‘Apocalyptic’ rat plague wipes out total crop in simply days as rodents unfold like wildfire

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‘Apocalyptic’ rat plague wipes out total crop in simply days as rodents unfold like wildfire

AUSTRALIAN farmers left devastated at harvest after millions of rats devastated their crops.

Sugar cane farms in North Queensland are experiencing a rodent infestation that has disrupted what was set to be a record year.

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Millions of rats are found in sugar cane crops in Queensland, AustraliaPhoto credit: Foxearth Farm
The rats have destroyed huge crops

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The rats have destroyed huge cropsCredit: Lawrence DiBella
Photos of rats in the sugar cane harvest

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Photos of rats in the sugar cane harvestCredit: Lawrence DiBella

Terrifying images show the rodents clinging to every plant in sight as they search for food.

As a result, vast amounts of sugar cane crops were decimated by the ravenous and rapidly multiplying rats.

The plague is widespread in the Herbert River Valley, Townsville, about 960 miles north of Brisbane.

Lawrence Di Bella, a local farmer, said: “Within two weeks entire fields will disappear.

“It’s the worst rat year I’ve seen in my career in the industry.”

This year’s epidemic has parallels with the 2021 mouse plague that swept the east coast of Australia.

Usually a rainy season suffocates rats, but the region is transitioning into drier years, giving the rodents time to breed.

In a single year, a rat can produce 460 offspring.

And now a good harvest means a feast for the rats.

Di Bella said it’s like watching the crops with infrared cameras.

He said: “You can see the paddock is alive.

“Everywhere in the fields you see small animals jumping up and down.”

In what is set to be one of the best years on record for sugarcane farmers, landowners are now racking their brains over what to do next.

While baiting is a method of eradicating pests, it is treated as a last resort to kill the rodents.

Baiting can kill any predator eating the rat carcasses, which could wipe out native species.

Weeding and removing grass near the fields is a less effective measure, but it will starve the rats of necessary nutrients.

Farmers’ best hope is a significant rainy season to kill as many rats as possible.

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Queensland has suffered from plagues in the past, last year a man woke up to a mouse chewing on his hand.

In 2021, a farmer found a mouse chewing on his wife’s eyeball.

A rat can produce 460 offspring

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A rat can produce 460 offspringCredit: Alamy
Australia has faced many rodent plagues in the past, including a large one in 2021

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Australia has faced many rodent plagues in the past, including a large one in 2021Photo credit: NSW Farmers
A dead rat crushed

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A dead rat crushedCredit: AP