A South Australian pig farmer has spoken of a plague of mice so ravenous that they are eating his prize stock.
John Gregory told the Sunday Mail newspaper that he has to paint his pigs with engine oil to make them taste nasty.
Mr Gregory, whose farm is in Wynarka, 130km east of Adelaide, said he had been at his wit's end about how to get rid of the mice since they reached plague proportions last month.
Summer rains have produced bumper crops this year - encouraging mice to breed.
"We went away in the school holidays and when we came back, we drove up the driveway and it looked like the ground was moving - there were hundreds of thousands of them."
Mr Gregory, 50, said he put engine oil on his 15 pigs to protect them from the sun about once a month. "But now I oil them every week, because the mice have run out of food and they're just eating anything, so they were climbing up on the pigs and chewing them," he said.
"The oil stops them eating the pigs because they don't like the taste."
Mr Gregory said farmers were resorting to home recipes to kill the vermin. "Being farmers, we're always trying to do things cheap," he said. "I mix icing sugar and cement. The icing sugar attracts the mice, they eat it and then the cement clogs them up."
South Australian Farmers Federation president Peter White said cereal farmers had reported spending up to $70,000 on mouse bait.
While he had no reports from pig farmers himself, "the mice run out of food and start eating anything they can".