New York found a way to fight rats with pheromones

In 2018, 17, 353 city rats were counted in New York, and by the fall of this year - already 38% more. The annual global damage from them is about $ 300 billion, and many regions are ready to take major risks or expenses to get rid of the rodent problem. But it has not been possible to do this since the days of Ancient Egypt, and therefore American scientists have proposed a new, promising approach.

The idea is based on the fact that rats very quickly learn to recognize danger and avoid it, but they have instincts that animals can hardly resist. Scientists captured several dozen rodents and implanted radio beacons into them, and then released them at the Brooklyn Waste Recycling Center. Its entire territory has become a testing ground for tracking the movements of rats using radio frequency identification.

At the first stage, scientists analyzed which places the rats consider dangerous, and therefore try to avoid. Then, in the dangerous areas, they placed tags with pheromones - aromatic substances of females and males of the rodents themselves. They attracted rats who were forced to take risks to get to the mark. This is what their instincts tell them, because the sense of smell in rats is many times more effective than human, and they cannot ignore such a signal.

It turned out that male rats react aggressively to fermons, and they resort to fight a stranger, but rarely - 0.2 times a day. But for the sake of females' scent, they could visit dangerous places 5 times a day. This means that the New York administration has a new tool for controlling the movement of rats that can be used for a wide range of purposes.