Sarasota and Bradenton's Most Highly Recommended Rodent and Wildlife Removal and Prevention Service!

Rodenticides: Background & Hazards

Rodenticide_Hazards_Landing

 

Rodent Control

The first line of defense against rodents should be exclusion and trapping. These methods do not pose a poisoning risk to children, pets and wildlife. If you plan to use rodenticides, be sure to follow all label directions.

Remember, removing rodents with traps or poisons will not keep rodents out of your property in the future. To permanently keep rats and mice out of your home or business, you will need to prevent access by sealing all possible entry points. It is equally as important to eliminate rodent attractions such as food and water by keeping food in tightly sealed glass or plastic containers and repairing leaky pipes.

Rats and mice have been living with humans for centuries, and humans have been working for just as long to keep them at bay. Rodents such as gophers, moles, voles, and squirrels are also viewed as pests in some settings.

Poisons have been used as rodent-control measures for many years. Before the 1940s, rodenticides contained heavy metals such as arsenic and thallium or poisons such as strychnine and red squill. Most of these chemicals are no longer used as rodenticdes with the exception of strychnine, which is currently registered for use only below-ground as a bait application to control pocket gophers. For more details, see US EPA’s RED Facts on Strychnine.

In the 1940s and 1950s, the first kind of anticoagulant rodenticides known as first-generation rodenticdes were developed. This class of rodenticides work by disrupting the normal blood clotting or coagulation process so that dosed individuals or animals suffer from uncontrolled bleeding or hemorrhaging. Anticoagulant rodenticides that are in wide use today are members of a more potent class of anticoagulants known as second-generation rodenticides. The following section provides a more detailed comparison between first and second generation rodenticides.

Other rodenticides are non-anticoagulants and work in different ways. Non-anticoagulant rodenticides in use include bromethalin, cholecalciferol, and zinc phosphide.

Using rodenticides for control is frequently the cause of unintended consequences, from the stench of rodents decomposing in the walls to poisonings of non-target organisms. Primary poisoning can result from wild birds, pets, or even children eating baited rodenticides, while secondary poisoning of birds and mammals (including dogs and cats) can accompany the ingestion of poisoned rodents.

Anticoagulant Rodenticides

First-Generation Anticoagulants

First-generation anticoagulant rodenticides listed in the table below require rodents to consume the bait for several consecutive feedings for delivery of a lethal dose. There are three US EPA-registered first-generation rodenticides, including warfarin (also used as an anti-clotting drug for coronary artery disease), chlorophacinone, and diphacinone. The first-generation compounds are excreted fairly rapidly by mammals, usually within a week. However, the use of any rodenticides pose a poisoning risk to children, pets and wildlife.

First-Generation Rodenticides
Types
Acute Oral Toxicity
Primary Poisoning Risk
Secondary Poisoning Risk
Chlorophacinone Anticoagulant, multiple dose treatment High Low (birds and mammals) Low (birds), High (mammals)
Diphacinone Anticoagulant, multiple dose treatment High Low (birds and mammals) Moderate (birds), High (mammals)
Warfarin Anticoagulant, multiple dose treatment Moderate to high Low (birds), Moderate (mammals). Highly toxic to cats. Moderate (birds and mammals)

Second-Generation Anticoagulants

The second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) are substantially more potent than the first-generation compounds, and a lethal dose can be ingested in a single feeding. Included in this class of rodenticides are the compounds difenacoum, brodifacoum, bromadiolone and difethialone. SGARs are not excreted easily, persisting in bodily organs such as the liver. Some SGARs are especially problematic to birds and mammals. For instance, brodifacoum and difethialone pose the greatest potential risks to avian predators and scavengers that feed on target or nontarget animals poisoned with bait.

EPA studies indicate that the first-generation anticoagulants are less hazardous than the more highly toxic and persistent second-generation anticoagulants. SGARs compounds described in the table below are much more likely to poison predatory wildlife that eat live or dead poisoned prey and have a higher risk of severe poisoning for children, pets, and other non-target wildlife.

Second-Generation Rodenticides
Types
Acute Oral Toxicity
Primary Poisoning Risk
Secondary Poisoning Risk
Brodifacoum Anticoagulant, single dose treatment High High (birds and mammals) High (birds and mammals)
Bromadiolone Anticoagulant, single dose treatment High Moderate (birds), High (mammals) Moderate (birds and mammals)
Difethialone Anticoagulant, single dose treatment High High (birds), Moderate (mammals) High (birds), Moderate (mammals)
Difenacoum Anticoagulant, single dose treatment High Moderate (birds), High (mammals) Moderate (birds), Data gap (mammals)

 

Non-Anticoagulant Rodenticides

Non-anticoagulant rodenticides, including bromethalin, cholecalciferol, and zinc phosphide, are US EPA-registered and frequently used in controlling pest rodent populations. The potency of these rodenticides is highly variable, with rodent mortalities typically occurring on the order of several hours to days following ingestion of a lethal dose. These rodenticides belong to three different chemical classes that differ from one another as well as the anticoagulants in their mode of action, or anatomical change leading to rodent death.

As a neurotoxicant, bromethalin poisons the central nervous system and ultimately causes respiratory distress following ingestion of a single dose. Cholecalciferol, the biologically active form of vitamin D, is completely nontoxic in small amounts, but massive single doses or prolonged low level exposure can prove toxic. Ingestion of excessive amounts of cholecalciferol induces hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels), which ultimately results in heart problems and kidney failure. Zinc phosphide, which functions to liberate toxic phosphine gas upon interaction with stomach acid, is highly toxic and can lead to rodent mortality within hours of ingestion. Unfortunately, zinc phosphide can also poison birds, such as hawks and owls, following ingestion of treated baits.

