Should I ever poison a rat?

Many people may be tempted to use poison to take care of their rat infestation, but the truth is this is often an ineffective and inhumane method for handling a rat problem. Not only might the poison not solve your problem but also it could endanger your family members and pets.

The poison may kill some rats, but it is unlikely to kill the entire rat population – it probably will kill just a small percentage. The ones that do die are going to die in the house and will soon produce a terrible odor throughout the house until you locate the bodies and remove them. There is a belief that the rats will go out to look for water and die outside, but it is more likely that they will find a secluded and hidden place within the home in which to die. Some rats may die in the walls, in insulation and in crevices in the building.

The rats that encounter the poison may not all decide to ingest it. Rats can be cautious, so the rats in your home may decide to avoid the poison altogether. Even if they do ingest the poison, they will not necessarily die. There are some rats that are resistant to the poison and it may take a much larger dose for them to die. Instead, they may only become sick.

Any time you use poison in the home, there is the risk of unintended consequences. If you are not very careful, your pets or your children may come across the poison and experience some ill effects. Any of your family members may have a negative reaction if they come into contact with the poison.

Additionally, the use of poison is just a temporary fix since even when the poison has killed all the rats present, new rats can keep coming back. The new ones will eat the dead rat carcasses and will make themselves comfortable in your home.

It is not humane to use poison in order to kill rats. The poison may lead to a very painful and slow death. Instead you should use the more effective lethal snap trap or another more humane method.

For all of these reasons, it is not advisable to use poison as a method to take care of a rat problem in your home. There are several other options that are more effective and more humane.

Go back to the How to Get Rid of Rats page or email us if you have any other questions about Should I ever poison a rat?