MAY 16, 2017 01:08 PM PDT

New York Rats Treated to Free Birth Control

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
3 2 253

Popular urban legends allege that rats in New York City outnumber humans by as much as four to one. A study in 2014 found the opposite to be true - humans outnumber rats four to one. But that still meant the city is home to approximately 2 million rats at the time of the study. Understandably, this number is still much too high for anyone's tastes.

To stop the rat epidemic, the city has tried many of the usual attempts - poison and traps, to no avail. Now, they're deploying the big guns: rat contraceptives known as ContraPest. The compound induces permanent menopause in female rats, which would prevent future baby rats. Whereas poisons and traps work on very small populations of rats and could encourage other populations to thrive, the contraceptives will be more effective and long-lasting at controlling the pest population. The compound will be tested first in a few residential areas around the city.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 19, 2018
Videos
JUL 19, 2018
Hazmat Spill at Johns Hopkins
Biohazards are a common problem in any kind of scientific research, and if a spill of dangerous materials occurs, it can be deadly. Luckily, a recent spill
JUL 22, 2018
Videos
JUL 22, 2018
No language needed
If you don’t have language, how do you think? If you know fewer words, can you think fewer thoughts? Or perhaps less complex thoughts? That’s t
JUL 26, 2018
Videos
JUL 26, 2018
Most Military Deaths Are Not From Combat
Since 2006, 16,000 military service members have died while on active duty. While some were killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, 72% of those deaths o
JUL 27, 2018
Videos
JUL 27, 2018
Ever Wonder Why the Moon Turns Red During A Lunar Eclipse?
Lunar eclipses can be fun to observe, but have you ever wondered why the Moon turns red during the event? As it turns out, this red Moon phenomenon, also k
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Why You Shouldn't Hold in a Sneeze
Despite how tempting it might be to hold in a sneeze when you’re in a public location, it’s in the best interest of your body that you just let
AUG 16, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
AUG 16, 2018
A-bombs Were More Powerful Than First Estimated
The atomic age gave birth to a pair of unlikely twins: onet being nuclear reactor technology that supplies us low-carbon energy and life-saving radioisotop
Loading Comments...