Flooding in central and southern China—the worst in 50 years—is displacing more than thousands of residents: Billions of mice, washed out of their burrows, have swarmed across acres of Chinese farmland, destroying crops and posing serious health hazards to residents. Pest control efforts have been largely ineffective so far, the Washington Post reports.
Three cities on the banks of Dongting Lake in Hunan province have been particularly hard hit by the rodents, sometimes referred to as rats by locals. "You can hear them as they bite the rice—chir, chir, chir. It's deafening," said one official. A drought between September and June cause the lake to recede early, creating a haven for the vermin.