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Munchies

Is Making Rats Hungry and Horny the Best Way to Kill Them?

This is how Pizza Rat dies.

by Jake Kivanc
Apr 11 2016, 4:30pm

Pizza Rat will not be forgotten. Screenshot via YouTube​

Read: A Guy Broke into Five Guys Just to Cook Himself a Cheeseburger

We've seen how rats like to gamble, eat pizza, and trade on Wall Street (we honestly have so much in common!), but now a British Columbia research team has found a way to kill them with very little effort: by using sex and food to lead them to their deaths.

According to a paper published in a German research journal last week, a team from Simon Fraser University has successfully developed a pheromone that tricks rats into thinking sex and tasty food are nearby, only to lead them into a quick death—all done without the use of poison.

The pheromone is a blend of synthetic sex hormones that replicate the scent of a male brown rat, along with the aromas of rat-favorite foods such as nuts, cheese, and cereal. The smell is packaged with a device that works much like a typical mouse trap—built to snap the neck of rodents that step into it.

If making male rats horny and hungry isn't enough, the contraption also emulates the sounds of baby rats to fool female rats into thinking they're in full-on maternal mode.

"Rats are really intelligent, and in order to manipulate them, you have to be intelligent as well, and do that in a way that addresses their needs," Gerhard Gries, principal investigator in the study, told the Canadian Press (CP).

"It smells delicious—it smells like rat, and it sounds like rat."

Geries told CP that the trap is ten times more effective than current contraptions out on the market and does not utilize poison—a huge plus due to the fact that rats that eat poison not only die brutally by bleeding out, but are often eaten by other animals, which then are stuck with the carcinogens from the product.

Although Gries said that rats have learned to evade traps over time because of how long humans have been hunting them for, he noted that it's unlikely the rats will be able to outsmart this device due to the fact that they die instantly.

"The rat that has responded to your pheromone message or sound message has really been killed, and it cannot transfer that message," he said.

"There's no learning effect passed along to next generation."

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