To Explore the Hairy Details, Let’s Really Burrow Down
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you already know a lot about ContraPest.
For example, you know it’s a humane, EPA-registered method for controlling the birth rate of Norway and roof rats. You know it can be a quick and effective solution for getting rid of rats, with or without traditional methods. And you know it’s an adaptable tool that helps keep rats out of spaces like chicken coops, grain stores, attics, and lofts.
But there’s a lot more to ContraPest that makes it a unique, innovative, and popular pest control solution. This month, we thought we’d take a deeper dive into some of its lesser-known features and best practices so you can better grasp the ins and outs of rat fertility control.
Pest control is a complex topic, and ContraPest—despite being so easy to use—is no exception. So, let’s dive in.
Deep Dive #1: Why ContraPest Is a Smart Choice for Eco-Conscious Businesses
Environmentalism has become a priority for most businesses today. But when you’re searching for a rat control solution, staying true to your green mission can be challenging. That’s because many effective rodenticides can be notorious for accumulating in the environment and traveling up the food chain.
As a humane contraceptive, ContraPest is a completely different type of rat control. There’s little concern about it entering the environment when used as directed, making it a great choice for businesses that want to reduce rat populations while maintaining a modest ecological footprint.
What makes ContraPest more environmentally friendly than other rodenticides? For the answer, let’s look at how other substances that target rodents can build up—or bioaccumulate—in the environment.
What Is Bioaccumulation?
When ingested, the chemicals used in pest control products can build up in the tissues of its intended target or other animals that may be exposed to the substance unintentionally. This process is known as bioaccumulation.
Here is how bioaccumulation happens:
What Is Biomagnification?
Chemicals that have bioaccumulated in the environment can progress to a more serious form of contamination called biomagnification. This occurs when predators at the top of the food chain repeatedly consume prey containing toxins. If this keeps happening, the predators will begin to die off—and the deaths of apex predators have a negative ripple effect down the entire food chain.
When it comes to bioaccumulation and biomagnification, some of the worst offenders are anticoagulant rodenticides, persistent organic pesticides such as DDT, flame retardants, and mercury.
How Does ContraPest Reduce Concerns About Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification?
It all comes down to its active ingredients. ContraPest contains 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) and triptolide, which limits reproduction in male and female rats when consumed repeatedly. ContraPest uses VCD and triptolide in such small concentrations (0.09604% and 0.00118%, respectively) that it can temporarily target reproductive organs without causing any generalized toxicity.
Simply put, there just isn’t enough of either active ingredient in the bait to travel up the food chain in a meaningful way. In addition, both active ingredients rapidly metabolize in rats, and that means they will not bioaccumulate, or worse, biomagnify.
Deep Dive #2: Maximize Bait Uptake by Deploying ContraPest in Foraging Spots
Want a great tip for a more efficient, cost-effective deployment strategy? Want your bait stations to attract more rats, more often? Then let’s take a minute to think like a rat.
Rats are natural foragers who will venture out from their nests to track down various types of food. They’re guided by their highly developed sense of smell, which will guide them to food sources that can even be just beyond your property.
Rats are quick learners, too. As they explore their surroundings, they can remember which foods and locations are safe. When food becomes scarce in one location, rats will find new foraging areas and may even migrate elsewhere.
That’s why ContraPest is most effective when deployed at foraging locations—i.e., the places where rats return time and again. In fact, rats must return to your bait stations and continually consume ContraPest in order for it to work as intended. Remember, ContraPest is a contraceptive, not a sterilant.
What makes a good foraging location? Rats feel comfortable in locations that are familiar, especially in areas where they can remain undetected or near cover. This allows them to safely eat food without worrying about becoming prey.
With that in mind, the first step is to locate areas of high rat activity and known food sources. If you’re not sure where rats are feeding, deploy ContraPest where:
- Rodenticide stations have been successful (if applicable)
- Non-toxic monitoring blocks have been chewed inside bait stations
- Incentive treats have been taken or eaten inside bait stations
The next step is allowing rats to get used to the ContraPest bait stations. Rats have a healthy fear of anything new, so it’s a good idea to leave new stations empty for several days. You can deploy ContraPest bait after monitoring blocks or incentive treats have confirmed rats are present.
Because ContraPest has not been shown to make rats ill or change their behavior, rats shouldn’t develop aversion to the bait like they could with poison. In fact, they usually can’t get enough of its fatty milkshake consistency.