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Chicago Plans to Put Rats on Birth Control

Chicago, named the “Rattiest City” in the United States last year, has come up with a new strategy to control their rat populations that is expected to be implemented Spring, this year. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is working out final details, such as the price and where the traps will be placed, reports the Chicago Tribune.

ContraPest, the new bait they will use, will make female rats lose eggs and male rats have testicle problems, resulting in fewer babies. Full sterility usually occurs after eight to 12 weeks of the bait being consumed. The bait will not kill or poison the rats, and does not harm humans or the environment.

Brown Norway Rats, the most common rat species in Chicago, can carry infected ticks and fleas that may be passed onto people. They can also bite humans and pets. The CTA reported that this is a proactive measure and that they “very infrequently” receive complaints about rats.