Diagnosing mouse damage in narrow-leafed lupins

Mice are seasonal pests that can affect any crop. Usually they favour paddocks with high stubble retention.

Bare patches and chewed plants radiating out from mouse burrows
Young plants are severed completely
Young plants are severed completely

What to look for

    Paddock

  • Bare patches and chewed plants radiating out from mouse burrows.
  • Plants with chewed stems and pods in spring with mouse holes nearby.

    Plant

  • Poor germination, chewed plants.
  • Stems gnawed from stem extension.
  • Pods lopped and chewed along one side and seed eaten

What else could it be

Condition Similarities Differences
Birds
Birds also chew plants and pods near maturity, Damage is worst near the paddock edge rather than near mouse burrows.

Management strategies

Green bridge control
Green bridge control
  • Use in-crop baiting when damage occurs.

  • Use the following hygiene recommendations to minimise breeding:

  • Minimise spilled grain or harvester grain loss in paddocks.
  • Heavy grazing can help clean up high harvest grain losses, but sufficient ground cover should be left to minimise erosion potential.
  • Clean up any concentrated spills of grain around field bins, augers and other grain storage.
  • Remove or reduce cover, including plant material, rubbish and general clutter around buildings, silos and fodder storage.

  • Paddock operations to reduce damage include;

  • Control weeds and volunteers along fence lines, crop margins and channel banks in autumn and before seed-set to minimise sources of food and shelter.
  • Sow as evenly and as early as possible for each crop, to achieve rapid establishment of strong plants. Avoid dry sowing in high risk paddocks.
  • Slightly increase seeding rates and sow as deeply as possible for each crop if mouse numbers are elevated at seeding.
  • Cross harrow or roll after sowing to ensure good seed coverage and the removal of sowing lines.

Where to go for expert help

Page last updated: Thursday, 5 February 2015 - 3:08pm