Large parts of the state in New South Wales, Australia, are plagued by a swarm of mice that farmers say have been destroying home appliances, spoiling farmers’ crops, and even eating each other.
The state government called the plague “absolutely unprecedented” and warned that it could cause huge economic damage, the Associated Press reported Friday.
There is a risk that the mice will eat up farmers’ wheat, barley, and canola before it can be harvested, the AP said.
The NSW Farmers Association, a top agricultural group in the state, estimated that the plague could cost farmers a total of 1 billion Australian dollars ($771,000) during the winter crop season, the AP reported. The Southern Hemisphere winter lasts from June to August.
Xavier Martin, the vice president of NSW Farmers, described to ITV News on Wednesday an “explosion in mouse numbers” and said they were eating up crops, and destroying home appliances and telecommunication networks.
“When they run out of food, when they run out of seeds to eat they start cannibalizing, they start eating each other,” he said, according to ITV News.
“Look, even in this house here they ate the hose at the back of the dishwasher, so when the dishwasher ran, it flooded the kitchen.”
Martin said the mice also “shut down” several telecommunication towers across the southern part of the state, making it hard for people to contact authorities for help.
One family home in Gwabegar, northeastern New South Wales, even burned down after mice chewed through their electrical wires, 9News reported. The state’s fire service is investigating whether the destroyed electrical wires caused the fire.
People also described the mice getting into their homes and clothes.
Another farmer in central New South Wales, Jason Conn, told the AP: “They’re in the roof cavity of your house. If your house is not well sealed, they’re in bed with you. People are getting bitten in bed.”
“It doesn’t relent, that’s for sure.”
Martin also told ITV News: “I walk out of the door there now and stand still they’ll climb out the outside of my trousers and inside of my trousers, they’re just running about everywhere.”
Earlier this month, the state government ordered 5,000 liters of Bromadiolone, a poison that can kill mice within 24 hours, according to The Canberra Times. Some farmers told the newspaper it would not be enough to halt the infestation in the entire state.
Steve Henry, an expert on mice, said the creatures would not be heading to major cities like Sydney, The Guardian reported. “Moving is a really dangerous thing for a mouse to do because it puts itself at risk of predation,” he said.
How you plan to use your computer mouse will dictate which one you should buy.
At higher prices, you can find mice with programmable buttons and different speed settings.
Using a mouse for long hours can fatigue your wrist, so you may want an ergonomic choice.
The best computer mice do more than point and click; they offer accurate, quick cursor movement without creating wrist strain. Logitech, Razer, SteelSeries, and Anker produce some of the most recommended mice.
“The number one thing to consider when buying any computer hardware is ‘What will you be using the device for?'” says Tom Gilmore, the technology education coordinator at Free Geek, a nonprofit that refurbishes computer hardware. “This single question dictates exactly what you need and can help guide you to either cheaper or more premium options, and help you to narrow down the vast number of options to just a few.”
A poorly designed mouse can increase the strain on your wrist and hands. Weak connectivity can lead to slow performance (and losing that computer game). Some won’t roll over rugged surfaces.
As a freelance writer and photographer for nearly a decade, I’ve been working from home since before 2020 made it the norm. I consulted a certified ergonomics expert and spent hours digging through expert mouse reviews. I’ve rounded up nine of the most recommended computer mice, from budget options to fully-featured stand-out products.
The Logitech MX Master 3 is great for professionals who spend a lot of time mousing and need both comfort and superior performance.
With reviewer nods from Wirecutter to PC Mag, the Logitech MX Master 3 is lauded for its large but ergonomic shape. The mouse has a curve designed to fit your right hand, with a wheel and gesture pad near the thumb. A scroll wheel and forward and back buttons are also built into the mouse.
The control scheme offers app-specific shortcuts for programs from Zoom to Photoshop. Using controls built into the mouse may mean less back and forth between the mouse and keyboard.
