A maximum-security prison in regional NSW had be emptied of inmates after it fell victim to a "horrendous" mice plague. Rodents have been devouring crops and cutting a destructive swathe through properties in the state's west and south since spring 2020.

In June, they caused all 420 inmates at Wellington Correctional Centre in the state's west to be sent to other facilities after they damaged the building, a budget estimates hearing heard on Friday. Prison staff were working in buildings where cavities and ceilings were full of dead mice, Acting Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Kevin Corcoran told the hearing.

Summer may be over, but a mosquito explosion in New York City is expected to last well into the fall -- and experts are pointing the finger at climate change. This summer had some of the highest levels of mosquitoes with a record-breaking 1,000+ West Nile virus cases across all five boroughs, according to the city Department of Health.

Some ecologists believe the spike in mosquitoes is due to more flooding, tropical systems, and hot weather, all of which are linked to climate change. Senator Charles Schumer wants a 61% increase in CDC funding that covers West Nile prevention, and he also wants the EPA to help provide better ways to kill mosquitoes without chemicals."Ask any outdoor diner about the mosquitos this summer, and you'll feel a resounding itch," she said.

Europe, along with the US are experiencing unexpected problems during the Covid pandemic. While the Democrats are trying to come to a solution to fix America's aging infrastructure something else has gone profoundly wrong. Inequality has soared. Educational progress slowed. Incarceration rates quintupled. Family breakdown accelerated. Median household income stagnated. The UK is suffering a mass decline in truck drivers who are failing to stock supermarket shelves and replenish petrol stations, and energy bills are soaring, other parts of Europe are having to hike energy bills just in time for Christmas, while Rome, the so-called eternal city is being bogged down by tons of uncleaned litter, wild boars, and a cockroach infestation.  

Despite a lull over the winter, Australia’s mouse plague never ended – and now it’s threatening new areas of the country. Large numbers of mice continue to plague rural Australian communities as farmers fear yet another crop will be ruined. After dwindling in the winter cold, mouse populations have begun growing rapidly again, CSIRO mouse expert Steve Henry said.

“We’re quite concerned, given them the numbers that have been reported at the moment,” Mr Henry said. NSW Farmers vice president Xavier Martin, who operates a farm in Gunnedah, said the new wave of mice would be a hard blow for farmers still reeling from the plague earlier in the year. “A lot of farmers are on edge because they’re still trying to deal with contaminated hay and crops,” he said.

Thursday, 2 September 2021 A killer algae bloom more deadly than toxic nerve gas: It's one of the deadliest toxins on the planet. Unofficially, it is called the "very fast death factor." The CIA uses it in suicide pills for agents: Family of three and a dog in California dead after exposure

On a remote trail in California's Sierra National Forest called the Devil's Gulch, a family of three and their dog was recently found dead. Authorities were at a loss to explain what happened. "I've worked in different capacities, but I've never seen a death like this," the county sheriff told the press.

It turns out the family might have been exposed to a poison deadlier than nerve gas: toxic algae, one of the deadliest toxins on the planet. Unofficially, it is called the "very fast death factor." The CIA reportedly uses it in suicide pills for agents likely to be captured by the enemy. It has caused entire towns along the Italian coast to be evacuated. And it may have been the cause of a mass die-off of an African elephant herd.

Red Tide in a harbour, credit Wikipedia

It is an extremely dire situation and is deliberately being under-reported. The Florida red tide plague is still killing marine wildlife and destroying the vulnerable ecosystem around the massive panhandle.

The actual problem is a spiral caused by human pollution causing the algae, the algae kill the fish which causes more algae which of course kills more fish. This never-ending cycle began in 2016 and has never gone away and has created, "dead-zones," in and around Florida's coastline leaving many experts wondering if the waters will ever recover.

A punishing drought in the U.S. West is drying up waterways, sparking wildfires and leaving farmers scrambling for water. Next up: a plague of voracious grasshoppers. Federal agriculture officials are launching what could become their largest grasshopper-killing campaign since the 1980s amid an outbreak of the drought-loving insects that cattle ranchers fear will strip bare public and private rangelands.

In central Montana’s Phillips County, more than 50 miles (80 kilometres) from the nearest town, Frank Wiederrick said large numbers of grasshoppers started showing up on prairie surrounding his ranch in recent days.

Already they’re beginning to denude trees around his house. “They’re everywhere,” Wiederrick said.

It's an economic and social nightmare and there are no natural predators to stop them except huge amounts of poisoning which is killing many other animals.

Those in rural areas affected by the mouse plague are being forced to tie a string around their pants to stop the rodents from running up their legs. Country towns in NSW have been gripped for the past nine months by a severe stomach-churning plague of mice, seeing schools, homes and hospitals overrun as farmers lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in crops. Entire towns have been suffocated by the pungent smell left by the rodents in Australia’s worst mice outbreak in more than 30 years.

Thousands of farmers in Meru county are counting huge losses as desert locusts are ravaging their farms daily. The locusts come at a time when most of the produce grown in eastern Kenya is ready to be harvested. These farmers are among hundreds of thousands from 14 other Kenyan counties who are affected by a second wave of the locust plague that is two times deadlier than the one that hit Kenya in 2020. The government said it deployed spray and surveillance aircraft to help deal with the pest and noted it has enough resources and is better prepared than in 2020 to fight.

Agriculture Minister Peter Munya told reporters that more than 75 swarms have been reported in Kenya. 

A square kilometre swarm can eat as much food in a day as 35,000 people.

new wave of the desert locust invasion currently destroying crops and pastures in northern Kenya threatens to spiral out of control, having spread to more than 15 counties in the country. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reported immature swarms in northern and central counties, and in Kilifi County in the upper Coast region. There are a few small immature swarms formed from previous breeding in the coastal region near Lamu and probably in adjacent areas of southern Somalia. But as many swarms are highly mobile and the same swarm can be sighted several times.

Sunday, 17 January 2021 Desert Locust situation update: Locust swarms destroyed an estimated 200,000ha of cropland in Ethiopia in 2020, marking the worst invasion the country had seen in 25 years: Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea and Yemen have swarms arriving

The Somali Regional State has announced that locust invasions are causing widespread destruction to crops and grazing lands in all but one of the region's administrative zones.

The infestation, which has affected 10 zones in the region, is spreading quickly to border areas, according to Abdullahi Yusuf Adem, deputy head of the bureau.

The swarms have formed as a result of favourable environmental conditions brought on at the end of November 2020 by cyclone Gati in the Indian Ocean, the strongest tropical cyclone to have ever made landfall in Somalia.

2020 Locust Plague

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