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By JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
NY Daily News
A rat-tacular Brooklyn father-and-son duo has invented what is being hailed as a more humane rodent trap - a device that sends the critters to dreamland with potent herbs.
Jonathan and Steven Frisch say they've discovered the perfect rat remedy, that doesn't kill the perennial pest but instead soothes it to sleep with the herb Valerian root.
"With this, everyone's happy," said Jonathan Frisch, 32, of the product he and his father call Sleepaway.
"You get to control the rodent and the rodent's stress is relieved."
Frisch, who works from a Sunset Park office with his dad, said rodents are attracted by the scent of Valerian and drawn to the plastic rectangular trap for a taste.
From there, the rat or mouse is lulled to sleep after nibbling the herb, enabling the owner of the trap to release the critter without killing it, Frisch said.
Expected to hit the shelves of Pathmark and other New York stores within months, the trap also could be available across the country through Wal-Mart, the Frischs said.
The trap comes on the heels of a pilot program spearheaded by the city Department of Health that aims to educate residents, exterminators and community groups throughout the city on how best to deal with rodent infestations.
A department spokeswoman declined to comment on Sleepaway, but said the practice of freeing the snoozing rodents back onto city streets may not be the best way to solve the problem.
"People should use professional pest control services that use integrated pest management methods to address rodent problems," said the spokeswoman, who conceded that it was not illegal to release rats outside after catching them.
Before the trap even hits shelves, however, animal cruelty critics are hailing the invention as a step forward, saying most traps today are extremely cruel toward pests.
"Rats are highly social animals and they have families on the outside of these homes," PETA spokesman Martin Mersereau.
"Killing them is unnecessary and there are ways to deal with these issues humanely. It's nice to hear people are creating inventive ways to address this issue."
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