That scroll wheel is capable of rolling through 1,000 lines per second, Logitech says. Slow the spin, and the wheel goes from line-to-line for more precision. The laser mouse offers 4,000 DPI for more sensitivity and is capable of tracking on difficult surfaces such as glass. (Higher DPI, like the Razer Pro Click‘s, make for a faster mouse.) The downside? It’s pricey. The $100 price tag makes the mouse best for power users that are using a mouse for several hours a day.
The best mouse for precision use
With a 16,000 DPI optical sensor, the Razer Pro Click is ideal for long-haul users that need the most precision for detailed mousing.
The Razer Pro Click has one of the best optical sensors for a mouse, with four times more dots per inch than the Logitech MX 3. That superior sensor combined with the optical design (that doesn’t fall victim to the occasional jitter of a laser) makes the mouse good for detailed work, such as precise adjustments in Photoshop.
The mouse is designed with a large curve that Razer says prevents your wrist from resting on the desk. TechRadar’s review says that the mouse is so well designed that “you’ll barely notice you’re using a mouse at all.” The curve does prevent left-handed use, however.
The mouse houses eight different buttons that you can customize to your liking. The mouse can connect to multiple devices through wireless. For twice the battery life at 400 hours, it also connects through Bluetooth. The charger isn’t the more modern USB-C, however.
The best ergonomic mouse
For power users that need to reduce wrist pain, the Logitech MX Ergo‘s trackball design means your hand rests comfortably in one spot.
The Logitech MX Ergo offers a custom tilt angle designed to better fit the shape of your hand, plus a lot of other features geared towards minimizing wrist strain. It’s a trackball mouse, which means you can keep your wrist in one position and use the trackball that sits near the thumb to navigate, instead. Trackball mice are not for everyone — using one requires reprogramming years of using a traditional mouse — but they can be more comfortable.
The MX Ergo’s plentiful buttons can also be programmed for different functions based on what app you are using. A mode button near the trackball allows you to switch between fast or more precise tracking. The mouse requires little power; Logitech says it lasts 70 days on a full charge, and plugging it in for just a minute will power another 24 hours of use.
Trackball mice are innately different, and not everyone will love this pricey option. The MX Ergo is also not made for lefties.
The best budget ergonomic mouse
The Logitech Ergo M575 is for everyday users who want a comfortable trackball mouse but don’t need the extra buttons and custom tilt of pricier models.
The Logitech Ergo M575 is a good compromise when the $100 Logitech MX Ergo is too much. While the M575 lacks the custom tilt, extra buttons, and precision mode switch of the MX Ergo, it still offers some of the same ergonomic features. Despite selling for about $50, the M575 still has a custom DPI from 400 to 2,000.
The Ergo M575 is a trackball mouse; you don’t move the mouse around the desk, you move a trackball with your thumb. That design will take some getting used to, but keeping your hand in a stationary position is much more friendly on the wrist. The mouse is curved to fit better in the right hand.
Besides the typical mouse buttons, scroll wheel, and trackball, the mouse also houses back and forward buttons that you can reprogram with Logitech’s software. Connecting with Bluetooth, the mouse can run up to twenty months on one AA battery, according to Logitech. Used as a wireless mouse with the USB dongle, the battery life bumps up to two years.
The best portable mouse
Logitech’s MX Anywhere 3 is geared towards on-the-go computer users that demand more from a mouse. It’s also good for those with smaller hands.
The Logitech MX Anywhere 3 takes some of the features in the flagship MX Master 3 and adapts them to mobile users. The Mac version can even be used on iPads. The mouse still offers customizable buttons but in a travel-friendly size.
Logitech says that the mouse has a quick, 1,000-lines-per-minute scroll wheel with the ability to get down to pixel-level details. It’s made to withstand the typical bumps from riding in a laptop bag. Despite the smaller size, there is a slight curve made for a better fit in your hand.
The fast scrolling and 200 to 4,000 DPI sensitivity range mean the MX Anywhere 3 isn’t a budget travel mouse. A full charge will last 70 days, which is good but not as good as the Microsoft Surface Mobile.
Designed specifically for laptops, the Microsoft Surface Mobile Mouse is made for portability. The mouse uses a slimmer design that’s easy to tuck into a laptop bag. The Bluetooth mouse lasts up to a year on one charge, so you shouldn’t need to bring the charger with you.
