two tiny baby rats

Rats can reproduce at astonishingly high rates. A rat population can grow from two members to over 1200 in just a single year. This reason is why it is so vital that China found a natural birth control for rats – Neem Oil. This all-natural oil that can help control rat reproduction has the opportunity to become very useful in today’s society. But what exactly is Neem Oil, and how does it work?

What Exactly is Neem Oil?

Neem oil is a naturally occurring oil that is extracted from the seeds of the Neem tree. More specifically, the variation of this compound tested in rats came from the flower of this tree. Neem oil is most widely used as a pesticide, but can be found in many cosmetic products used by humans daily, including toothpaste, soap, and pet shampoo. The chemical compound found in Neem oil that is responsible for its use in pesticides is known as Azadirachtin

How Does Neem Oil Work?

Neem oil works as a contraceptive by blocking ovulation in female rats. Currently, it is still being studied as an effective means of contraception, but if it does get developed, it will most likely be a female contraceptive. Early studies on bonnet monkeys cite that the oil may raise the uterus’ sensitivity to foreign bodies, making it fight off sperm. This is another potential mechanism employed by this contraceptive. In the results of this study, the Neem oil had an effective period of 7 to 12 months and is fully reversible. This means that it could serve as a long-term contraceptive option for rats.   

Is Neem Oil Safe for Rats?

For most studies done on the suitability of neem oil as a contraceptive, the oil was applied under the skin of a rat after intercourse. There are mixed results as to whether or not this contraceptive is actually safe for rats, however. One study suggests that neem oil was effective and had far fewer side effects than other steroid-based rat contraceptive products. However, other studies that have been conducted state that the oil causes damages to the uterus and uterine glands in the rats. This is due to neem oil’s acute toxicity, which is why it is used in pesticide applications. 


Neem oil is a birth control method for rats. First discovered in China, it seem to have a lot of potential in controlling reproduction amongst rats. However, there is still a lot of research to be done before the long-term effects of the oil are considered safe for rats. A bright note is that the oil appears to be non-toxic for a number of different auxiliary uses. This means that it looks like neem oil has the potential to work as an effective birth control, but it just needs more time to be studied. One thing is for certain – when the data is collected, and a safe form of this contraceptive is produced, it could do wonders in controlling rat populations.