Non-Anticoagulant Rodenticides
Type
Acute Oral Toxicity
Primary Poisoning Potential
Secondary Poisoning Potential
Bromethalin Non-anticoagulant, single dose treatment High Low (birds and mammals) Low (birds and mammals)
Cholecalciferol Non-anticoagulant, multiple or single dose treatment High Low to moderate (birds and mammals) Low (birds and mammals)
Zinc Phosphide Non-anticoagulant, single dose treatment High High (birds and mammals) Low (birds and mammals)

For more information on different types of rodenticides, see the National Pesticide Information Center’s (NPIC) fact sheet.


For more resources on rodent control, see the National Pesticide Information Center.For more information on different types of rodenticides, see the National Pesticide Information Center’s (NPIC) fact sheet.

References

Rodent Solutions specializes in rodent and wildlife prevention, trapping and removal. If you have a rodent or wildlife problem, we are the company for you. It is important to use an experienced wildlife specialist to thoroughly handle your infestation. Rodent Solutions is the most highly recommended pest control company for residential and commercial properties. For more information and a PROFESSIONAL INSPECTION / ESTIMATE call us at (941) 704-0063. We service Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, Parrish, Lakewood Ranch, Osprey, Longboat Key, Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Lido Key, Bird Key and all the surrounding areas.

Our trained professionals have backgrounds in construction with experience that is crucial in knowing how to effectively seal your home. We do not use poisons as a solution, which prevents any harmful consequences. We will professionally seal your property which prevents re infestation. ALL of our professional technicians are Licensed by the Department of Agriculture to perform our services and we require ALL of our technicians to pass the Commercial Wildlife Licensing Requirements. We also carry twice the amount of state required insurance. We Offer a Full One Year Guarantee Against Re-entry!

You need to be a member of Rodent Solutions to add comments!

Join Rodent Solutions

Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
About one-third of 1751 genes studied in the first comprehensive survey of the mouse genome are essential to life, according to research by an international collaboration including the University of California, Davis, Mouse Biology Program. Mutation…
Jun 29
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Instead of building a better mouse trap, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have built a better mouse cage. They've created a system called EnerCage (Energized Cage) for scientific experiments on awake, freely behaving small animals. It wir…
Jun 28
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Jun 27
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
The City of Cape Town on Wednesday warned of the dangers of using pesticides in the home following the conclusion of an investigation into the death of a 10-year-old boy in Khayelitsha who died after ingesting rat poison.
The City of Cape Town's Hea…
Jun 25
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Jun 25
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Rodent-Proofing Your Premises
Everyone strives for a Rodent-free home.
Rodent-proofing your home, apartment, farm or other buildings involves identifying and eliminating the conditions that make it possible for rats and mice to survive - mainly thei…
Jun 20
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Rodents may be in your garage, attic, closets, cabinets, tool shed or yard. It’s a busy time for pest control companies and rodenticide sales. But nature can control rodent populations, if you let it. In the natural environment, there is balance. Ev…
Jun 19
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Much of human health hinges on how well the body manufactures and uses energy. For reasons that remain unclear, cells' ability to produce energy declines with age, prompting scientists to suspect that the steady loss of efficiency in the body's ener…
Jun 18
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
While we should all feel blessed to be surrounded by raccoons, dogs and bats that make our fauna diversity more interesting and exciting, these animals can also be a potential source of rabies, a completely preventable disease that can turn 100 perc…
Jun 17
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
This larger female raccoon had a lot to say after being we humanely trapped her overnight. She was caught in NW Bradenton. She was humanely relocated.
Jun 14
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Almost all homeowners know the feeling of unease that accompanies finding mice or rodents in your home. Whether in the kitchen, attic, basement or dining room - a rodent sighting can incite surprise and fear in even the most composed homeowner. Unfo…
Jun 12
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Injured or Orphaned Wildlife
Generally if you find a baby animal it is best to leave it alone. Often the animal is not orphaned, and the parent may be out getting food for the animal, or watching the baby. Never pick up baby animals and remove them…
Jun 11
Rodent Solutions posted blog posts
Jun 11
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
After a professional inspection, we didn't feel that there was evidence that the rat infestation was originating from the outside of a customer's home. We recommended a vapor test by the top leak detection company in our area Specialized Plumbing Te…
Jun 9
Rodent Solutions posted blog posts
Jun 8
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Hey guys! The party is up here!

This raccoon made his way into a Sarasota/Bradenton area attic through a roof joint.  The customer snapped this picture and sent it to us before we arrived.  The raccoon chose to make his way out of the attic tempora…
Jun 7
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Forget soulmates. Male prairie voles have no idea who they’re raising kids with—at least, not until they mate.

Sex can change a lot about a relationship. For male prairie voles, it can even change their brains.


Prairie voles, small, furry rodents…
Jun 5
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
A proactive approach to ensure a defense against pest infestations needs to be top of mind for every homeowner or building manager.
Here is a Checklist of common areas vulnerable to pest problems, as well as offers advice on how to possibly prevent…
Jun 4
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Whether hiking, camping, canoeing or simply taking in the wonders of nature, many people enjoy spending time outdoors all year round. However, while wondrous and beautiful, being out in nature doesn’t come without risk – especially if people come in…
Jun 3
Rodent Solutions posted a blog post
Rats! You can buy the most reliable car on Earth and still find convoluted electrical gremlins, fluid leaks, and even outright failure when rodents take up residence and begin chewing on wiring, hoses, plastic, and other critical car parts. But we’v…
Jun 2
More…