Rat poison is a form of rodenticide designed to kill rats. Many rat poisons are designed to be effective after a rat has ingested several doses or a few hours after a rat eats some of the toxin. Rats, like other rodents, lack the ability to vomit substances which make them sick and thus have a form of bait shyness. Instead of eating a large amount of a new food, many rats will instead eat a little and then wait to see if it makes them sick. Other rats will notice this behavior and will also wait to eat some of the food. If the rat who ingested the material dies, then the others won’t touch it. Many makers of rat poison keep this in mind and thus create certain toxins designed to be slow-acting yet effective.
Rat poison falls into two different groups: those that use anticoagulants and those which use non-anticoagulants. Anticoagulants are products which stop the blood from clotting, which causes internal bleeding and eventually death. Some examples of common anticoagulants include warfarin and bromadiolone. Non-anticoagulants do not affect the blood and actually cause different effects. For example, some will disrupt a rat’s nervous system, while others increase the amount of calcium in the blood, which causes organ failure. Both types of poisons are effective and can be bought from hardware and general stores. Because rat poison comes in different varieties, people will need to wait between 12 hours to 4-5 days for them to be effective.
People interested in purchasing rat poison should know that it comes in multiple forms such as bars, pellets, chunks, and blocks that are wrapped separately for freshness. Home and business owners should never use a rat poison if they don’t fully understand how to handle one because the substances are highly toxic to other animals, including humans and pets. Most rat poisons should be placed in areas that only rats will be likely to reach and should be monitored carefully to ensure other animals don’t encounter them. Although they sound simple, all forms of rat poison are dangerous for an amateur to handle on their own. To prevent an accident, it is recommended to contact a pest control professional to identify an infestation hiding place and demonstrate how rat poison can be handled in a safe manner.
Jose D. has been providing pest control solutions to North County San Diego residents since 2000!