Does Rat Birth Control Work?

Oct 25

We all know the reputation that bunnies have for getting busy but really the saying should be about rats. These furry little creatures are having a whole lot of fun and are believed to be the most populous mammal on the planet, with China alone boasting over 2 billion rats. This wouldn’t be an issue, except that rats can cause catastrophic harm to humans due to the diseases, food contamination, and structural damage they are responsible for.

Did you know that rats can carry 35 different diseases? Not only can they be transmitted directly through bites or contact with rodent urine or feces, but they can also transmit indirectly through ticks, mites, or fleas that have fed on the rodents and then carry the infection to people. In short, rats are gross.

These rodents are also a huge threat to food production. In Asia alone, the rice loss every year caused by rodents could feed about 200 million people. In North America, the two primary rat species that cause issues are Norway rats and roof rats.

So we’ve got a rat problem...what do we do about it? One solution is simple: put all those busy little critters on birth control. Let’s take a look at this solution and if it actually works, as well as other ways to stop rats from learning too much from the birds and the bees and the bunnies.

What Is the Best Way to Control the Rat Population?

The best approach to stop all the rats from making rat babies is to institute a “three limbs on the floor at all times”, we’re just kidding! In reality, the right way to control the rat population is by finding the pest solution that works best for you. 

The traditional approach to rat control is to attempt to influence the death rate of the rat population by deploying poisons or traps. However, if the death rate remains below or on par with the birth rate of the particular rat population you’re trying to eliminate, then the rats really aren’t going anywhere.

Additionally, although you may have some success with the first wave, it’s common to have a rebound due to how fast rats can get it on *cue the guitar riff*. It only takes two rats for a rebound to happen, growing that population back to its original size (or potentially even larger) within just a few months. A female rat will produce between 3-6 litters with 5-12 pups per litter during her year-long lifetime. That’s a lot of rats!

So, if influencing the death rate isn’t an effective solution, then the other way to control rats is by influencing the birth rate of the rodents by, you guessed it, putting them all on birth control. No, seriously! Employing birth control for rats reduces the rates of rat pups being born and keeps the population under control - and you won’t have to do any room checks.

Is There Birth Control for Rats?

Yes, there is! Now you may be conjuring visions of rat birth control pills and wondering “wow, how am I going to get them to take their little pills at the same time every day?” Well, don’t even worry about it. The way that ContraPest(R) works is with a liquid bait that is placed inside a bait station. After initial consumption, rats will continue to come back for more, no daily alarms that say, "take your pill!" needed. ContraPest is the only EPA-approved fertility solution on the market for rats and is a proactive, long-term solution that targets rats by population.

How Does Rodent Birth Control Work?

ContraPest is based on a technology developed for research focused on women’s health, specifically menopause. The founders of SenesTech realized the technology’s potential for the pest management industry and went to work developing a commercial product, which would become ContraPest. ContraPest for rats was registered with the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016 as a non-lethal rodenticide for Norway and roof rat population management.

ContraPest contains two active ingredients, 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) and triptolide, both of which work by inhibiting reproduction in male and female rats. Triptolide affects the reproductive capacity of both male and female rats, while triptolide and VCD work by destroying ovarian follicles in female rats.

Does Rat Birth Control Work?

Yes, rat birth control is effective at controlling rat populations! ContraPest was deployed for 16 months at two specific sites in Washington, D.C. from June 2019 to October 2020. Depending on location, activity was reduced 94-99% with 98-100% reduction in juvenile rodents. 

You can find our rat birth control for sale on our website for both commercial and residential applications. Our starter kit has everything you need to get started on your journey to managing the rat population. SenesTech is working towards making ContraPest available to all interested parties in the United States and values working with distribution partners for optimal success. Our distribution partners include Veseris, Agri-Turf Distributing LLC, and Do-It-Yourself Pest Control.

Our products focus on people, planet, and progress—our mission is to improve the health, safety, and well-being of humanity by reducing the negative impact from pest rodents. Learn more about ContraPest and how we can assist you in your goal of managing your rat problem, no opposable thumbs needed!