Mice are pesky creatures that chew up wires, leave droppings, and are difficult to get rid of. While homeowners can employ a variety of methods to get rid of mice, rat poison shouldn’t be one of them. Not only is it an inhumane method to remove wildlife, using rat poison to remove mice in your home is risky. Read below to find out why.
Types of Poison
Different types of rat poison exist to kill the mice in your home, and they all vary in terms of timing and vitamins used.
Anticoagulant rodenticides inhibit production of vitamin K, necessary for blood clotting. When mice ingest this poison, they cannot form blood clots, which results in internal bleeding. It’s the most common poison on the market used to kill mice, and unfortunately it doesn’t work fast, requiring three to five days.
Metal phosphides are another common poison. They act faster, killing mice in your home between one and three days. Ingesting this poison causes a toxin phosphine gas to form inside the mouse. While it doesn’t reside in the animal tissue, it still kills. Hypercalcemia uses high levels of vitamins. When the rodents eat, the calcium absorption from food increases. As mice continue to eat more, their calcium absorption level raises significantly, becoming so high that it affects the organs and causes death.
Family and Pet Safety
Rat poison is lethal, and accidental ingestion by a pet or a family member has serious consequences. It should be stored away and on high shelves, in a safe and secure spot, out of reach of children and pets where nobody can reach it.
Kids are naturally curious, and leaving rat poison within their reach increases the opportunity of accidental ingestion. Younger children particularly like to stick everything in their mouths, and poison pellets look like candy. Leaving them on the floor—although good for mice, poses a hazard for unsupervised little ones. If your cat or dog eats the poison, or in the case of a cat—eats the dead mouse, they’ll need to see a vet right away.
You need to act fast to get treatment. If your pet or child has come into contact with poison, take your child to the doctor or emergency room, and get the pet to the vet clinic. It’s vital to store poison in secure places where nobody can accidentally come into contact with it.
Negative Side Effects Consequences
The health consequences of mice in your home are serious. You could go into shock, suffer from seizures, vomit, and this is just a small list of symptoms you could experience from accidentally ingesting rat poison.
Hemorrhaging is caused by anticoagulant poisons such as warfarin, with side effects occurring several days after ingestion. Signs include fatigue, rapid heartbeat, bleeding, visible bruising, and shortness of breath. Zinc phosphide poisons result in cardiopulmonary effects such as tightness in chest, possible fluid in lungs, and weakening of the heart muscles. Ingesting zinc phosphide poisoning can also cause liver failure, jaundice, and possible brain damage from toxin buildup in the brain (if the liver fails). This is a very short account of the many reactions from accidentally ingesting rat poison used in the home.
Regardless of the type, each poison affects humans or pets that ingest it in some way. Some poisons work to kill the mice in your home in a few hours, while other require a few days. In both cases, mice have time to go back to their hiding space. If you’re stuck cleaning up carcasses, you run the risk of contracting a disease from the mouse.
The risks of using rat poison outweigh the benefits. The best option is to find an alternative solution. Not only does poison harm mice, but animals that may eat the dead species are also affected. Your best option is to consider humane wildlife removal instead.