Spain Battles Devastating Vole Infestation

An invasion of mouse-like rodents is laying waste to a broad swath of farmland in central Spain.

Farmers are trying everything from burning fields to squashing the creatures with giant rolling pins, but to little avail. Officials estimate that up to 750 million of the animals have infested an area of 1,000 square miles. Damage to crops is estimated at $40 million.

The regional government of Castilla y Leon has approved the use of poison and the burning of fields in 621 municipalities, hoping to eradicate the plague. But the rodents are working their way northeastward, into the wine-growing region of Rueda, where some of Spain's leading wines are produced.

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