Home Improvement

Can rat poison (rodenticides) harm children and pets?

Yes. Rat poisons or rodenticides are pesticides designed to kill rodents, such as mice and rats. Rodents can spread disease, damage property, and contaminate food. This is why it is often important to control rodents effectively. It is also important to understand the risks of using rodenticides around children and pets.

All rodenticides can be toxic to mammals and birds when eaten. Most rodenticides are also toxic when inhaled or touched. People, pets, and wildlife can experience serious health effects after exposure to a single dose of rodenticide.

Rodenticides are formulated as baits, which have ingredients that attract animals. For example, the baits may contain peanut butter, molasses, or grains. These ingredients may also be attractive to children and pets.

Types of rodenticides

Many chemicals used to kill rodents are called anticoagulants. These chemicals cause uncontrollable bleeding by affecting a rodent’s ability to form blood clots. Symptoms may not be visible for up to five days after exposure. If left untreated, poisoning can lead to death.

Some rodenticides work differently than anticoagulants, but can still be very toxic to rodents and other animals. For example, bromethalin can damage the nervous system, zinc phosphide produces a deadly gas in the body, and cholecalciferol increases calcium levels in the blood, leading to organ failure.

Reducing risks in your home

Following the pesticide product label is the best way to reduce risk. The label has instructions on how to apply the product correctly and effectively. Some rodenticides can be used in bait stations . These devices allow rodents to enter and eat the poison, but keep children and pets out.

Rodenticide product labels often have warnings to keep the product out of the reach of children . They can also include notes for veterinarians in case a pet eats the product.

In addition to reading the label, there are several ways to minimize risk.

  • Contact a local extension office for rodent identification and pest control options.
  • Consider integrated pest management and trapping before purchasing rodenticides.
  • Store pesticides where children and pets can’t get to them. Consider locking them away or storing them up high.
  • Check the areas before allowing your children or pets to play in them.
  • Use bait stations that keep children, pets, and wildlife from harming each other.
  • Immediately removes dead rodents to reduce the risk of poisoning pets and wildlife.
  • Dispose of used rodenticide products.

Reducing risks in your home

Following the pesticide product label is the best way to reduce risk. The label has instructions on how to apply the product correctly and effectively. Some rodenticides can be used in bait stations . These devices allow rodents to enter and eat the poison, but keep children and pets out.

Rodenticide product labels often have warnings to keep the product out of the reach of children . They can also include notes for veterinarians in case a pet eats the product.

In addition to reading the label, there are several ways to minimize risk.

  • Contact a local extension office for rodent identification and pest control options.
  • Consider integrated pest management and trapping before purchasing rodenticides.
  • Store pesticides where children and pets can’t get to them. Consider locking them away or storing them up high.
  • Check the areas before allowing your children or pets to play in them.
  • Use bait stations that keep children, pets, and wildlife from harming each other.
  • Immediately removes dead rodents to reduce the risk of poisoning pets and wildlife.
  • Dispose of used rodenticide products.

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