Exterminators have come and gone in the New York City subway system and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NY MTA) has tried a variety of tactics to halt the rodent problem that exists under the bustling city streets. Nothing has worked to date as is evidenced if you take a visit to the trash collection rooms within the subway system. There you will find a thriving group of rats feasting on a seemingly never ending buffet of goodies. In addition to exterminators, the NY MTA has tried reinforcing the trash room doors and has been using mint flavored trash bags which are supposed to repel the pests. No matter the tactic used, disease ridden rats continue to find their way to the dinner table.
Help is on the way thanks to a $1.1 million grant from the National Institute of Health according to Australian News on March 28, 2013. SenesTech is conducting a study in New York’s subway system to see if they can help to reduce the rat population by administering birth control drugs to rats. The research company is targeting four subway stations with known rat populations. Rats that eat the birth control drug will experience rapid sterilization.
According to reports, the rats have a choice of eating birth control laced bait that is placed in both liquid and solid forms. So far the rats are more prone to slurp up the liquid bait than the solid bait. In addition, workers at the subway stations report that the rats have a particular fondness for lattes, Chinese food, and pepperoni. The current bait is a flavorless mixture of salt, sugar, and fat, but SenesTech is not opposed to adding specific flavors to the bait concoction to achieve more successful results.
If the rat population does diminish or is miraculously eliminated, will there be a new bait that will be created for Manhattan pest control professionals to use throughout the city? Only time will tell.