News out of Flagstaff, Arizona reports that a biotechnology company in the area, SenesTech, has developed a birth control for rats that was recently cleared by the Environmental Protection Agency. The new drug comes in the form of a sweetened liquid bait that has been shown to reduce rodent populations by as much as 40%. It works in female rats by inducing loss of eggs whereas in male rats it disrupts development of sperm.
The drug is also being tested in other feral animals such as dogs, cats, and mice.
While these findings are very exciting to those interested in controlling animal populations, it will be important for the company to ensure that the drug is formulated to prevent harm to any non-target species.