.......Residents rushed to contain and kill an estimated 2 billion mice that ravaged crops in 22 counties around Hunan's flooded Dongting Lake, the news agency said.
China Central Television showed Yiyang city residents beating the rodents to death with clubs and shovels. Some were scooped from lakeside ditches with fishing nets, and many others were poisoned.
Residents had killed more than 2.3 million mice - 90 tons of them - since June 21, Xinhua said.
The dead mice were covered with lime and buried in deep pits to prevent the spread of disease. Experts from the national and provincial Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were sent to the area this week.
There were no reports yet of disease, Xinhua said, but an estimated 1,000 cats died in Hunan's Binhu village after eating poisoned mice.