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New Rodent Control Research

Groundbreaking new rodent control research funded by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and done in partnership with Fordham University dispelled some long-thought myths about cats as an effective means of rodent control. It turns out that cats do not successfully kill and control rat populations. Scientists studied individual rat behavior using scent detection and RFID-technology, better known as micro-chipping, to learn more about individual rat behavior.

Watch this video to learn more about the rodent control research or click here to read the full press release.

Research Paper

The journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution also published a paper about the Rat Race research, which can be viewed here.

Research Highlights

Here is a list of key conclusions derived from the rodent control research:

Scent Detection

  • Male scents alone cause both female and male rats to investigate, but then ultimately avoid an area in the future.
  • Mixed male and female pheromones cause rats to respond more favorably to the scent compared to male-only scents.
  • Female-only pheromones are most attractive to both male and female rats and elicit the strongest response.

Cats and Rodent Control

  • Feral cats were observed over the course of a five-month period and their presence was recorded more than 300 times by the cameras monitoring the research site and active rat colonies located nearby. In that timeframe, less than one percent of the cat and rat encounters resulted in a rat being killed; despite, stalking behavior being observed 20 times.
  • Rats are less likely to be seen on the day-of or the day after cats are present.
  • For every cat sighting observed, rats were nearly 20 percent more likely to move toward a shelter.
  • Although rats were less likely to be seen, the feral cats had no observable long-term impact on the rat population. The rats went into hiding but came back later, determining that cats are not an effective measure in rat control in urban settings.