Rodent Bait Guide

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Keith's Pro Tips

"You can protect both your pets and wildlife by reading and following all instructions on the rodenticide label you are using. Check your rodent bait stations daily then remove the bait and dead pests with a glove covered hand."

Rodent Bait Guide: How to Eliminate Rats and Mice with Bait

This page is an expert guide on getting rid of rats and mice from your home by poisoning them with rodenticide baits. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and we guarantee you will be successful in controlling rat and mice populations by learning more about rodenticide baits and the pest itself.

No homeowner wants rats or mice in their house or yard, which causes some to look into rodenticides. Rodenticides, otherwise known as rat or mice poison, are an easy and effective method of rat and mice control when used as directed per the product label instructions. With so many variations of rodenticides it can seem overwhelming and confusing when trying to choose one for your needs.

This DIY guide will provide extensive information about rodenticides, why and when you should use them, and how to safely use them to control rat and mice infestations around your home.

What Are Rodenticides?

Rodenticides are pesticides used for killing rodents such as rats or mice. Depending on the manufacturer, rodenticides can be referred to as rat poison or mouse poison.

What Are the Different Types of Rodenticides

Rodenticides can be separated into three categories, baits (which come in blocks, pellets, granules, liquid, gels, treated grains, and soft (pouches)), tracking powders, and fumigants. Both baits and tracking powders are rodent poisons most commonly used, usually these type of products must be eaten by rodents to be effective.

Baits such as Eratication Rodent Bait are designed to attract the rodent to a bait station. Based on the bait it can be used either outdoors or in and around a structure. Tracking powders are placed where rodents are most often traveling or likely to get it stuck to their fur or feet, which then kills the pest during grooming activities. Fumigants are toxic gases, designed to kill rats and mice in their burrows or tunnels.

Rodent Bait Classes

Each type of rodenticides work in different ways so it important to know what exactly the rodenticide is classified as. Knowing what type of rodenticide formulation it is will also help determine how long it may take to see rodent populations decrease and other effects it may produce.

There are many different rodenticides, but they are usually classified as anticoagulants or non-anticoagulant. Anticoagulants function by interfering with the rat or mouse blood clotting capabilities.

First Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (FGAR): require rats and mice to consume the bait over multiple feedings to deliver a lethal dose. These act as blood thinners, so rodents can consume a lethal amount without dying by internal bleeding until later. They are used to help prevent rat and mice from becoming shy to the product allowing a majority of the infestation to eat the bait then perish.

Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGAR): SGAR, are similar to FGAR in that they also prevent blood from clotting leading to internal bleeding in rodents. SGAR, however, has a higher concentration of active ingredients and are therefore more lethal in one single feeding. Typically, SGARs are used when rats or mice have become resistant to first generation anticoagulants (FGAR). While SGARs are more powerful, the stronger concentration of product means the poison is more likely to stay active in a dead rodent, risking exposure to scavenging wildlife or pets.

Non-Anticoagulant Rodenticides (NAR): unlike FGAR and SGAR, this type of rodenticide functions by targeting different organs in the rodent through one or multiple doses. The issue with NAR is that the reliability is heavily dependent on pre-baiting processes, and percentage of chemicals.

How to Use Rodenticides Safely

When rodenticides are used carefully and in accordance with their product label instructions, they are safe to use. The active ingredients in most rodenticides are toxic to rats and mice, and may be dangerous to other animals if they are not used correctly.

Before starting any treatment, be sure to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). We recommend you wear gloves in order to keep your human scent off any products.

  • Always read and follow the product label instructions. When used per the product label instructions and placed within a tamper-proof bait station, they pose little risk.
  • With a glove covered hand, remove any dead rats and mice you find then properly dispose of them.
  • Always wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling or applying any type of rodenticide material.
  • For most rat or mouse infestations, we recommend you use a First Generation rodenticide to eliminate your rodents with the least risk of secondary poisoning to other animals. Check out Eratication Rodent Bait, which is a synthetic bait made with 0.005% Diphacinone and rodent attractants. We recommend you use this bait with the Solutions Rat and Mouse Bait Station.

How Does Rat Poison Work

Rodenticide products mainly thin the blood of the rodent leading to internal bleeding through various active ingredients. As a homeowner or professional, it is important you read your products label and take note of its active ingredient and concentration. This way, you are able to keep track of what products work for you, and which ones do not.

When one rodenticide product doesn't work for you, you can try a different product with a higher concentration or one with a different active ingredient altogether.

Common active ingredients found in first generation anticoagulant rodenticides are warfarin, chlorophacinone, or diphacinone. Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides mainly consist of the active ingredients brodifacoum, bromodialone, difenacoum, or difethialone. Non-anticoagulant rodenticides use the active ingredients bromethalin, cholecalciferol, zinc phosphide, or strychnine.

Warfarin: is an anticoagulant, often called blood thinner, that decreases Vitamin K levels in the target pests blood. The decrease prevents blood from clotting leading to eventual internal bleeding. It causes this action within 24 hours of contact, but changes in the pests body can take between 3 to 5 days.

Chlorophacinone: is a multiple feed anticoagulant rodenticide that also decreases Vitamin K levels in the target pests blood, with the exception that chlorophacinone is chemically different by falling under the indane-class. Symptoms of this chemical does not appear right away, and may take between 3 to 10 days for rodents to die.

