Close

Travel With Us

Enter your email address
Continue

The Bizarre Mystery Of Aussie Mouse Plagues

Video highlights from Nature's Weirdest Events

Why are we one of only two countries to experience this strange phenomenon?

It’s footage you have to see to believe. Mice in their thousands, streaming through rural Australia ruining crops, damaging infrastructure and stressing local communities.

Strangely, Australia and China are the only two countries where mouse plagues happen – and no one really knows why.

Plagues of house mice occur in the grain-growing regions of southern and eastern Australia around every four years.

As the mice aggregate around food sources during plagues, their densities can reach a staggering 3,000 mice per hectare. 

One suggested cause is that, as an introduced species, mice don’t have natural predators in Australia, allowing their numbers to grow significantly.

In 1993, Australia’s biggest mouse plague caused approximately $96 million worth of damage. The mice destroyed thousands of hectares of crops, attacked livestock, damaged vehicles and ruined buildings.

Find out more about Australia’s worst ever mouse plague below.

Discuss this article

Newsletter

Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address
Submit
We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services, personalise your advertising and remember your preferences. If you continue browsing, or click on the accept button on this banner, we understand that you accept the use of cookies on our website. For more information visit our Cookies Policy AcceptClose cookie policy overlay