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Flagstaff Company Gets EPA Approval For Rat Birth Control

The federal government has approved a new, highly effective contraceptive – for rats. Production of it will soon be underway at SenesTech, a Flagstaff-based biotech company.

SenesTech is now able to market this rat birth control as pest control, since receiving regulatory approval from the Environmental Protection Agency. The Arizona Daily Sun reported the contraception is a sweet liquid bait that causes egg loss in female rats and impairs sperm development in males.

SenesTech CEO Loretta Mayer said females become sterilized for life if they drink the bait for long enough. The company has been working on the formula for more than a decade, and it’s attracted attention for a more humane, safe and environmentally-friendly alternative to traps and poisons.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.