Killing rats and mice with rat poison

There are two types of rat baits: Non-toxic (natural) - to lure rats into traps and Rodenticide poison baits - to kill rodents. Here you'll find 5 best rat and mouse poisons from $11 to $65.

Natural baits can be used for all kinds of rat traps, rodenticide baits get put to bait stations.

After eating rodents die within from several hours to several weeks: mice may die within a day. But the population of rats die more slowly, within a week or two, because they are larger than mice. Remember - poison baits are toxic and can kill any animal including your home pets (cats and dogs), squirrels, raccoons and other wild animals. Be careful using them near pets and small kids. Otherwise, you’d better use electronic rodent repellers to repel animals that bother you.

Table of Contents:

Rat Poison Ingredients – All You Should Know: How Do Rodenticides Work

what are the best rat poisons?

Rat poison baits – are used in bait stations (such as the Protecta LP Rat Bait Station for ~$18.49).

All of these baits are lethal. Rodenticides are toxic to rodents (and unfortunately also to humans) in a variety of ways.

  • Active ingredients in rodenticides that are anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin, diphacinone, and bromadiolone) disrupt the blood's ability to clot, causing internal bleeding and rodents die from internal hemorrhages.
  • Products containing non-anticoagulant active ingredients are toxic in a variety of other ways. They are able to affect the nervous system (e.g., bromethalin). They increase the levels of calcium in the blood, leading to kidney, liver, or heart failure (e.g., cholecalciferol). 

Rat poison ingredients are rodenticides: Diphacinone, Brodifacoum, Bromadiolone, etc.

  • First generation – poison kills rodents slowly, there are several days of feeding needed. In our days, nearly all bait for rats and mice fall into this group. They have a cumulative effect, so the rodents do not die immediately, rather within a few days. For best results, rats should eat the poisonous bait repeatedly.
  • Second generation (contains Bromadiolone, brodifacoum) – a single feeding is enough.

Produced in blocks, chunks, pellets or bars (individually wrapped to help keep product fresh).

  • Using poison bait is generally cheaper than trapping because it is less labor-intensive, and they do not need to be checked every day. So it’s more beneficial to use poison bait in big areas and constructions – such as hangers, sheds etc., where other methods are inconvenient to use.
  • You should be aware that mice and rats can learn to identify and avoid toxic baits; this tendency is known as “bait shyness.” To avoid bait shyness, it may be necessary to prebait (offering rodents similar but nontoxic bait prior to applying the toxic bait) an area prior to using toxic baits, - states Utah State University. 
  • In territories where water is in limited supply, a liquid rat poison works great. For example, you can buy Tomcat Mouse and Rat Liquid Concentrated Poison Bait (~$19.87) with Helland Rodent Liquid Poison Auto Dispenser (~$9.99).

Rat Poison & Pets (Dogs, Cats)

There are no pet-safe poisons, as all of poison baits are created to kill rodents. Be very careful: rodenticide poisoning may occur when your pat swallows such bait. Try alternative methods of getting rid of rats (electronic repellers, for example) if you’re worried about pets.

Cesar Rueda from Amazon.com adds: “Please be very careful using this bait if you have a dog. Your dog may not be able to get into the bait station, but rodents have a tendency to want to hide these baits all around the backyard...”

In order for your cats or dogs to not eat it in the yard by chance, you may string it up with a strong wire between a couple of fences, for example, or hide pieces of bait in landscape rocks or other places where pets can't get – and then wait for dead rats.

“Just use it carefully in garages and attics -- places where your kids and pets aren't going to find it and sample it. It's possible that a dying rat or mouse will exit and be eaten by another animal (though if you live in an urban area, the chance is low compared to a rural location) -- but my experience is that most will die near the location where you used this. Not a pleasant smell for a few days (which is why I won't use in an attic, only in a garage or storage building, where I don't have to contend with the odor)”.

Yes, poisons kill rodents. But you don't know what place to die they will choose. Dying rodents are looking for a place to die, and you are lucky if they go away. But perhaps it will happen in your home or backyard, then you will find a nasty surprise - dead rat smell. (If it bothers you, read “How to get rid of dead rat smell”).

5 Best Rat and Mouse Poisons 

Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx, 4 lb

Tomcat All Weather Bait is easy to use and works against mice, squirrels, voles, raccoons, chipmunks and other rodents that damage your life – verified by customers from Amazon.com.

We found out that this product is just like the rat poison bait that professional exterminators use in Protecta bait stations, but some people think that the 4 lb. is plenty for non-commercial applications. The blocks of bait have holes to insert them onto the steel rods in a bait station, which keeps them away from other animals. You also may choose other rat bait stations because we don't recommend to use Tomcat without one.

