If the Norway brown rats you see crawling along subway tracks and platforms have learned anything it is how to adapt. In fact, they've become so good at it, the MTA is devising a new way to try and get rid of them by sterilizing female rats.
Timothy Wong, an exterminator with M&M Pest Control, says just getting the female rats to take the bait from subway trash rooms will be tough enough.
"I think it's going to be a long shot," Wong says. "You got to remember when they're in the subway they have so much to eat, like Taco Bell and pizza."
He says the female rats would have to consume roughly 10 percent of their body weight in the bait for 5 to 10 days to become sterile.
"I think this is part of the tool," he says. "But is this the solution? I don't think so."
But the MTA is working on the pilot project with a company from Arizona called SenesTech, which used ContraPest in agricultural areas of Southeast Asia.
This is the first time it would be used in a transit system.
Bait traps and glue strips have helped cut back on the roughly 40 million rats in New York City.