As a home or business owner, the last thing you want is to have rats and mice running rampant. They not only pose a health risk but can also damage your property. At your home, rats can chew up your vehicle when parked outside, put holes in your pool screen, and get into your outdoor grills. One solution to this problem for pest control companies is using first- and second-generation rodenticides. This article will discuss the differences between the two generations, their active ingredients, how they work on rats and mice, and provide an update on a potential ban looming on the EPA’s desk. As a responsible pest control company, we don’t push rodenticides on every customer as we first attempt to use IPM (Integrated Pest Management). We use them judiciously when they are the only option for the goal in mind. If you have a rodent infestation in Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton, Sarasota, and Parrish, Florida, you’ll receive other recommendations first. Performing a rodent exclusion on each home greatly reduces the need for long-term rodenticide use.
First Generation Rodenticides
First-generation rodenticides were developed in the 1940s and 1950s and are still used today. These products work by causing internal bleeding in rodents, eventually leading to their death. The active ingredients in first-generation rodenticides are warfarin, chlorophacinone, diphacinone, and coumatetralyl.
Warfarin is the most widely used first-generation rodenticide. It works by inhibiting the rodent’s ability to produce vitamin K, essential for blood clotting. As a result, the rodent will die from internal bleeding.
Chlorophacinone and Diphacinone
Chlorophacinone and diphacinone are the second and third most commonly used first-generation rodenticides. They work in the same way as warfarin by interfering with the production of vitamin K.
Coumatetralyl is another first-generation rodenticide. Unlike the other active ingredients, it works by causing calcium depletion, which results in the rodent’s death.
Second Generation Rodenticides
Second-generation rodenticides were developed in the 1970s and are more potent than first-generation rodenticides. They work by disrupting the rodent’s central nervous system, leading to death. The active ingredients in second-generation rodenticides are brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, and flocoumafen.
Brodifacoum is the most commonly used second-generation rodenticide. It is highly potent and works by inhibiting the rodent’s ability to produce vitamin K. Unlike first-generation rodenticides, it takes several days for the rodent to die from internal bleeding.
Bromadiolone is another second-generation rodenticide that inhibits the rodent’s ability to produce vitamin K. It is less potent than brodifacoum but still highly effective.
Difethialone works in the same way as brodifacoum and bromadiolone but is even less potent. It takes longer for the rodent to die from internal bleeding, giving them more time to consume the bait.
Flocoumafen is the least commonly used second-generation rodenticide. It disrupts the rodent’s ability to clot blood, leading to internal bleeding and eventual death.
How Rodenticides Work on Rats and Mice
Rodenticides are most commonly used in the form of bait placed inside a tamper-proof container, which the rodents consume. Once the bait is consumed, the active ingredients take effect, leading to the rodent’s death. First-generation rodenticides take longer to work and require multiple feedings, whereas second-generation rodenticides are more potent and usually require only one feeding.
- Are rodenticides safe for pets and humans? Rodenticides can be harmful to pets and humans if ingested. Always keep rodenticides out of reach of children and pets and follow label instructions carefully. They must always be placed inside tamper-proof containers when deployed outside.
- How long does it take for rodenticides to work? The time it takes for rodenticides to work varies depending on the active ingredient and the amount of the poison consumed. First-generation rodenticides take longer to work and require multiple feedings, while second-generation rodenticides are more potent and usually require only one feeding.
- Can rats and mice become resistant to rodenticides? Yes, if they are overused, rats and mice can become resistant to certain types of rodenticides. It is important to rotate between different types of rodenticides to prevent resistance.
- Are there any natural alternatives to rodenticides? If you want to waste your money on products that don’t work, there are several natural alternatives to rodenticides. These include peppermint oil, vinegar, and ultrasonic repellents. However, these alternatives are not effective in our encounters at all. If we found that they helped us do our job, we would use them (Annnnd we don’t). If you want a permanent solution to rodents, explore our rodent exclusion service
- How can I prevent rodent infestations in the first place? To prevent rodent infestations, contact a Rodent Specialist like Rodent Solutions to perform a rodent exclusion on your home or commercial building. This will prevent rodent entry into your structure. Contact us today for a rodent inspection of your building.
Are Rodenticides Going to Be Banned?
There are some rumors about rodenticides being banned. However, there’s no federal legislation… yet.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates pesticides, including rodenticides in the United States. The EPA has been considering new regulations on rodenticides for several years. In 2022, the agency announced that it would propose new rules to restrict the use of certain types of rodenticides.
The proposed rules would ban rodenticides considered “second-generation anticoagulants,” which are more toxic to non-target animals, such as birds and pets. The rules would also require that all rodenticides be sold in tamper-resistant bait stations and that pest control operators be certified operators to use them.
The proposed rules have been met with mixed reactions from the pest control industry and the public. Some people believe the rules are necessary to protect non-target wildlife, while others believe they will make controlling rodent populations too challenging. The EPA is accepting public comments on the proposed rules and is expected to finalize them in 2023.
In addition to the EPA’s proposed rules, a number of state and local governments are considering or have already implemented restrictions on their use of them. For example, California has banned all outdoor rodenticides at their original strength (lower concentrations have since been approved), and New York has banned certain rodenticides. California is, by far, the strictest of all states on using all pest control products.
The growing trend of restricting the use of rodenticides is likely due to several factors, including concerns about their toxicity to non-target animals such as birds, pets, and livestock. The potential for them to contaminate water supplies and the development of resistance to them in rodent populations are also listed as contributing factors. The primary driver continues to be the secondary poisoning of raptor birds such as Hawks, Owls, and the beloved Eagle.
It is important to note that these are still legal in most jurisdictions, and a number of effective rodenticides are still available. However, using them carefully and following the label’s directions is essential. At Rodent Solutions, we always remember that the label is the law.
What to Do if My Pet or Child Ate a Poisoned Animal or Rodenticide?
If you’re concerned about your pet, get them to the veterinarian immediately! Here are some things you should also try to find out:
- Try to determine how much bait was consumed. Obviously, this will be difficult, but an approximate amount is all they are looking for.
- Bring the packing or a sample of the bait with you.
- If you have a service from a pest control company, call them immediately. They must have it documented and can provide you with the Label of the product, which will include a lot of crucial information
If you’re concerned this happened to a human (child or adult), you should follow all the same steps, except call 911 or take them to your closest hospital. A medical professional will need all the same information to treat the person in question. Contact your pest control company if that’s where the products came from. In Florida, we must report all human poisoning to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services within 24 hours if it results from our products or treatments.
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