Press Release (ePRNews.com) - ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Jul 28, 2017 - A combination of non-toxic deterrent chemicals embedded in a wire coating dramatically reduced rat damage to treated wire bundles in a recent randomized study conducted by Texas A&M University on behalf of Aversion Technologies, Inc.
Male rats were even more disgusted by the bittering agents and capsaicin combination in Aversion Technology’s Repela™ plastic additive than female rats, surprising animal behavior researcher and study designer Courtney Daigle, Ph.D.
“Wire damage was reduced by almost 80% in the case of male rats during their first exposure to the treated wire coating,” said Daigle. “Damage scores were even lower in the second exposure to the treated wire. Animals have memories. How long-lasting they are, we don’t know, but the male rats in particular seemed to learn that chewing on the treated wires doesn’t taste very good.”
Rodents are estimated to cause over $19 billion in economic damage annually in the United States. Rodents, which include rats, mice, squirrels, pocket gophers, chipmunks and larger mammals such as beavers, porcupines and groundhogs, must continually gnaw on items to wear down their incisor teeth, which never stop growing.
Electric and fiberoptic cables are particularly attractive to rodents, helping make squirrel damage the #1 cause of power outages in the U.S., according to the American Public Power Association.
Rats and mice are also quite attracted to so-called “green” vehicle wiring that employs a biodegradable — and apparently delicious — soy-based coating. Gnawed soy-based automobile wiring has become so common, and is so expensive to repair, that it has spawned class-action lawsuits against two automakers—Honda and Toyota—since 2015.
“I was really surprised by the results when I examined the data,” said Daigle. “The difference between the treated and untreated wire was significant.” She continued, “As an animal behaviorist, I’m excited by the potential of this plastic additive to effectively repel rodents, and help keep poisons out of the environment.”
A follow-up study will examine the gender difference between rats’ reactions to the treated wires.
“We are guided by the principle of doing no harm to people, plants, or animals and no damage to the environment,” said Aversion Technologies’ founder, Peter Tutini, when he announced the results of the study. “Repela does not harm animals. What’s more, because Repela is embedded in plastic, it doesn’t leach into the environment. But neither of those things matter if the product isn’t effective. That’s why we’re so gratified by the results of this first study, and eager to move forward with more research.”
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About Aversion Technologies, Inc.
Founded in 2005, Aversion Technologies’ mission is to protect people, pets and plants by creating harmless (but extremely distasteful) additives that can be incorporated to products. The company aims to make dangerous liquids such as anti-freeze unattractive to children and pets, make pests choose to not eat ornamental plants, and make rodents choose to not chew on wires and cables. Learn more about Aversion Technologies at www.AversionTech.com.
About Courtney Daigle, Ph.D.
Dr. Courtney Daigle is an Assistant Professor in the Nutrition section of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. She earned her B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State University, an M.S. in Zoo & Aquarium Management from Michigan State University, and her Ph.D. in Animal Science from Michigan State.