The Surface Mobile has a symmetrical shape that’s suitable for left or right-handed users. But besides being lefty friendly, the symmetrical shape means you can use either hand to reduce strain on a single wrist. The base isn’t smaller than a typical mouse, and PC Magazine’s review says it tends to be more comfortable than smaller travel mice.
The portable design doesn’t curve to the shape of your hands as well as with ergonomically-focused mice, however. At around $35, it also won’t deliver the extreme speed and precision of a high-end mouse.
The best gaming mouse
Gamers who prioritize comfort, as well as speed and accuracy, will appreciate what the Razer DeathAdder V2 has to offer.
The Razer DeathAdder V2 is a favorite among gamers because the computer mouse offers speed, precision, and a comfortable grip. With up to 20,000 DPI, the wired customizable gaming mouse has plenty of speed and accuracy.
Beyond just the high-precision hardware, the mouse has a large arched grip and a comfortable thumb rest, which earned it a recommendation from The Verge. The mouse is also outfitted with several different buttons. Both the buttons and DPI settings can be adjusted using Razer’s software. A switch on the bottom allows the mouse to store up to five different setting combinations, which is ideal for different games or moving from gaming to web browsing.
While the $70 mouse is fast, some of that speed comes from the fact that it’s wired. That’s preferred by many gamers but can still be an inconvenience.
The best customizable gaming mouse
The SteelSeries Rival 600 has two sensors and custom weights for gamers that want ultimate customization, all for an affordable price.
The SteelSeries Rival 600 has two optical sensors that create a mouse with excellent tracking, including detecting when you pick it up. While SteelSeries says the mouse is best for esports, Tom’s Guide calls it one of the best all-purpose gaming mice.
The 12,000-DPI mouse offers custom sensitivity settings as well as custom weights. Four weights can be configured into slots on both sides of the mouse to customize the feel and balance. The lift-off distance can also be configured between 0.5 and 2 mm.
The mouse is made from reinforced plastic and has seven buttons. The buttons use mechanical switches that have been tested to 60 million clicks. The downside is that the button placement isn’t quite perfect, according to PC Gamer.
The best budget gaming mouse
The Logitech G502 Hero is good for gamers that balk at the higher price points of most gaming mice.
Gaming mice tend to be higher in price, but the Logitech G502 Hero is around $50 and still offers the features most gamers look for.
The Logitech G502 allows gamers to customize the weights as well as the RGB lights. With DPI from 100 to 16,000, the mouse can easily be customized depending on if speed or accuracy is most important to the game. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Wirecutter’s biggest complaint is that the many buttons can limit where you place your hand.
Buying computer peripherals is seldom a one-size-fits-all scenario. Both the shape of your hand and your primary use will change your definition of a great mouse. When choosing a computer mouse, consider the following:
Optical or Laser? Optical and laser mice are quite similar, says Free Geek‘s Gilmore. Both use a camera-like sensor to look for changes in the surface to tell the computer how to move the cursor. A laser mouse uses a laser to light that sensor and tends to do a bit better on glossy surfaces. Some can even work on glass. But on a typical wood desk, most users won’t notice a difference.
DPI or CPI: The dots-per-inch (or counts-per-inch) specification on a mouse is similar to the resolution of the sensor. A higher DPI means a faster mouse, Gilmore says, which is even more important when using a high-resolution monitor. A lower DPI mouse can be more precise. Some high-end mice allow you to choose different DPI settings, so you can switch based on whether you want speed or precision.
Connectivity: A wireless mouse eliminates the cord but uses a USB dongle to connect to the computer. A Bluetooth mouse is similarly wireless but doesn’t need that dongle to connect with a Bluetooth-compatible device. You might want to consider that option if you have limited ports. Take a look at wireless and Bluetooth mice’s battery lives so you’ll get a sense of how often you’ll be charging them. Wired mice still have their place, particularly for gaming. Wireless and Bluetooth mice may introduce some lag that’s noticeable in fast-paced games.
Weight: Lighter mice are typically easier to move around. Fast-paced gamers tend to consider the weight of a mouse.
