September 28, 2022
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US Cities Use Birth Control Technology Against Rat Infestation, Shifting to More Humane Methods

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Rat infestation is a growing public and health issue across the United States.

Conventional pest control methods in the past, such as poisons and traps, have been considered to be only a temporary solution rather than a holistic approach to addressing the increasing rat population.

In the pest control industry, recent developments have led to the emergence of “ContraPest,” a new method relating to birth control technology.

It has been reported to mitigate or prohibit the reproduction of rats.

In its early phase, the novel innovation addresses the challenges of rapid rat reproduction previously faced by pest control companies.

Birth Control Technology

Rat infestation

(Photo : Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

A company called SenesTech has been producing ContraPest, which is reportedly the only fertility control for rats approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to the company’s CEO Ken Siegel, it is like a “milk shake” for rats.

It contains a liquid formulation that rats need to consume around 10% of their body weight each day for the birth-control method to take effect, as cited by Fox News.

Unlike birth control pills and other contraceptives for humans, ContraPest content affect both sexes among the rat populace.

Siegel added that they are deployed in traditional bait boxes, causing egg loss for female rats and hindering sperm development in male rats.

Also Read: 22,000 Traps and 40 Tons of Poison Not Enough to Eradicate Rat Infestation in Lord Howe Islands

US Rat Infestation

In the US alone, rat infestation and its associated diseases have significantly increased over the years, becoming not only as a nuisance but also a threat to human health.

A flourishing rat population in the country has affected both rural and urban areas.

According to the US Census Bureau in April 2021, residents of 14.8 million households across the country have reported seeing rodents in the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, residents of 14 million housing units have reported seeing roaches.

The bureau emphasized pest problem has become a commonplace in housing units nationwide.

However, it specified this is prevalent among homes and residential areas with structural problems, as well as water leaks.

US Food Safety System

In metropolitan areas, food establishments such as restaurants have seen multiple cases relating to rat problems and have been a subject of strict health protocols by the US government.

At risk of contaminated food, the US food safety system is governed by the following agencies, according to the National Academic Press:

  •  Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  •  Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
  •  Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
  •  EPA

Rattiest Cities List

In October 2021, US pest control company Orkin has issued its “Top 50 Rattiest Cities List” that indicated the cities across the country with the highest rat population with a presence that include both residential and commercial establishments.

Under the list, the cities on top of the list are Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco, California.

The company stated food and water resources attract rodents; this has been evident when urban residents returned to their city homes following the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020.

Related Article: Rat Infestation Causes First Outbreak of Hantavirus in Washington, DC


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