Every rodenticide available is effective at killing rats. If you want to know what is the best rat poison then the answer depends on your personal situation. Let me walk you through a few different options.
Best Poison for Attic Rats
I generally recommend using snap traps when going after attic rats. Sometimes though, the critters get smart and figure out that they need to stay away from the traps. In these cases using a rodenticide is the only viable way of dealing with the infestation.
Rats are in your attic because the attic provides them shelter and food. What they don’t have is a source of water. Use the lack of water to your advantage and use a water based rodenticide.
The best water based rodenticide available is the Motomco product from TomCat. You will need to mix one packet of the product with a quart of water to get the correct concentration.
Place several shallow dishes filled with the poisoned water around your attic and the rats will drink it up!
This is the PERFECT way to kill rodents in your attic but please realize that the Tomcat product is highly effective and will kill ANYTHING that drinks the water. Do NOT use this product in any location that is accessible to children or pets.
Here is a link to purchase Tomcat Liquid Bait
Best Poison for Households with Pets or Children
Many wonderful dogs have died after eating poisons and a 2010 report from Scientific American estimates that rodenticides endanger 10,000 children per year.
There is absolutely no reason that you can’t safely use these baits around your family if you just purchase the right product.
If you have small children or pets in your house then the best solution for you is to use a Tier 1 bait station.
A Tier 1 bait station is completely safe from tampering by kids or pets.
Here is what a Tier 1 bait station looks like.
I tried to take the lid off of this bait station to get an “inside look” picture. After 15 very frustrating minutes of not being able to remove the top I finally realized that I couldn’t get the lid off by design.
The rats can access the poison by entering a hole on the side of the bait station and walking around a walled divider.
These bait stations are designed so that kids cannot take them apart and dogs cannot chew through them. This basic design allows the poison to be safely used in areas of your house or yard where traps would be too dangerous.
Here is a link to buy a Tier 1 Rat Bait Station
If you have dogs then you will need to inspect your yard for dead rodents on a daily basis and put any you find into the trash. Animals can get extremely sick by eating poisoned rats.
Here is another article that goes into more detail about the different rat baiting station options that are available.
Best Poison that Won’t Hurt Wildlife
Tens of thousands of wild animals are killed by rodenticides every year. Some animals die after directly eating the product while others die after eating rodents that have consumed the product. Predatory birds such as owls and hawks are at extreme risk as a poisoned rodent is an easy and attractive meal.
The only product that is COMPLETELY safe and will not harm wildlife is the RatX pellets. The RatX product works by taking advantage of a unique aspect of rat anatomy: rats cannot vomit.
The active ingredients in RatX swell up inside the rat and blocks any water from being absorbed through the digestive track. The rodent dies in a few days from dehydration.
These components, corn gluten and salt, are non-toxic to mammals.
This product will not harm other animals.
I am a BIG fan of the non-toxic RatX rat poison.
Here is a link to buy a bag of Non-Toxic Rat Poison.
What is the Strongest Poison?
Very often people simply want to know, “What is the strongest rat poison?” It turns out that this is a trick question.
When biologists eliminated the entire rat populations on South Georgia Island they decided to use 200 tons of brodifacoum. That’s a pretty solid product recommendation.
But, before you go off and buy a couple tons yourself, please realize that the trick isn’t to find the strongest or most toxic poison; all of them will kill your rats.
The trick is to find a product that your rats will eat.
Here are a few tips to help make sure whatever rat poison you buy will be consumed by your rats.
- Remove ANY other potential food source from the area. There is absolutely no point in putting out baits if more attractive food is available. Open trash cans, spilled bird seed and even dog poop are all consider good eats by rats.
- Take the time to train the rats. Spend a few minutes in the kitchen and make 15-20 balls of oats and peanut butter that are about the size of a ping pong ball. In the evening, after any pets have been brought inside, place the oat balls in 4-5 different locations near where you have seen the rats. Do this for three days. The rats will learn that there are tasty things to eat in those specific locations. On the fourth night replace the oat treats with the poison baits. Inspect the baits in the morning to see if they have been chewed on or completely removed. Take up any remaining bait during the day and replace it with fresh bait the next evening. After two or three nights of baiting the rat population should be adequately poisoned.
If one brand of poison is not being eaten then switch to another type. Rats can be finicky, especially if other food sources are available. When rats refuse to accept a bait it has nothing to do with the active ingredient.
You do not need a “stronger” poison, you need one that your rats will accept. It might be worthwhile to go ahead and place two different types of bait out, side by side. Give those rats a choice and let them pick which one they like better!
Here are a few products with different shapes and formulations that you could put out simultaneously.
Again, the trick isn’t to find the “most powerful” poison, The trick is to convince your rats that they should eat the product that you are offering.
Regardless of which product you purchase it is a good idea to keep the original packaging.
In the unlikely event that an accidental poisoning occurs your vet will need to know what TYPE of rat poison was involved as the antidotes for each of the poisons are different.