Comfort: How a computer mouse feels will depend on the size of your hand, says Kevin Weaver, a clinical assistant professor of physical therapy at New York University. He is also certified by the Board of Certified Professional Ergonomists and the Oxford Institute.
He suggests using both hands with an ambidextrous mouse to halve the time spent on a mouse. “As best as you can, centralize your mouse,” he said. “If you look at most laptops, the touchpad is built into the base, right under the space key, in a centralized position. That’s a best-case scenario because you can use your left or your right and have half the frequency.”
If using your non-dominant hand feels too odd, he suggests choosing a contoured mouse that fits with your dominant hand. “[I]t’s important to go test these out in a showroom or store. One size does not fit all, one rule does not fit all,” he said.
While the mice above come with excellent reviews from reputable publications, we’re testing all the mice to determine what’s the best for different applications. In addition to the mice above, we’re also testing two more.
The Logitech MX Vertical: This vertical mouse is recommended by several publications. Using a vertical mouse takes some getting used to. We’ll try it out to see if that learning curve may be worth the effort for users with wrist pain.
The Apple Magic Mouse 2: Apple’s mouse uses gesture controls on the surface, much like the trackpad on a MacBook. The mouse is slimmer, however, and doesn’t fit into your hand like a contoured mouse.
Working from home? Check out our other home office guides
So many jobs involve sitting at a desk for hours each day, and it can be hard to break away to incorporate more standing without sacrificing productivity. If you have a standing desk, you can convert your space to a much more active one, improving your health and energy levels. These are the best standing desks.
Active seating promotes movement, improves posture, and activates your core while sitting, and some models can work in tandem with a standing desk, so you can find the perfect combination of sitting and standing throughout the day. These are our top picks for the best active seating.
If you spend the majority of your day parked in your office chair, you owe it to your body to choose a chair that gets an A+ for ergonomics. Our top picks will help improve your posture and may even help relieve back pain.
If you have a home office, it’s important to have good lighting so you don’t strain your eyes while typing away on your computer or going over documents. There are dozens of different desk lamps to choose from in all kinds of styles. These are the best desk lamps you can buy to light up your workspace in style.
DPI, or dots per inch, is the measure of a computer mouse’s sensitivity. The higher your DPI, the farther your on-screen cursor will move for every inch your move the mouse.
This is why many people choose to change the DPI on their computer mouse. Lowering the DPI can help with tasks that require precision, like drawing with a mouse; raising the DPI is ideal if you need faster movement for games or other apps.
More advanced mice often have sliders or buttons that allow you to adjust the DPI in the mouse itself. Some have dedicated computer apps that will let you do it too.
However, if your mouse has neither of these things, you can still artificially adjust the DPI using your computer’s settings menus. Just note that while using this method is safe, it can make your cursor seem buggy or less accurate. This is especially true if you try to make a slow mouse go much faster.
A good mouse pad has a smooth surface for your mouse that ensures precise tracking of your movements.
Some mouse pads protect your desk, while some boast extras like RGB lighting and wireless charging.
The slick and durable Corsair MM 350 Pro is the best mouse pad we tested.
Mouse pads provide a smooth, uniform surface for your mouse to move properly and precisely. They’re also multipurpose, protecting your desktop and your mouse and picking up lint and dust that would otherwise attach to your mouse. They’re simple to clean, too, ensuring your workspace is up to par. Mouse pads come in different colors and materials. You can choose between a silky smooth layer that enables fast movements, or a rougher textured surface that enables greater precision. Gamers, in particular, will have personal preferences depending on the games they play and their play style, but anyone can reduce the risk of a slip or tracking error with a good mouse pad.
Some of the latest mouse pads even come with RGB lighting so you can match one with your keyboard, mouse, and rig lighting. Others offer wireless charging, which can be very handy if you have a mouse that supports it.
I’ve tested several mouse pads, employing them for work and gaming to see what benefits they offer. I also included my son in the testing process, subjecting each mouse pad to the ultimate test of durability (that is, an 11-year-old gamer’s bedroom).
