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.
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.
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.
In rural areas where there is no red bin service, read the NSW Environmental Protection Authority advice.
- 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.
Workplace health and safety during the mouse plague
The mouse plague may increase health and safety risks for people in contact with rodents (mainly farmers and agriculture workers).
Risks include exposure to diseases and hazardous chemicals.
Your mental health and wellbeing and that of your colleagues could also be impacted.
SafeWork NSW has developed a workplace health and safety alert to assist employers and workers manage the increased risks at work.
Looking after your mental health
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 email@example.com.
Find out more in the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) factsheets.
- Warning about wildlife in zinc phosphide areas
- Handling wildlife in zinc phosphide areas
- Handling and disposing of dead mice