidence of mouse damage by averaging the damage across the 10 cards and send in the results using the online form.

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