The Corsair MM350 Pro features a slick, durable surface with a non-skid base, making it our favorite mouse pad.
Pros: Smooth surface balances speed and precision, large option to cover desktop, thick padding adds comfort, stitched edges to prevent fraying
Cons: None to speak of
Measurements: 36.6 x 15.7 inches; 4mm thick
The Corsair MM350 Pro is a quality mouse pad, spacious enough to accommodate your mouse and keyboard, as well as protect your desktop. I also found its padded comfort helped to reduce the noise of mechanical keys clacking, as it absorbs the impact of your key presses.
The top of the pad is a micro-weave surface, and the cloth Corsair uses is silky smooth and dense. This makes it great for fast, frenetic action that requires sweeping movements. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to sacrifice much accuracy to deliver on the speed, so it’s good for precise gameplay and everyday work alike. The smooth top layer is also spill-proof and by far the easiest to wipe clean of any mouse pad I tested.
The bottom is covered in an anti-skid rubber base that ensures the pad never slips. Its tight stitching around the edges (where cloth mouse pads usually start to fray after a while), ensures it’s designed to last. The smooth top layer is also spillproof and by far the easiest to wipe clean of any mouse pad I tested.
You can also get the same quality design in a smaller and cheaper package by opting for the MM300 Pro, which is more of a standard medium-sized mouse pad.
The best budget mouse pad
The Razer Gigantus V2 has everything you need in a cloth mouse pad at around $10: a textured surface, padded comfort, and a non-slip underside.
Pros: Balanced surface for speed and precision, comfortable padding, comes in multiple sizes
Cons: No stitching to protect edges, green sides might not suit everyone
Measurements: 14.17 x 10.83 inches; 3mm thick
You can’t get much for $10 nowadays, but it is enough to snag you Razer’s Gigantus V2 mouse pad. It’s a bit larger than similarly priced competitors and comfortable to rest your wrist on.
Crafted from a textured microweave, the top layer is quite smooth to the touch and offers a good mix of speed and precision. It’s a bit smoother than the Glorious PC Gaming Race mouse pad, but not as silky as Corsair’s MM350 Pro. There’s a bright green anti-slip layer on the bottom, which shows through around the sides and in the subtle Razer logo tag.
Unfortunately, this mouse pad lacks stitching around the edges, so there’s a risk it will fray and degrade slightly over time. On the plus side, the top layer is easy to wipe clean and feels long-lasting. My son has been using the large Razer Gigantus V2 for around three months now and it’s holding up well; after a wipe with a damp cloth, it still looks as good as new.
If the medium is too small for you, there are larger sizes to ensure you never run out of space. The biggest 3XL option is 47.24 x 21.65, but it costs five times the price.
Pros: Largest mouse pad available, comes in multiple sizes, stitched edges to prevent fraying, machine washable
Cons: Open fabric absorbs spills and dirt
Measurements: 48 x 24; 3mm thick
If you want something big, then the largest mouse pad from Glorious PC Gaming Race has you and likely your entire desktop covered. It certainly boosts comfort, too, with its plush padded top layer. This cloth mouse pad strikes a fairly good balance between precision and speed, but leans more toward precision. It feels quite rough, compared to the Corsair MM350 Pro, but there’s a non-slip rubber base that prevents it from sliding, especially important here as more objects will be layered atop the oversized pad.
Neat stitching around the edges helps to reduce the risk of fraying, and it is machine washable. This is vital, as the top surface is plain black and very absorbent. I found that it picked up stains and dust quite quickly as well.
The best hard mouse pad
If you want a mouse pad that will stay in place and deliver perfect precision, the Logitech G440 hard mouse pad delivers.
Pros: Slick surface for speed with fine control, durable hard plastic coating, suits mice with high DPI settings
Cons: Not so comfortable to use, only one size
Measurements: 13.38 x 11 inches; 3mm thick
This compact mouse pad proves you don’t need a lot of space, especially if you ramp up your mouse sensitivity via the dots-per-inch (DPI) settings. This hard surface, with a mouse set to a high DPI, means very slight and quick movements register accurately and you can maneuver your mouse extremely quickly.
