Pest control for rats

Rat Lures - Dr Michael Jackson and Dr Janice Cheng

Dr Mike Jackson, one of the inventors, and Dr Janice Cheng, Senior Commercialisation Manager, Wellington UniVentures.

While New Zealand has committed to becoming predator-free by 2050, warming global temperatures are creating fertile breeding conditions that are causing a surge in the numbers of rats and mice in this country. However, the risk they pose to human and animal health is a global problem—as they transmit diseases and viruses, contaminate food sources and cause serious property damage all over the world. Rats are currently dominating a world-wide pest control market that's estimated to reach $28 billion by 2026. 

Current pest control operations are ineffective and costly—primarily because the food-based lures are perishable and need constant replenishment. However, two Victoria University of Wellington researchers have devised a long-life alternative that addresses the limitations of food-based lures by providing non-perishable, easy-to-use, hygienic products that release—over extended periods of time—a consistent odour that is attractive to rats and other rodents.

Features and benefits


Traditional rat lures often use perishable foods like peanut butter that go mouldy or get eaten by non-target animals. This technology uses novel chemical compounds to only attract and control targeted rodents.


Because the technology utilises the slow-release of odours rather than perishable foods, lures can be set and left for long periods of time, saving time and money.


Food-based lures are only effective for a few days before they need to be replenished, which is costly and time consuming. Contrast this with the inventors' non-perishable, long-life rodent lures and the cost savings are easy to see.

Next steps

The inventors are currently developing prototypes for their novel technology, and conducting animal behavioural trials to prove its effectiveness—while investigating the possibility of identifying different odours that could be attractive to other animals.

They are also considering pathways to bring their technology to market—which may involve licensing their intellectual property to a partner, or creating a spin-out company.


We are now seeking industry partners to help commercialise this technology. Get in touch with the Commercialisation Manager below to find out more.


Janice Cheng
Janice Cheng

Senior Commercialisation Manager

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