Just in case the ongoing Australian mice infestation wasn’t horrifying enough, a farmer’s wife was hospitalized after she woke up to a mouse eating her eyeball, the Sun reported.
She is just one of the many victims of the rodent plague, which has seen millions of mice wreak havoc on communities from Brisbane to Melbourne.
Last month, a farmer felt a mouse run across his face while he was sleeping.
“I felt a tickly, furry sensation as it crawled from behind my ear across my cheek,” Narromine’s Mick Harris told the UK’s Times. “It made my skin crawl. My hair stood up and I jumped out of bed.”
“For the rest of the night I didn’t sleep a wink — until I caught the mouse in a trap under the bed,” the 35-year-old farming consultant added.
Just weeks before that, his wife experienced a similar incident after she was woken up by a mouse chewing on her wedding ring finger.
“We’ve got two young kids. It does make you worry that when they wake up crying it’s because they have a mouse in their bed,” Harris said.
While these mice incidents are surely disgusting, they pose bigger issues than making your skin crawl. The mice have the potential to spread dangerous disease. One hotel owner almost died after contracting leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that is found in the rodents’ urine.
The mice have also caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crop damage. They even sparked fires by chewing through electrical cords.
“The mice are into everything,” Xavier Martin, the vice president of the New South Wales Farmers’ Association, told ITV News. “If I walk out of the door there now and stand still they’ll climb out the outside of my trousers and inside of my trousers, they’re just running about everywhere,” he said.
“They’ve taken over a lot of our homes, our sheds, our vehicles, our tractors,” he added.
Meanwhile, Australian prisoners and staff had to evacuate a prison last month after their facility was put under mouse arrest.
The infestation has gotten so bad that Aussies are calling for it to be declared a “natural disaster” so they can collect insurance payouts for any mouse-induced damage. Right now, in many cases, it is not covered.
If that doesn’t sound disastrous enough, the mice infestation may also lead to a plague of venomous snakes looking to capitalize on the abundance of food. Snakes might reduce the mice population, but they could ultimately pose a bigger threat as 100 species of snakes in Australia are venomous and deadly to humans.
In an attempt to prevent a prolonged “plague event,” the New South Wales government has procured 5,000 liters of the rodenticide bromadiolone, which is currently prohibited for agricultural use nationwide, the Sun reported.