How Rat Poisons Can Harm Other Animals

How Rat Poisons Can Harm Other Animals

rat poison

Getting rid of a rat infestation with poison will reduce their population but at a tremendous cost to other living things, from the most inconsequential insect to pets and children. Because of the drugs that manufacturers use to eradicate rodents, the risks of secondary poisoning when using poisoned baits for rats are high. Even though it’s legal to use poisonous baits for rats, history can teach us a lesson about the long-term risks regarding the now outlawed DDT.

What’s in Rat Poisons?

There are two types of poisons for rats. The first uses anticoagulants like brodificoum, warfarin and bromadiolone. These baits have concentrated doses designed to cause the mice and rats that eat them to bleed out internally. Any other animal who eats any of the deceased rat will probably share the same fate. If a pet or child ingests them directly, they’ll need immediate diagnosis and medical attention to reverse the effects of this secondary poisoning. 

The second type of poisons are made with zinc bromethalin, phosphide or cholecalciferon. They have the capacity to kill within several hours. The hope is that the rats will take the poison back to their nests and eliminate even more of the vermin. Insecticide manufacturers use this technique to kill other pests like cockroaches as well. However, the longer the rats are in your environment, the higher the chances of their leaving behind harmful bacteria and viruses that they carry.

The DDT Effect

DDT was a powerful insecticide used during World War II and after in the U.S. to control mosquitoes. It was banned in 1972 because it had an extremely powerful, hazardous and long-lasting ripple effect through the food chain. Originally intended to knock nuisance insects, it started turning up in the species that ate those bugs. Eggshells and bones thinned among the birds that ate the insects. Aquatic populations who fed on the bugs died off. 

Humans exposed to DDT have higher rates of cancer. Since it lasts 150 years in the environment, DDT still has the potential to harm all animal life forms on the planet, even though it’s been banned for nearly 50 years.

Origins and Effects of Rat Poisons

Like DDT, the use of anticoagulants to kill mice and rats originated during the 1940s. Scientists accidentally discovered that rotten clover blossoms caused excessive bleeding in recently dehorned cattle. They developed warfarin from this discovery. Since then, anticoagulant use spread to humans to manage blood clotting. 

Rat poison has a similar effect to DDT, although it doesn’t last as long in the environment. The animals that eat the poison directly sicken and die, and the scavenger species that eat their carcasses then sicken and die. It’s a cycle that will continue until all the sources of rat poisons in the environment are gone. 

City dwellers used to be immune to circumstances affecting wildlife. Now that species like coyotes and raccoons have adapted to urban environments, more birds and wildlife are exposed to the deadly effects of rat poisons, right along with the children and pets living nearby.

Dangers to Children

Unless you are 100% certain that children cannot access the rat poison, they may be exceptionally vulnerable to the toxic chemicals from which they’re made. Kids are naturally curious and unless they’re old enough and disciplined, the temptation to taste is strong. Chemists tempt the rodents to eat the poisons by sweetening them, which makes them just as tasty for kids as it does rats. 

Over the last 10 years, 40 percent more children have been poisoned by rodenticides. They’re toxic to inhale, touch and ingest and exposure can be fatal. Unless your environment has absolutely no children present, it’s better to be safe and use nontoxic means of rodent control.

Family Pets at Risk

Tens of millions of households in the U.S. have cats or dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. With numbers that high, the risk of exposure to rodenticides to your or someone else’s pet is probable, especially if you live in a populated area. Like children, pets are also curious. Dogs are notorious for eating virtually anything and cats will chase rodents. If they find the rodent bait stations, they may indulge in them because they do like sweet tastes. 

Stray and feral cats and dogs can access rat poisons in small and hidden areas. Their sense of smell is much stronger than children’s, and they will eat almost anything when hungry. Any kind of ingestion could be fatal unless the pet or animal receives immediate emergency veterinarian care. Since no one will know what they’ve encountered or eaten to make them ill, an accurate diagnosis and treatment isn’t likely. Many animals also hide when they’re ill or mask their symptoms out of instinct. 

Other vulnerable animals include any who eat from the poisoned carcass of rats or mice. Although most wild animals prefer fresh, there are circumstances when they’ll eat recently deceased animals out of hunger or to feed their young.

A Better Alternative

The A24 Rat Trap gives you a humane alternative for eliminating the rat population with little impact on the environment and little effort from you. It doesn’t require monitoring or positioning in remote or difficult locations, and it provides 24 incidents of rat elimination without resetting. Installation is easy and there are no harmful environmental side effects from this product. It’s one of the truly effective ways to practice poison-free rat control. 

It uses a strong blast of carbon dioxide to fatally injure the rodent. As the rat lifts its head to sniff the attractant in the rat trap, the impact of the gas kills the rat instantly and painlessly. There are no lingering poisons in the animal or toxins that can leach into the soil or water supply. Best of all, the animal doesn’t suffer. In addition, the predators who find the dead rats won’t suffer a painful death after eating it or sharing it with den mates. 

If you’d like more information about poison free rat control, contact the experts at by calling us at 1-877-992-8868 or visiting our website today.


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