What’s worse than the idea of rat sex? The pitter patter of baby rat feet.

Rats are seriously prolific. They reproduce like crazy. So, when you see one, you can be sure there are hundreds more getting it on out of sight. It’s gross but true. All that rat sex leads to infestation, which results in damage to walls, equipment, feed stores, and lost business or revenue. So, what do you do?

How do you stop a rat infestation?

When it comes to stopping a rat infestation, most products and solutions are focused on killing the rats and controlling the population that way. There are three types of products you can use:

  • Lethal traps—Like the classic snap trap, these are designed to kill rats.
  • Live traps—A more humane option, these require you to release the rats. But if you release them close-by, they could end up coming right back into the building.
  • Poison or rodenticides—These combine an edible material with poison for rats to eat. It’s important to use tamper-resistant bait stations and follow all label directions in order to protect children, pets, and wildlife.

Killing the little guys may be your first thought. After all, they have no regard for your stuff! But what if your rat population is breeding faster than you can kill them? Or what if the death rate and birth rate are the same? 

How do I get rid of rats fast?

There’s no way around the fact that a rat infestation is deeply unpleasant and downright dirty. Many people looking for the best way to get rid of rats fast may turn to solutions like heavy duty rodenticides or even homemade rat repellents like laundry detergent or black pepper. Unfortunately, these solutions may not work as quickly—or as well—as you hope.

Let’s take rat poison for instance. The rat usually needs to consume the bait a few times before it even takes effect. During that time, that promiscuous creature could be having sex with rat after rat after rat before its death. Also, there’s a thing called neophobia where animals—even rats—are hesitant to eat new or strange foods. So at first, they may only eat a small amount of the poison, delaying its efficacy and giving said rat more time for, you guessed it, SEX.

Taking out one rat is great, but it’s not very effective if that one rat impregnates another rat before dying. It could lead to a litter of up to 22 rat pups (although six to nine is more common). Rats breed at a terrifying rate, and due to the short maturation time, pups can start breeding quickly. Do you know how many descendants a pair of rats could potentially produce in three years? Nearly half a billion.

Perhaps you do decide to try a scorched earth method and throw as much poison as possible at your rat infestation. This may have some success, but it typically comes with devastating effects on pets and wildlife. In addition, these methods are reactive: they eliminate rats quickly when the population is out of control. However, when it only takes two rats to start the cycle over again, the population could be back to its original size within a matter of months. Unless you catch a lucky break, your rodent population may never be fully eliminated with lethal methods alone.

Is there a pet-friendly rat poison?

Looking for rat poison that won’t harm pets? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that all rat poison products, if misused, can potentially harm you, your children, or your pets. Rat poison is formulated to kill mammals. Most pets are also mammals and, last I checked, so are children. If they accidentally ingest a poison meant to kill a mammal, it could be a recipe for disaster. The EPA also warns that non-target wildlife can be poisoned if they get into the rodent bait or if predators or scavengers consume a rat that has eaten that poison

Isn’t there a better way?

So glad you asked! Poison and traps are short-term strategies. When it comes to rats and their propensity for promiscuity, we need to look at the full picture. There are two ways to control a rat population—through the death rate and the birth rate. Up until this point, we have only had tools affecting the death rate. But now, we have something entirely new and different. ContraPest® contraception for rats. It’s the first and only EPA-approved birth control for rats that reduces rat fertility so they can do what they do without reproducing.

With patented technology that has been authorized for use by the EPA, ContraPest is a clean and effective long-term strategy when it comes to rat populations. Because ContraPest is not a poison, but rather a birth control for rats, you can minimize exposure threats to children, pets, and wildlife. It’s also a specially formulated solution that rats love. Sweet and fatty, they can’t get enough of it.

Let ContraPest help clean up your rat problem by adding it to an existing integrated pest management program or by using it alone. It’s a proactive and preventive tool that can help keep rat populations from reaching horde levels on farms and city streets, in businesses and homes. Put an end to rampant rat reproduction with ContraPest. Shop our commercial and residential products now