In a recent edition of a paper published by the Oxford University Press, The Journal of Urban Ecology states that the movement of rats can be controlled by their pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals secreted outside by a body, that influence the behavior of the receiving end just like hormones do. The only difference is, hormones are secreted inside the body, unlike hormones.
In the case of Urban rats, the pheromones are found in the scent of other rats. Urban rats are the least studied by researchers as their behavior differs from that of rodents and/or lab rats. Also, there are other problems that the research team faces while studying rats is the allowance.
They may easily get access to take away the rats from the city but because of being pests in nature, they are not allowed to re-enter the city which makes it difficult for the team to study the before and after effect on rats. Property owners too are seen showing reluctance towards sharing data about rats.
In a study, it was seen that these rats are costing over $300 billion to the world’s economy per year and of course the havoc that they create is immeasurable. That makes it all the more important to find a way to get rid of these pests. Overcoming all the issues a team of researchers from Oxford University converted a waste recycling center in Brooklyn, NewYork into their laboratory to study rats and implant microchips in their body to easily study their behavior.
The result is the findings that state Rats get attracted to the female scent and get away from the male scent. This piece of information can be used in creating measures for rat movements by baiting or repelling them with smells of their own type.
These are the initial findings and a lot more research needs to be done to come up with the perfect measures but without access to the city, experimenting with urban or the city rats becomes difficult and thus they need more access.