Pest control: City rolls out birth control to fight rodent infestation


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“Love is in the air” if you happen to live in a rat-infested town.

After states such as California restricted the use of toxic rodenticides, some cities began using a more humane way to control rat populations called “ContraPest,” the only state-approved birth control measure for rats. “Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

” [ContraPest] It’s a “milkshake” for mice. It’s a high-fat, sweetened liquid formula that’s very appealing to mice, which need to consume about 10 percent of their body weight in water each day,” said Ken Siegel, CEO of producer SenesTech Comparing Pests.

California has restricted the use of toxic rodenticides, requiring some cities to control rat populations with rat contraceptives.
(Fox News)

“Deployed in a conventional bait box, ContraPest targets the reproductive performance of both sexes in a rat population, inducing egg loss in female rats and impairing sperm development in males. »

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He told Fox News that the pill is safe for other animals or people because it’s specifically designed for mice, who must consume the product on a regular basis to be effective.

The company became interested in birth control technology after its founders developed a model for inducing menopause in mice, which became known as “mouse menopause.”

But why is the number of mice so difficult to control?

Two sexually active mice can produce about 15,000 “offspring” in a year, Siegel said.

“Rats reproduce faster than poisons, traps or any other lethal means alone can eliminate them. Without birth control, their numbers usually rebound back to their original size within a few months of using only traditional methods of rat control. level,” Siegel added.

According to the company’s website, while traditional pest control can quickly eliminate the rats, with just two rats, the population can return to its original size or even larger within a few months.

Siegel added that the Norwegian rat is the most common rat, but the number of roof rats in the U.S. has been on the rise for the past 15 years.

Saw a rat in a New York City subway station.New York City is considered to be "most failed" cities across the country.

Saw a rat in a New York City subway station. New York City is considered one of the “tattered” cities in America.
(Gary Hershawn/Getty Images)

Siegel points out that Norwegian rats live on the ground, while roof rats “…often never put their paws on the ground in their lives”.

So where do you put your tempting bait?

“ContraPest is deployed in a traditional bait box, which is very effective against the more common Norway rats,” Siegel said.

But for roof rats, the baits are placed differently to suit their unique living environment.

“Just this week, ContraPest began selling the Elevate Bait System, a new EPA-approved method for deploying ContraPest above ground. It is easy to deploy indoors and above ground, in barns, attics, storage and manufacturing The facility has multiple installation options on the rafters, lofts and attics,” Siegel told Fox News.

According to a press release, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles are among the five “ratest” cities in the United States on the 2021 “rat colony” list. Pest Control Services.

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“Most rodenticides used today are anticoagulant compounds, which interfere with blood clotting and cause death from excessive blood loss. Death usually occurs between four days and two weeks after rodents start feeding on bait. ,” according to the EPA.

The first-generation anticoagulants were developed before 1970, but as rodents developed resistance, the second-generation anticoagulants were developed from the 1970s to kill after just one night of feeding.

However, according to the EPA, second-generation anticoagulants remain in animal tissues longer than first-generation anticoagulants, so they pose a greater risk to other, non-target animals that ingest the poison.

This prompted “California [to enact] Legislation in January 2021 prohibits the use of the four major second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in many cases,” Siegel explained.

“Municipality is strategically deploying ContraPest, along with other more traditional rodent control methods, in large parks, congregations and communities with high rat activity to speed results and prevent activity rebound,” he added.

ContraPest is the only EPA-approved rodent contraceptive currently on the market.

ContraPest is the only EPA-approved rodent contraceptive currently on the market.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The company registered ContraPest with the EPA in 2016 as a non-lethal rodenticide for roof rodent population management in Norway and all 50 states.

Used alone or in combination with other non-toxic pest control measures, such as traps and eliminating food sources, Siegel said it reduced rat populations by about 90 percent.

But according to USA Today, traditional methods are still the main way to control the rat population.

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“I think in the pest control industry, at least in the U.S., the idea of ​​birth control, they’ve heard about it, but people don’t widely understand why it’s beneficial,” said Brandy Pyzyna, vice president of research and research. Regulatory Affairs of SenesTech.

“It takes a lot of education to explain to people why you don’t just kill people. »

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