The uncontrolled influx of rats into the eastern provinces of Australia is making life difficult for local farmers, grocery stores and community members.
Live Science reports that the infection is so severe that some unfortunate farmers have unfortunately lost their entire crop to rats. Hotels in overcrowded areas have closed their doors because unwanted guests are polluting their rooms and restaurants are reporting night-time extinctions involving 600 rats.
On March 20, ABC News uploaded a video on Twitter of the disease:
Steve Henry, a researcher at Australia’s national scientific organization, says the disease is a rare grain harvest, reports Live Science.
“They started breeding earlier and again because there is so much food and shelter in the system,” Henry said. They continue to breed from early spring until autumn. ”
Alan Brown, a New South Wales farmer, believes the disease is just beginning, reports the Science Times. According to the site, two breeding mice can produce new litter every three weeks, which can produce more than 500 springs in one season.
HuffPost reports that attempts to poison the rats are slowing down as the carcasses of rats begin to appear in the water tanks. According to the site, public health authorities are now issuing warnings about the potential for waterborne pathogens.
More than a dozen mayors in New South Wales have approached the country’s government to declare the disease a legitimate epidemic, reports The Guardian. Mayors are also asking for help in the form of additional appeal but no assistance has been provided so far, according to the site.
“I don’t understand why (they can’t say it’s a disease). It’s worse than the rat infestation of 1984, ”said Al Karanouh, mayor of New South Wales (via The Guardian). “I don’t think they want to do it because they will need a lot of money.”
Matilda Boseley wrote to The Guardian that the government would “be careful not to spend billions of dollars to try to eradicate the rats, where colds or heavy rains could end naturally.”
HuffPost reports that a drop in temperature or heavy rain could significantly reduce penetration.
“If that rain comes our way it will definitely put a big lump in it,” said Karanouh (via The Guardian).