Paris 2024 is keen to welcome the Pied Piper of Geel


Producer Dries Verdonck of Geel-based Strygoo outsmarts rats with his SmarTraps based on smart sensors.

Legend tells of a 13th-century rat-catcher in Hamelin, Germany, who lured a plague of rodents to a watery demise in the Weser River, using nothing but his mesmerising flute. Today, poison is used. However, Strygoo has come up with an animal and environment-friendly alternative that is also particularly effective at controlling the pest.

It basically amounts to exploiting the psychology of the rat, if you will. Food is still left strewn in a trap. Except that it no longer immediately clamps down as soon as a rat presents itself. Smart sensors monitor everything: when, how often and how much they visit. The rats communicate with each other partly through scent trails that attract fellow rodents. This buoys their confidence. Once the sensor detects enough specimens, the trap automatically clamps shut. The rats fall into a container of alcohol, where they die a gentle death. Their trust shattered, gone are the predictable rats.

The smart SmarTrap packed with data collection electronics has already proved its worth. Among others for Strygoo's hometown of Geel, but also at the world-renowned dance event Tomorrowland in Boom. It will soon be the turn of practically the rat capital of the world, New York, while a challenging summer awaits the Parisian specimens at the upcoming Olympic Games.