May 29, 2019

SenesTech is set to take center stage in the latest development, regarding the use of rodenticides in California. New legislation has been introduced to protect non-target animal populations, like birds of prey, mountain lions, bobcats, fishers, and endangered species from secondary exposure to lethal rodenticides. Supporters of Bill AB1788 have been met with concerns from residents who wonder — and worry — about the implication of rat populations left unchecked.

Fortunately, SenesTech has an effective, long-term solution that should alleviate anxiety on both sides.

The Situation

Currently, the state of California is legislating against the use of anticoagulant pesticides. Bill AB1788 seeks to amend the Food and Agricultural Code and protect non-target wildlife species from exposure to lethal rodenticides. Ultimately, if passed, this legislation will create the California Ecosystems Protection Act of 2019, which will ban the use of four major Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGAR).

While this sounds like a boon for the environment, and those species vulnerable to secondary exposure, there are those concerned that this legislation, further complicated by climate change, will result in a rampant rat population. This fear has been exacerbated by spurious speculation that such a population boom will introduce diseases, like the bubonic plague, to California’s residents.

More accurately, recent research has shown that rats can develop a resistance to SGARs, which already accounts for increased rat populations observed across the U.S. and Europe.

Based on sound science, SenesTech is able to offer an effective, long-term solution through its innovative product, ContraPest. As Chief Scientific Officer and SenesTech Co-Founder, Dr. Loretta Mayer, explains, “SenesTech is changing the paradigm of pest management by targeting the root cause of the problem: reproduction.”

The Solution

An innovative fertility control technology registered by the EPA, ContraPest induces egg loss in female rats and impairs sperm development in males. Designed and dispensed as a highly palatable liquid formulation, ContraPest relies upon a proprietary bait delivery and is low-hazard to non-target populations because its active ingredients break down quickly and do not bioaccumulate in tissue, soil, or water.

Unlike lethal rodenticides, rats will not develop resistance to fertility control, as evidenced in publications by evolutionary biologist, Dr. Steve Schuster of Northern Arizona University.

At the moment, there are seven pest professionals that deploy ContraPest in zoos and animal sanctuaries, which Dr. Mayer believes demonstrates that “we can, as an industry, find the balance our customers and society demands.”

Community stakeholders like Mr. Jeff Van Diepen, President, Pestmaster Services, asserts that “this is cutting-edge technology and a much-needed paradigm shift. “

Check back for updates on this critical legislation and follow SenesTech to see how sound science can provide effective solutions that also protect our planet.