Chicago to fight rat population with contraception product, dry ice

CHICAGO - The Department of Streets and Sanitation announced its latest weapon in the fight against rats.

The city will begin using a bait called ContraPest, a contraceptive product said to help control the mice and rat population. After months of feeding on the bait, rodents become infertile and therefore, are unable to breed.

According to the Department of Streets and Sanitation's Rodent Control, female rats produce four to seven litters within the first two to three months of their life, and in general, can carry a variety of infections and diseases that can spread to humans and pets.

The ContraPest pilot will be conducted at the city's garbage transfer station at 34th and Lawndale and if successful, Chicago will regularly use ContraPest and dry ice in enclosed areas and parks.

The method was recently approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).