With a polypropylene top layer, a polystyrene core, and a rubber base for added grip, the Logitech G440 provides a rigid, easy-to-clean surface with just a little give. It has a consistent surface and never slipped around while testing. A simple white G at the bottom right corner is all that breaks up the black surface, but the bottom layer is blue, which gives a subtle pop of color around the base of the pad.
The best mouse pad with lighting
The Roccat Sense AIMO provides a frame of glowing light around the mouse pad, an affordable option for RGB fans.
Pros: Bright programmable RGB lighting, textured surface for precision, comfortable padding, comes in two sizes
Cons: Relatively expensive compared to other mouse pads (but affordable for RGB mouse pads), must plug in, noticeable power control module at the top left
Measurements: 14.65 x 13.39 inches
I was a little skeptical about light-up mouse pads, but the Roccat Sense AIMO has won me over.
It comes in two sizes, but we tested the smaller one and realized its flexible cloth feels like others we tested, but with a twist. The big difference is that it plugs via an included Micro USB to USB-A cable and has a frame that runs around the outside (beneath the stitching), lighting up in a rainbow of colors.
This bright RGB light has two programmable zones, which you can tinker with via Roccat’s Swarm software, or you can leave it to the default behavior of cycling through the colors. It will also react to some of the devices and apps you use if you download the Sense AIMO module and leave it on the intelligent lighting setting. There are other effects available, and, if you have accompanying Roccat gear, you can sync it up with your mouse and keyboard.
Beyond the lighting, this is a cloth mouse pad that has quite a pronounced textured finish, though I found it much more comfortable than other rougher mouse pads to rest my hand on. Accuracy and speed are sufficient, though it leans towards precision. There’s also a rubberized non-slip back to prevent any slippage.
You will need a spare USB port to plug this into and it means you have another cable on your desk, which is a definite downside for me. The module the cable plugs into is also quite large, with a brightness control button on it which can be configured via the software. If you use a wired mouse this module is a potential snag point.
The best wireless-charging mouse pad
The Corsair MM1000 mouse pad will suit you well if you want a dual-purpose pick for your desk, ideal for clicking and charging.
Pros: Charges any Qi wireless charging device, pass-through USB 3.0 port, relatively affordable
Cons: Can’t charge mouse in use, no soft surface option
Measurements: 14.17 x 10.23 inches; 6mm thick
If you’re looking for a multipurpose mouse pad that can also charge your devices, the MM1000 from Corsair is the one we recommend. Aside from wireless charging, it adds some thoughtful extras and nails the basics of a good hard mouse pad, but there are limitations here.
Finished in a hard textured surface that offers low friction for speedy maneuvers, the Corsair MM1000 has a large power module at the top left which needs to be plugged into a USB port.
The wireless charging zone is a specific area at the top right and can charge any device that supports Qi wireless charging, setting it apart from competitors. With the Corsair MM1000, you simply rest your mouse on the charging spot, though you can’t boost your battery while you’re using it.
Turning the chunky power module into a positive, Corsair has added a USB 3.0 pass-through port. Corsair also supplies USB to Micro USB, Type C, and Lightning connectors, so you can charge other devices on the charging spot.
While it is quite pricey, it doesn’t cost anywhere near as much as the competition, though you could pair one of the best wireless chargers with our budget mouse pad pick and save yourself quite a bit of money.
What else we considered
SteelSeries Qck: A former top pick, this basic cloth mouse pad does the basics right, offering padded comfort with a micro-weave cloth surface and an anti-skid rubber bottom. It’s an affordable no-frills mouse pad that delivers. Starting from just $10, it’s also very affordable and another option aside from our budget pick, the Razer Gigantus V2.
Corsair MM600: This hard mouse pad has an unusual dual-sided design with one side designed for speed and the other for precision, though it’s not as affordable as some of our other picks. AmazonBasics Gel Computer Mouse Pad: While a budget option, it’s extremely small and there’s some doubt about whether wrist rests offer any benefit. If you set up your desk, chair, and position ergonomically, you shouldn’t need a wrist rest on your mouse pad at all.