Posts Tagged ‘pests’


Yorke Peninsula farmer Mark Schilling runs the Cunliffe bait station.

Cheap mouse bait killing off plague
ABC Rural Lauren Waldhuter


Mouse bait mixing stations are helping Yorke Peninsula farmers in South Australia control mice numbers.

At the start of the season, farmers were planting grain crops in paddocks that had been inundated with mice.

The mice can eat the seeds farmers sow, as well as newly-germinated crops.

Grain growers have spent tens of thousands of dollars on bait to try to kill off the mice and keep their crops safe.

Now new baiting stations, where poison and grain are mixed together on the farm, are making that process cheaper.

Maitland farmer Dylan Schultz has spent a lot of time spreading bait in his paddocks.

“We’ve baited some paddocks three times,” he said.

“They only need to eat one (poisoned) grain. One grain is lethal to a mouse.

“But it’s been shown that a mouse can actually eat 20 grains before they die.

“That’s why it’s important to be able to put out more bait per hectare.”

Cunliffe farmer Mark Schilling has a mouse bait mixing station on his farm.

The station is a shed, where the process of mixing poison and grain can take place.

The stations have to be approved by a number of regulatory bodies before they can go ahead.

Mr Schilling says it would have been better if the stations had been opened earlier, but it’s a relief the cheaper bait is finally available.

“If you came and saw me a month ago, there were mice everywhere. They’ve quietened right down now.

“It’s a combination of the season having broken and we’ve been baiting pretty heavily, as we now have access to cheap bait.”


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Senior technical officer Ernie Steiner with the x-ray irradiator used to sterilise Mediterranean fruit fly.

Sterile flies released in South Australia
ABC Rural By Joanna Prendergast


Scientists in Western Australia are breeding millions of fruit flies for release in South Australia.

In Australia, there are two types of fruit fly – the Mediterranean and Queensland flies. Both spoil a wide range of fruit and vegetables by laying their eggs in maturing crops.

The sterile Mediterranean fruit flies are being used as a control measure after an outbreak at Sellicks Beach, south of Adelaide.

Bill Woods, from the WA Department of Agriculture and Food, says the sterile flies outbreed their fertile counterparts, but they’re not cheap.

“South Australia was paying $5,000 for a million. There is money in flies. We just wish we could sell them at Bunnings and then we could retire,” he said.

Mr Woods says sterile flies work by outnumbering the existing fertile male flies. The female fly mates with the sterile fly and lays eggs which won’t hatch, reducing the population.

He says that with the reduction of chemicals permitted for use in Western Australia, he expects sterile flies may make a comeback for WA fruit growers.



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