Rat bait is a suggested method of control when a rat population is difficult to eradicate with trapping. The best rat baits mimic a rat’s food source through shape or taste. Identifying the type of rat infestation can help determine what type of bait to use. The best rat bait comes in the form of an anticoagulant. These baits diminish the blood’s ability to clot. This results in internal bleeding. These baits are successful because they don’t kill the rat immediately. This prevents rats from becoming wary of the bait.
There are first-generation anticoagulant rat baits and second-generation anticoagulant rat baits. The first-generation has low toxicity and requires multiple feedings to become lethal. They contain chlorophacinone, diphacinone, or warfarin. Second-generation anticoagulant rat baits kill rats after a single feeding. They contain brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, or difethialone. These chemicals are toxic and are an extreme hazard for pets and children. In 2011 the EPA restricted several forms of bait for professional use only.
Commercially available baits are required to be sold as gels, chunks, and pastes. Many of the restricted chemicals, such as bromadiolone, are still available in small quantities. Following bait instructions should avoid accidental poisoning of children and pets. Placement of bait should be near areas of recent rodent activity. Initially, rats may be shy of new bait. New regulations require most bait to be sold with a bait station. Rat Bait stations can be used either indoors or outdoors, and prevent tampering from children and pets.