Diphacinone: is a anticoagulant rodenticide that works to stop Vitamin K levels, which causes internal bleeding within the target pest. Like cholorphacinone, this chemical is in the indane-class. However, diphacinone is more toxic than warfarin and a slightly higher active life. Once pests consume this material it takes between 3 to 10 days for pests to perish.

Brodifacoum: is a long-acting 4-hydroxycoumarin anticoagulant that prevents the clotting of blood leading to internal bleeding and eventual death of target pest. A single feeding of this chemical can cause symptoms to appear in rodents within 4 to 8 days.

Bromodialone: is a strong and long-acting 4-hydroxycoumarin anticoagulant. It is very potent, and once ingested by target pests it stops the pest blood from clotting, causing death within 24 hours.

Difenacoum: is a single feed anticoagulant rodenticide belonging to the 4-hydroxycoumarin. Once ingested, it inhibits the Vitamin K levels in the pests blood causing internal bleeding in 2 to 3 days.

Difethialone: is a single feed anticoagulant rodenticide derived from 4-hydroxybenzothiopyranone. One the pest ingests this material it begin to exhibit signs within 2 to 3 days, but might be as instant as 24 hours. When consumed, this chemical causes the pest to suffer from respiratory distress or liver damage leading to death.

Bromethalin: is a neurotoxin that damages the pests central nervous system. Depending on the percentage it can cause vomiting, seizures, paralysis, and then death for the pests in 24 to 36 hours.

Cholecalciferol: is a sterol of vitamin D, that causes high levels of blood calcium and phosphorus resulting in kidney failure, internal bleeding, and eventual death. Results from this single feed bait may not show in pests until 3 to 7 days.

Zinc Phosphide: is an inorganic rodenticide, when ingested it reacts with water and stomach juices of pest to release phosphine gas, causing stomach pain, vomiting, low blood pressure, central nervous system damage, and collapse of livers, lungs, kidney, and heart leading to death. Death for pest occurs within 15 minutes to 4 hours.

Strychnine: is a highly toxic natural substance that causes violent muscular convulsions, because of its ability to be readily absorbed into the central nervous system. These convulsions occur within 15 to 20 minutes of ingestion, followed up by death with impaired breathing.

How to Poison Rats and Mice with Rodenticide Bait

Before applying any type of rodenticide, make to sure wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves. Rodents are very cautious creatures, and they will avoid any product you handle if they smell your scent.

We recommend using a first generation rodenticide to control your rat and mice population as the multi-feed effect allows the product to spread to multiple pests. Eratication Rodent Bait is a synthetic rodenticide that falls under the first generation rodenticide, meaning it will control rats and mice in 2 to 4 days through multiple feedings. Like most rodent baits, it will need to be placed in tamper-proof bait station such as the Solutions Rat and Mouse Bait Station.

Step 1: Bait

Eratication Rodent Bait in Station

While wearing gloves, place 4 to 6 Eratication Rodent Bait Blocks on the metal rods inside the Solutions Rat and Mouse Bait Station. Once you have applied the appropriate amount of bait blocks then lock the station with the included key.

Step 2: Place and Monitor Bait Station

Bait Station Against Wall

Rats are more cautious in nature than mice, because they cannot easily hide as mice due to their large size. For this reason, rats are less prone to traveling in open, spaced areas preferring to run alongside walls.

Multiple bait stations should be used as rats and mice can avoid certain areas for a period of time and this will help to solve infestations more quickly with increased bait availability. Solutions Rat and Mouse Bait Stations should have a distance of 20 to 40 feet between each station used.

Once a day, check inside the bait station to replace Eratication Rodent Bait and any deceased rodents. Continue to use these products until rat and mouse activity is no longer noticed.

Key Takeaways

Why are Rats and Mice Dangerous?

  • Rats and mice can spread diseases when they travel through plumbing, and when they urinate and defecate across various surfaces in and around your home. They can also carry lice, fleas, mites, ticks, and other pests in their fur and skin. If you have a garden or machinery in your yard, their burrowing into soil/walls and gnawing on electrical wiring can cause fires and other costly repairs.

Why Use Rodenticides

  • Anticoagulant rodenticides are products that allow homeowners to kill pests without direct contact by the use of certain chemicals through one or multiple feedings. When products like Eratication Rodent Bait are ingested, it allows the entire rat and mice infestation to visit and consume the bait for a complete elimination.

Alternatives to Rodenticide Baits

  • Other non-toxic methods to control rats and mice is to use glue traps, snap traps, repellents, or humane traps. Though it is best to use multiple forms of control as one product is not guaranteed for complete rodent elimination. Solutions Pro Glue Board is a non-lethal glue trap coupled with a peanut butter scent to draw pests like mice. Snap traps are best used indoors, and cause pests to be immediately killed when the product is activated. We recommend using Solutions Easy Set Mouse Trap for mice and Solutions Easy Set Rat Trap for rats as both of these products have an easy release feature that prevents contact from pests and bar. For a non-lethal approach, you may use a humane trap like the Multi-Catch Humane Mouse Trap, which captures and holds up to 30 mice per use.
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