MAY 16, 2017 1:08 PM PDT

New York Rats Treated to Free Birth Control

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

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
AUG 06, 2020
Plants & Animals
Swine Fever Threatens Critically Endangered Indian Hogs
AUG 06, 2020
Swine Fever Threatens Critically Endangered Indian Hogs
The Associated Press reports that the world's smallest and rarest wild pig species is undergoing its own virus lockd ...
AUG 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Are There More Rogue Planets than Stars?
AUG 22, 2020
Are There More Rogue Planets than Stars?
Researchers from Ohio State University have theorized that there may be more rogue planets (planets that don't orbit ...
SEP 10, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Reprogramming Virus to Build Better Li-ion Batteries
SEP 10, 2020
Reprogramming Virus to Build Better Li-ion Batteries
There's no doubt that the word "virus" is currently on everyone's mind. However, there's a lot mor ...
DEC 03, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
3-D Printed, Realistic Heart Model for Training Future Physicians
DEC 03, 2020
3-D Printed, Realistic Heart Model for Training Future Physicians
Building a realistic tissue model is critical for training young physicians and surgeons, and yet challenging due to the ...
DEC 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Superhighways in Space Enable Super Fast Travel Between Planets
DEC 12, 2020
Superhighways in Space Enable Super Fast Travel Between Planets
Astronomers from Serbia have found that invisible structures created by gravitational interaction in our Solar System ge ...
JAN 13, 2021
Plants & Animals
Dwarf Giraffes Observed for the First Time Ever
JAN 13, 2021
Dwarf Giraffes Observed for the First Time Ever
The name “dwarf giraffe” certainly seems like an oxymoron, which is why scientists were shocked to observe t ...
Loading Comments...