What Are The Risks of Using Rat Poison?
Guest Blog By Amanda Prather of RatPoisonFacts.org
Rats are never a welcomed guests in our homes and other buildings surrounding our property. These rodents can cause extensive damage both inside and outside a house. Moreover, rats can carry diseases and parasites, and therefore pose serious health risks to you and your family. There are various ways of dealing with a rat infestation – from calling professional pest control services to eliminating the problem by yourself. Some people decide on the extreme method of using lethal pesticides to make their house rat-free. However, before you choose to use rat poison, you should be aware of all the dangers it carries with it.
Risks Associated With Rat Poison
Rodenticides are pesticides that are designed to kill rodents, such as mice and rats. However, they can also be toxic to other mammals and birds. Most rodenticides are also toxic when touched or inhaled, not only consumed. That is why rat poison should always be handled carefully as it can pose a threat to humans and other animals.
Risk To Children
Rat poison is formulated as a bait, which means it contains ingredients that attract animals. Baits can contain anything from peanut butter to grains, which can be attractive not only to rodents but also children. Placing rat poison in an area occupied by children can lead to disastrous situations. Young kids are naturally curious – they want to touch, smell, or taste anything they find. An unfamiliar object is likely to grab their attention. Especially since some of the rat poison comes in the shape of pellets and in various colors, which to children can look like candy. What is worse, rat poison typically tastes sweet, which only encourages the kids to try more of it.
If a child swallows a rodenticide, you should immediately call 911! It is recommended to clear the child’s mouth and give them a small amount of water or milk to drink.
Risk To Pets
Leaving rat poison around your house or outside space causes a large risk to your family pet that may consume it. Cats and dogs are curious animals and they usually don’t mind having an additional snack – and that’s what rodenticides will look like to them. Pets can also often reach objects that should technically be difficult to reach for them. And considering that a lot of times your pet is probably wandering unattended, there is a huge chance of them finding rat poison even in your “hidden” spots. Rat poison and pets just don’t mix together!
Some rat poison kills the rodents within hours, and some within days. This means that none of the rat poisons kill the animal immediately, which then allows them to travel back to their hiding spots. Sometimes, rodents can die inside your walls or other hidden spaces and cause a terrible odor. Moreover, this also means that at some point you will have to remove the dead rat, which if not disposed of correctly can increase your risk for contracting a number of diseases that the rat may be carrying.
Alternatives To Rat Poison
Rat poison is not the only way of dealing with rats – there are lots of alternatives available on the market! If you don’t want to put your family and pets at risk and want to deal with a rodent infestation in a humane way, you may want to consider these options:
- Removing access to food– if there is no food available, rats won’t be staying in your home for too much longer. When dealing with a rodent infestation, removing food sources is an essential first step;
- Remove harborage – this action will get rid of hiding spaces that rodents like the most; remove anything that the rats are under, behind, or in;
- Seal entry points – this is a very important step in rat-proofing your house. Identify and close all the entry points, block holes with stone or cement, or even wire netting. If the rats are already in the house, leave one entry point open and install a one-way door so that the animals can leave but not come back inside;
- Humane Traps – trip-traps and cage-traps are available in almost every gardening/hardware store or online shop. One unique, lethal option is the Goodnature A24. It provides homeowners with many benefits including the fact that they are certified humane, non-toxic, and automatic. This gives you constant control of your rodent problem with the dangers of rodenticides. Live traps, on the other hand, need to be checked twice a day and once rodents are caught, you should release them several miles away from your property. In some cases, when live traps aren't monitored properly, the result can be an inhumane death for the animal as starvation comes into play.
Rats may not be our favorite animals, but they are animals after all. We should try to deal with them in the most humane ways possible. Rat poison may seem like an easy option at first, but in fact, it is quite dangerous – the poison itself is a threat to your family and pets, and dealing with dead rats in your walls can be a huge issue. We recommend exploring alternatives to rat poison or calling your local pest controllers who will be able to help you out with a rodent infestation.