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Protecting your health during a mouse plague

Mice may carry diseases that can spread to humans. Follow NSW Health advice on how to stay healthy and reduce the risk of infection.

 

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Reducing the risk of infections

Infections are rare but you can reduce the risk by  

  • minimising your contact with mice 

  • cleaning and disinfecting areas where the mice have been 

  • wearing protective clothing when removing dead mice. 

What to do if you are bitten by a mouse

If you are bitten by a mouse 

  • immediately clean the wound with soap and water 

  • dry the area, apply an antibiotic cream and a clean bandage  

  • seek medical attention.  

You may be advised to get a tetanus immunisation, or in some cases, take a course of antibiotics. 

As the wound heals, look for signs of infection and see a doctor if  

  • your skin is warm to the touch 

  • you notice any redness or 

  • you experience pain.  

Read NSW Health advice on Staying healthy during a mouse plague

Cleaning up mouse carcasses

Mice, rats and other rodents may carry infectious diseases that can spread to humans.   

When cleaning up mouse carcasses or working in areas where mice have been, NSW Health recommends that you

  • wear gloves 
  • wear waterproof protective clothing and footwear 
  • cover cuts and abrasions with a waterproof dressing 
  • wash your hands with soap and dry your hands after completing the clean-up, and especially before eating.

Ideally, handling of mouse carcasses should be undertaken by household members who are not pregnant or have a weak immune system. 

Disposing of dead mice

Dead animals should be handled as little as possible. If you need to remove dead mice

  • wear gloves and clothes that cover bare skin 
  • use a shovel, rake or dustpan to collect the dead animals.

Urban areas

In urban areas, dead mice should be placed in plastic bags and put in the red bin waste and

  • keep the red bin in a shady area
  • secure the lid to minimise the risk of scavengers.

Rural areas

In rural areas where there is no red bin service, read the NSW Environmental Protection Authority advice.

You can

  • dispose of dead mice at an approved landfill site
  • build a burial site on your farm if there are large numbers of dead mice.

Find out more about selecting, constructing and managing an on-farm burial site at NSW Environmental Protection Authority.

Dead or injured native wildlife

Avoid touching dead or sick wildlife. If you find a native animal you suspect has been poisoned

  • do not touch it 
  • if the animal is alive, contact your local wildlife rescue organisation (WIRES 1300 094 737) or a vet
  • record all details, including species, number, location and photograph
  • if there are more than five dead animals of the same species, report it to the Environment Line on 131 555 or to info@epa.nsw.gov.au.

Find out more in the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) factsheets.

Looking after your mental health

If you need support, call a helpline.

For referrals and information about NSW mental health services, you can call

 

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