Protecta LP Rat Bait Station

A one-bait bucket lasts most in the summer and fall, and during winter it can last the whole season. Tomcat bait chunks work fast – a lot of people say that they began finding dead rats the next day or within the next week or two, it depends on the stage of rodent infestation in a house or attic. And, it's enough to deal with rodent problems for a very, very long time: "Once the immediate problem is resolved, I'll just leave the bait blocks in place and check them about once a month. If one is eaten, I'll replace it at once. No more rats!"

Remember that rats can gather up the blocks and take them back to their nest, where they will die. So you might think that the bait doesn’t work, because you don’t see the rats’ corpses.  

Active ingredient: Bromadiolone, each packet contains 1.5 oz.

Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx
Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx

Tomcat All Weather Bait is easy to use and works against mice, rats, voles, chipmunks and other rodents that damage your life

 
Price:
$20.93

Price: ~$20.93 Check the current price

JT Eaton 709-PN Bait Block Rodenticide Anticoagulant Bait For Mice and Rats

JT Eaton 709-PN Bait for rats and mice

First, rats love JT Eaton Bait – this is confirmed by Amazon customers. People are quietly leaving their homes, placing rat bait stations with this rat poison bait, and after return they find empty stations. It means that "someone" eats it!

In addition, users use this lure to get rid of gophers and squirrels, too – but we recommend against placing poison bait without a bait station. This is particularly important because some users complain that after just laying the bait out on the floor, mice ate it and left the harmful (brown) granules of the bait intact, and go away. Use the Protecta LP Rat Bait Station (~$18.49) to increase the chances of getting rid of pesky rats and other rodents.

Customers also noted that, JT begins to work very quickly – one girl from Amazon said that rats in her house started to eat poison blocks on the first day after placing it at basement, and then they began to disappear gradually. If you want to break JT into pieces, it is easy to make, despite the fact that there is no hole in the center of the bait block, like a poison blocks of other brands.

By the way, one guy gives a valuable tip to other customers about using JT: “Remember, the adult rats will feed something new to their young and watch to see how they react to it, before they will eat it themselves. Be patient”. More helpful tips you'll find on Amazon.com.

The JT Eaton Bait Block rodenticide is a first generation anticoagulant bait.

Active ingredient: Diphacinone 0.005 percent

Price: ~$24.49 (144 packs of 1-ounce rodenticide blocks, peanut butter flavor) Check the current price

Price: ~$27.95 (144 packs of 1-ounce rodenticide blocks, apple flavor) Check the current price

D-Con Ready Mix Baitbits Mice Rats Brodifacoum 3oz (1 Tray)

D-Con Ready Mix Rat and Mouse Killer

This is an old and proven killer of rats. This package contains 1 bait tray. All you do is peel back the film covering the tray with bait and place it in the approximate area where you saw the rodents.

As Amazon customers noted, D-Con Rat & Mouse Bait works on mice and rats (especially on horrible “Norweigen Warf Rats”), squirrels and chipmunks. If you want to destroy rats to the bitter end, you need to keep giving them more poison bait until they all die.

Look at the common customer's review: “My husband has been using this brand for a few years now to deter some rats that tend to live in the attic. It does help a lot, just have to make sure once use, you have to regularly check the attic for potential issues of possibly finding dead rats.”

By the way, there are a lot of other useful tips among users' feedback:

1. Normally the activity of the mice increases in early November – be ready!
2. You can mix it with peanut butter
3. Users give a tip not to resort to other methods of getting rid of rats (exterminator’s ways or glue traps, for example) at the same time as using D-Con Ready Mix Killer, they can stunt the bait’s effectiveness.

Active ingredient: Brodifacoum.

Price: ~$31.99 Check the current price

Farnam Home & Garden Just One Bite II Bar

Farnam Home & Garden Just One Bite

This rat poison comes as a solid one pound block, scored to easily break into eight 2 ounce pieces. In opinion of Amazon customers, rats really love to eat Just One Bite bait. Not only rats – this bar bait will also take care of mice, chipmunks and squirrels, too! Customers noted that this works great: One of them found a dead rat within 12 hours after he placed the bait.

Customers advise to not lose heart if it doesn't seem to work. You might have to use a larger portion for pesky mice and rats, or use Farnam bait with a trap for better results – as one of the customers that used it as bait with a couple of old-school snap traps and an electronic mouse trap said it works like a charm for him.

One of the customers said that he purchased this rat poison for ~$10.47 and left it in the bag in the room. Later he heard a rustling and other strange sounds. It turns out that the rodents found the package with the bait from the smell and badly gnawed the content! “I know you're supposed to position the poison in the critters pathway but my critter did it for me”, – he said.

