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You should never use poison to kill a rat. I mean it, there are no special circumstances that would require you to poison rats or any other vermin. Why am I so vehement when it comes to this subject? The reasons are simple.
Poison is dangerous to use. Pets or wildlife that lives nearby might eat the poison, and I don’t think you would want that on your conscience. Even scarier, children could ingest poisons that are not properly packaged or properly applied. Poisons may contain high levels of toxicity which you and your family don’t need to inhale.
A poison approach is an ineffective approach. Rats are living on your property because they already have plenty to eat there, so most of them probably won’t even touch the poison. Even if some do, I can guarantee that a serious rat infestation problem will never be solved with poison. For the time it will take all the rats to die from poisoning – in the unlikely case they all eat it – other rats will already be on their way attracted by the smell of the dead rotting rats. Many rats develop high tolerance to poison, so even if they ingest some, they won’t die from it.
Poison is an inhumane rat disposal method. The rats that will take a deadly dose of the poison will die a slow, painful death. I, for one, terribly dislike the thought of something like that happening by my own hand.
Killing a rat with poison will bring more problems for you to deal with. A dyeing rat will crawl somewhere dark and tight to take his last breaths. Chances are that you’ll end up with rat corpses in your wall or in other inaccessible places. They will stink up your entire home for weeks on end. You will end up having to cause damage to you architectural structure in order to dispose of the corpse, and then make otherwise unnecessary investments in repairs. Leaving the rotting carcass in there, and waiting for the smell to pass is a very bad idea, mainly because that smell is actually delicious to other necrophages – rats included. This means a dead rat in your wall can cause more rats and other pests (snakes, for example) to come on your property looking for a meal.
The rat problem will persist. There are reasons why you have a rat issue. You’re clearly providing a welcoming environment where they feel safe and have access to food. More rats will see these advantages and move in. Throwing poison on the floor, and waiting for the rats to die won’t address why and how those rats got in there in the first place – you’re just making room for the next generation of rats and creating rats that are poison tolerant.
Bottom line: Don’t use poison. Solve your rat problem humanely and without further exposure to any additional health risks, or other monetary and comfort inconveniences. A legitimate wildlife removal pro with years of experience is always your best option, but it’s not impossible for you to take care of the situation yourself if you’re willing to perform all the necessary steps by being well informed, rigorous, and assertive while doing so. For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does rat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of rats - my main rat removal info guide.
Example rat trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Rat job blog - learn from great examples of rat jobs I've done.