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Rat Sterilization Idea Intrigues Rahm

By Ted Cox | March 13, 2014 2:08pm | Updated on March 13, 2014 2:16pm
 Rats are "plaguing part of the city," says Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Rats are "plaguing part of the city," says Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
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GAGE PARK — The mayor signaled his openness Thursday to try a new bait against rats that is designed to render them sterile.

"I'm always interested in new ideas to address an old problem," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday at a news conference in Gage Park.

Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) raised the issue Wednesday, pointing to how the New York City transit agency was using a new bait that causes female rats to lose their eggs prematurely, thus causing sterility. Fioretti said the new product, known as ContraPest, is "nontoxic, nonpoisonous and environmentally friendly."

The mayor and his staffers emphasized that they've had a meeting scheduled with the product's manufacturer, SenesTech, for weeks and that Emanuel was open to new approaches to attacking the city's rat problem. Emanuel said the city had bolstered its budget for rat abatement this year, and his staffers were meeting Thursday with SenesTech.

While not allowing that the problem is "out of control," as Fioretti had insisted, Emanuel pledged to "reduce this problem that's plaguing part of the city."