You'll probably have to get rid of dead rats from your basement and other places after their lethal feeding. In such a case, we also recommend purchasing one of those long claw grip things people use to pick up trash in order to remove dead rats – such as the Unger 36-Inch Pick-Up Tool.

Active ingredient: Bromadiolone

Price: ~$10.47 Check the current price

Havoc Rat & Mouse Bait

Havoc Rat&Mice BaitAt first, it has rather a big enough price at ~$73.59 for 40 twin packs (2 x 50 grams). This can be expensive for someone, but... As Amazon customers have noticed, it differentiates the more expensive poison bites from the budget ones: “The rodents are eating this product like mad and dying. As the ads say, it kills them and dehydrates them so there is no stink from their rotting carcasses”.

They note that Havoc Bait works great on rats and mice – at any time of the year, even in winter, because of the all-weather formulation. This bait also works on moles, someone wrote: “I use this to help control moles and it works great if you know the tricks”.

Active ingredient: brodifacoum - second generation anticoagulant rodenticide

Price: ~$73.59 Check the current price

Rat & Mouse Poison Baits Comparison Table 

Photo

Product

Type

Active ingredient

Speed of rodenticidal action

Price

Protecta LP Rat Bait Station

Protecta LP Rat Bait Station

Bait station

~$18.49

 Tomcat Mouse and Rat Liquid Concentrated Poison Bait

Tomcat Mouse and Rat Poison Bait 

Liquid bait

Sodium salt of diphacinone

Kills rodents slowly, there are several days of feeding needed.

~$19.87

Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx, 4 Lb  

Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx, 4 Lb 

Bait blocks

Bromadiolone

A single feeding is enough. 

~$20.93

 JT Eaton 709-PN Bait for rats and mice

JT Eaton 709-PN Bait Block Rodenticide Bait

Bait blocks

Diphacinone

Kills rodents slowly, there are several days of feeding needed.

from ~$24.49

 D-Con Ready Mix Rat and Mouse Killer

D-Con Ready Mix Baitbits Mice Rats Brodifacoum 

Bait blocks

Brodifacoum

A single feeding is enough. 

~$31.99

 Farnam Home & Garden Just One Bite

Farnam Home & Garden Just One Bite II Bar

Bait bar

Bromadiolone

A single feeding is enough. 

~$10.47

 Havoc Rat&Mice Bait

Havoc Rat & Mouse Bait 

Granular bait

Brodifacoum

A single feeding is enough. 

~$73.59

F.A.Q about Havoc Rat & Mice bait

Can I use the rat poison bait inside a house? How to do this best?

Yes, Havoc Rat & Mice bait can be used indoors. You may either scatter the granules around, or just open the packet and place it where the rats are likely to run.

There are mice in my attic. Shall I leave the bait in there? It is rather difficult for me to get into the attic, so I am afraid that the smell of dead mice will trouble my family afterwards.

The chief advantage of this bait action is that after being eaten by mice or rats it causes great dehydration in their bodies and they are eager to find the source of water or die. As a rule, they manage to leave the house – but if not, you won’t notice any strong smell. So you can leave the bait in the attic.

How long is the shelf life of the product?

You need not be worried about this: Havoc bait may be kept as long as 4 or 5 years and this period will not impact its efficiency as the packets are sealed safely.

Does Havoc Bait work on rats and mice with the same effect?

Yes, in practice the bait attracts and kills both mice and rats.

NB! You must know that rats and mice are very canny creatures, so if they see that one died from this bait they can reject eating it. So if you see that rats or mice don’t eat it, change the bait.

What Is The Best Rat and Mouse Bait for Traps?

There are a lot of options to choose from, and you should also know how to lure the pests in effectively. For the rat trap, you should choose the best bait that will work effectively on rodents in your region. This is a necessary step, because if the bait does not attract rats, they will never go for it and you'll be left with an empty rat trap and persistent problem.

Have you heard about the great rat eradication? It's an example of large campaign which directed to getting rid of rats in huge numbers. We hope that there are people amongst you who just have a small rat infestation – you can use organic baits for rat traps in order to eliminate some rats.

You can choose any of the natural baits for rat traps below:

  • Peanut butter: It's actually more effective than cheese, as we see in cartoons. Rats are very attracted to peanut butter.
  • Chocolate: Sweet chocolate definitely entices rats to come out of their places of rest and try to get some candy.
  • Bread: Plain bread or bread with a little butter on it is very effective for baiting rats.
  • String: A string is a nesting material attracts rats significantly. They use it to make their nests and keep warm. This will be an incentive to come to the rat bait.
  • Cotton: Cotton is another nesting material that can be used to attract rats.