News and stories

“Kiwi-style” innovation solves mice problem


19 November 2019

Omori/Kuratau is an area of considerable beauty on the south western shores of Lake Taupo. Special features of this area include the now regenerating native bush, the bush walks it provides for locals and visitors, and the increasing bird life supported by the bush.

The aim of the Omori Kuratau Pest Management Group is to bring back the bush by bringing back the birds that disperse the seeds.

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A secondary aim of their programme is to improve the recreational experience for the locals and several thousand annual visitors who enjoy the native bush walks, made even more special by the addition of bird song and sightings with the return of native birds.

A major innovative success was solving the major problem of mice (that are not heavy enough to set off the ‘DoC 200’ trap), removing the solid fish-based lures from the traps which often meant the replacement of up to 150 lures per week plus the regular unwanted cost of new lures.

The group tried a nail to place the lures on, which worked for one year. They placed prickly hair curlers over the top of the lures on the nails which worked for nearly two years. Even mouse traps inside the main trap didn’t work. Lures were still taken out for eating.

Then they solved it. They imported over 300 stainless steel sphere clip-lock tea infusers from Aliexpress in China. The lure was placed inside the infuser and clipped shut and placed on the nail. It really works and other groups are now using this method too. 

This hard work and determination was recognised when they became finalists in Mondiale Innovation category at the 2019 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards.