Is mouse poison safe for humans? The answer has significant implications for the health of your family.
This video was taken by one of our pest control technicians during a mouse call in Hamilton, Ontario. This homeowner had been struggling with a mouse infestation for a number of years before seeking professional pest control services.
As part of their efforts to rid themselves of mice and rats, the homeowners purchased rodenticides from their local hardware store. The mouse poison came in blocks and was deposited by the homeowners under the oven. This was the spot where the most droppings consistently appeared. Mice love areas like these because they are dark, tucked away, and seldom cleaned, so there tend to be a lot of crumbs and food particles available.
Is Mouse Poison Safe for Humans? 3 Potential Dangers
As the video shows, the problem with placing rat poison in your kitchen is the risk of dangerous cross-contamination. Here are some specific dangers of using poison against rats or mice.
1. Rat Poison Effects on Humans Can Be Deadly
Rodenticides are chemical compounds intended to kill rats and mice. Nevertheless, they are also highly toxic to humans. Death or serious illness can result from exposure.
The effects of rat poison on humans depend on the specific chemicals used. Some are more dangerous to humans than others. Here are a few examples of chemicals commonly found in rodenticides and the effects they can have on humans:
- Anticoagulants prevent blood from clotting. The superwarfarins used in mouse poisons are more potent versions of anticoagulants used to treat clotting disorders. They can cause blood in urine, nosebleed, bruising, and bleeding in the brain.
- Barium carbonate causes muscle paralysis, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, and cardiac arrhythmia. It is highly toxic and dissolves easily in water.
- Zinc and aluminum phosphide is a compound that can cause the failure of the kidneys, liver, and respiratory system within 30 minutes of exposure. It produces a toxic gas when exposed to water or stomach acid.
- Strychnine affects the nervous system and causes involuntary muscle contractions within 10 to 20 minutes of exposure. Bitter when dissolved in water, it is tasteless in its powder form.
- Acute exposure to thallium can cause seizures and nerve dysfunction. Within 48 hours of exposure, it can cause acute gastroenteritis, with symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal cramps.
2. Rodents Can Spread Poison Around Your Home
When a mouse eats poison it can take several days or weeks before they eventually die a slow, inhumane death. That lag time gives the mice plenty of opportunity to move dangerous poisons to other places inside the kitchen. Not only will mice deliberately move poisons to more preferred locations, but they will also track it all over food and cookware on their paws, fur, and even in their droppings.
3. Children and Pets May Be Particularly at Risk
Infants and toddlers explore the world with their mouths. If rat poison is placed where they can reach it, they may accidentally swallow it. Some of these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, so just handling the poison without ingesting it could be dangerous.
Rodents that are suffering from the effects of poison may be slower and easier for dogs and cats to catch. A pet that ingests a poisoned mouse or rat can suffer similar ill effects. There have been heartbreaking instances of people losing beloved animal companions, especially cats, to mouse poison because of indirect ingestion.
Why Are Poisons Not Effective for Mice Removal?
If you need to know how to get rid of mice, poisons are not the best way. Not only is poison dangerous, but it is also ineffective. Here are some reasons why.
Mice Learn From Past Experience
It can take a long time for the poison to work after a mouse ingests it. Sometimes, the mice don’t die at all. For their size, rodents are pretty intelligent and learn from past experiences. A mouse that survives eating poison will never make the same mistake again.
Mice May Not Always Take the Bait
Mice don’t hibernate during the winter. Instead, they find a warm place to make a nest, such as your attic or wall voids, and forage for whatever food they can find. Like squirrels, they may collect food and store it for winter. A mouse that has adequate food stores may not be interested in baits and therefore may not ingest the poison.
Mice Can Reproduce Faster Than You Can Poison Them
A single mouse can give birth 10 times a year. Each of those litters typically includes five or six babies, or pups, though litters of 12 pups are also possible. Mice don’t have a mating season, so females can reproduce again immediately after giving birth. This means that a single female mouse can have up to 120 babies per year.
If that doesn’t sound so bad, keep in mind that a young female mouse becomes sexually mature after about two months. This means that not only is the original mouse having babies throughout the year, but all her female offspring, and all their female offspring, are reproducing as well.
Poison Does Not Address the Underlying Problem
Even if it were possible to kill all the mice currently living in your house with poison, the problem would likely still persist as long as mice can keep getting in and out of your house. No form of mice removal is permanently effective if the mice can still get into the house from the outside.
Why Should You Call Skedaddle for Mice Removal?
Is mouse poison safe for humans? No, but neither is having mice in the house because of the diseases they can spread to humans. Skedaddle is the best solution. We do not use poison to kill mice, and our methods do not put you or your family at risk. We address the root of the problem by sealing entry points to keep mice from getting back in. Contact us for more information about our wildlife removal services.