There are times when different types of mouse traps aren't enough to rid of mice. Using rodent poisons can help you ensure that even if a mouse swipes the bait away from the trap, they can still die from what they've eaten. However, some rodents don’t take the poison bait and are still seen roaming around freely.
So which mouse trap poison is the most effective? Generally, the most effective rodent poisons are single-dose poisons such as bromethalin, zinc phosphide or brodifacoum. They contain a highly lethal dose of these poisons to ensure that the mice that consumed it will die within a matter of hours. That being said, safety should still be factored into which types of mouse trap poisons you intend on using.
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Rodenticides tend to be split into two categories: anticoagulants and non-anticoagulants.
Anticoagulants are a type of poison that works to prevent vitamin K from being produced in the body. This vitamin is used to produce blood clotting agents that prevent internal bleeding. When anticoagulants are ingested, it stops vitamin K from being recycled in a mouse's body, causing it to internally bleed to death.
Non-anticoagulants, on the other hand, affect other parts of the body. The lethal effects of non-anticoagulants can range from causing nerve cells to swell, to the calcification of certain parts of the heart and kidneys.
The effectiveness of poisons can be categorized based on their dosages; some poisons need multiple feedings to become lethal, while others may need only one.
These are very potent poisons that are designed to exterminate rodents within a matter of hours. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, the chemicals that make up the single-dose are bound more tightly, making it more lethal after ingestion once.
This non-anticoagulant poison, once consumed, will cause the cells in the central nervous system to stop producing energy. This leads to the brain being pressured, paralysis, and ultimately death for the mouse. Ingestion of bromethalin can also lead to convulsions, tremors, and seizures in the animal that consumed it.
Bromethalin as a highly potent active ingredient is contained in very small amounts in baits -- 0.005% to 0.01%.
Within an hour of ingesting this non-anticoagulant, the animal that consumed it will begin to vomit, which can contain blood and emit a garlic type of odor. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, the toxicity of the chemical compound may take anywhere between 4 to 18 hours to take effect.
Once the chemical comes in contact with water and acid within the body, it transforms into a very toxic phosphine gas. This leads to the body not being able to produce energy as it blocks the cells from doing its jobs. The heart, lungs, liver, and kidney are the main targets of the toxic gas, damaging these organs until the animal ultimately dies.
Upon death, these gases will escape from carcasses, which are also highly toxic if inhaled.
Zinc phosphide is commonly used by the agricultural industry and may have limited availability for residential purposes.
Studies have shown that this anticoagulant is one of, if not the most lethal rodenticide. 100% of rodents that consume brodifacoum die. As it’s an anticoagulant, it prevents the mouse's body from recycling the important vitamin K it needs to produce blood clots.
This is another highly potent anticoagulant that can kill a rodent within a day of ingestion. Similar to other rodent poisons, it is a lethal poison to be used not just for house mice but also Norway rats and roof rats.
While still potent, these are considered to be safer to have in the home since they tend to not have as lethal a dose as with single-dose poisons.
As a non-anticoagulant, cholecalciferol affects the calcium in the body; another term used for this compound is “calcium releaser.” It interferes and disrupts the regular bodily functions of the mouse by releasing a great amount of calcium into the bloodstream. This eventually leads to the soft tissues becoming calcified, specifically in the arteries and the kidneys. Other organs that it ends up affecting in the body are the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and the muscles.
This anticoagulant may be best known for being one of the earliest pesticides available in the market in the 1940s. It was widely popular and used extensively around the country – but almost too extensively. As it’s not as potent as a single-dose, some rodents survived consuming it. These rodents eventually mated and created an entire generation of rodents that are now resistant to warfarin. By the 1970s, more potent chemical compounds were developed to be more effective to the warfarin-resistant rodents. Warfarin is known as a “first generation” rodenticide because of this. While it can still be used as a potent rodenticide for you, it’ll need to take multiple doses before it becomes lethal on rodents.
Another anticoagulant, diphacinone is a rodenticide that can be effective against other rodents such as Norway rats and roof rats. Similar to other multiple-dose poisons, it will need the target mice to return to the bait station often over the course of a few days for it to be truly lethal for them.
