Revolting image from NSW mouse plague
A stomach-churning photo has highlighted the impact of a mouse plague gripping regional NSW.
Louise Hennessy, from Elong Elong near Dubbo, posted a photo showing mice bodies caught in a water tank filter that supplies drinking water to her home.
"Please share this far and wide during this mice plague," she wrote. "This is the filter for my water tank at 630pm TODAY after 25mls of rain, that we drink for our house water.
"I CLEANED this one week ago and took out handfuls of mice fur that was clumped together."
Ms Hennessy urged others to check their tank filters and clean them.
She told The Daily Telegraph that discovery was "gut-wrenching and horrifying" and that the stink of the dead mice was so bad, she washed her clothes afterwards.
A mouse plague has overrun parts of western NSW after record rains produced a bumper harvest.
The situation has become so bad that Hunter New England Health last month issued a warning about leptospirosis.
Leptospirosis is a disease spread from animals to humans, caused by bacteria found in infected animal urine and tissues.
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"Outbreaks of the disease usually occur following exposure to water, soil and mud that has been contaminated with infected animal urine, especially rodent urine," Hunter New England Public Health Physician Dr David Durrheim said.
"The bacteria can enter the body through skin cuts or abrasions, the lining of the mouth, nose, and eyes - and in rare cases through contaminated food and water."
The disease can cause people to be hospitalised if they experience kidney failure, jaundice, haemorrhaging of the skin and mucous membranes, meningitis or bleeding in the lungs.
Anne Cullen, who runs a family farm in Coonamble in central-west NSW, told Today that the plague was so bad she couldn't sleep in peace.
"You can't sleep in your car, they're in the car," she said. "I found the bedroom with the least mouse poo in it, that was Alex's room. That night I woke up swishing a mouse out of my hair and one ran over me."
Ms Cullen said the mice had eaten her clothes and there were holes in the couches.
"It's terrible. It's unbelievable. I came home after a couple of nights away staying down in Dubbo with my daughter, and I went into the house, there were just mice running everywhere," she said. "I just nearly burst into tears."
Another woman, Chloe Christian, said the mice plague was having a devastating impact on crops.
Ms Christian's family property at Milawa in northwest NSW is one of the state's largest cotton and wheat producers.
"I don't think I've seen a plague that has hit in huge waves like this before, I've seen a few, but none this apocalyptic," she told The Daily Telegraph.
"This is some of the first crops in years for many farmers … and now we are being affected by the plague that can cost them (the entire crop)."
Originally published as Revolting image from NSW mouse plague