MTA to use birth-control bait in fight against rats

The brown rat, otherwise known as the Norway rat, is a common subway sight. Credit: Getty Images
The brown rat, otherwise known as the Norway rat, is a common subway sight. Credit: Getty Images

The MTA is poised to go after rats where it hurts them the most.

With traps and poisons proving insufficient, the transit authority confirmed Sunday that it will test out a new birth-control bait designed to permanently sterilize the ubiquitous rodents.

“We want to find out if this will work,” said MTA spokeswoman Judie Glave. “It’s not going in a subway station. It’s going to be in a non-public space within the system.”

She did not offer a specific timeline, other than to say it will happen sometime this year.

As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, the birth-control bait would induce early-onset menopause in rats. Funding for the pilot project comes entirely from the National Institutes of Health.


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