Since mice only require small amounts of food to survive every day, it is going to be necessary to develop an effective baiting strategy that will get them to eat the poisonous bait as early as they can in their day.
The secret to getting the most of your poison baits is to not use the poison baits first. You need to get mice used to taking non-poisonous bait from unset traps first. This way, the mice will begin to believe that the traps are safe, making them more likely to return for a visit. This is an especially important step if you plan on using multiple-dose poisons.
Mouse trap bait doesn't always have to be food. Before placing the poison that you intend on using, you place nesting material such as twine or shredded pieces of paper as bait to get them comfortable with visiting the trap area. Once you've seen that they've taken the bait consistently over the course of a few days, that is when you can replace the lethal poisons.
It’s also important to consider the usage information of the rodenticide as it is written on its packaging. This way, you can avoid any hazardous accidents caused by misuse.
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Some rules you should follow when handling mouse poisons include keeping away from children and pets, placing the traps in difficult to reach areas, disposing of dead rodents properly, using different traps, and preventing infestations where you can. Keep these rules in mind to keep rodents at bay.
Poison mouse trap baits tend to have a similar appearance to pet food. Given that, it can pose a threat to your beloved pet dogs or cats. When storing your poison bait, it is advisable to place it somewhere, such as a high cupboard, so that curious children and pets will not be able to reach it.
No matter what type of trap that you intend to use along with your poison bait, ensure that it is placed in areas that are difficult to reach by non-target animals. A study found that mice tend to seek shelter in small crevices and gaps. This is to help keep them protected from any predator looking to attack them from above. Placing the bait and traps near these small cracks will improve your chances of catching the mouse near where they may roam.
Mice killed via poisoning can still be a threat. If lethal doses of poison were used, animals eating the dead mice can still be at risk of secondary poisoning. This is why it is essential that you dispose of the carcass properly.
Place the dead rodent in a plastic trash bag and wrap it tightly; use multiple trash bags if you want to make even more sure that no poisonous or scent may attract any potential wildlife to the decaying carcass.
Always make sure to wear gloves while disposing of the dead mice. Some types of poison can cause skin problems when it comes in contact with you. Mice can also be carriers of hazardous viruses such as hantavirus.
It’s entirely possible that simply using poison bait in your mouse traps may not be good enough to get rid of mice. If the poison baits are not working, an option that you have is using additional traps in your arsenal. Since mice move unpredictably, it’s recommended that you place additional traps in different locations. Using poison baits may limit the amount of areas that you place traps in due to safety concerns. In that case, you can always use lethal traps as well.
Lethal traps that you can use alongside the poison baits are catch-and-release traps, electronic mouse traps, or even the common snap trap.
Humane traps such as glue traps are other options that you can use against mice.
While you try getting rid of the mice that you already have, taking preventative measures to ensure that the problem doesn't worsen is advisable.
Seal Gaps. Mice can enter very small gaps and cracks in walls and homes. Using a sealant or steel wool to cover these up may help you to prevent more mice from entering in and out of your premises.
Protect Food Sources. The kitchen is one of the most attractive places for mice to go to as it provides them with a wealthy source of food. You can use airtight containers or metal containers to prevent any mice from scavenging and stealing bits of food from your kitchen.
It's also important to always keep the kitchen clean of any food debris that might have fallen on the ground on the counters. This will attract the mice even more.
Read More: Do Mouse Traps With Fake Bait Work?
The first time that you spot rodent activity, it is always advisable to contact professional pest control to get it checked. What you think is only one mouse during the day can be much more during the night, since they are mostly nocturnal animals. Small signs of mice might already mean a mouse infestation right in your home.
When the different types of traps aren't working or you're seeing more and more mice, it might be time to call a professional.
We at Pinnacle Pest Control strive to give you the peace of mind that you need to be assured that the rodent problem is finally gone from your home. We assure you that our services are safe for you and your family; we strictly adhere to the IPM, or integrated pest management practices, that helps keep the environment protected as well. If you want to know more about what we can do for you, feel free to reach out to us and contact us through our website.