Think you might have a rat problem? The pitter-patter of little feet across the roof at dusk or dawn, birdseed that disappears overnight, holes in food packaging, chewed electrical wires, or trails of large comma-shaped droppings – all are indicators of rats. As they’re generally creatures of the night, staying hidden to avoid predators, if you see them during the day, you likely have a major problem.
Rats eat nearly any type of food – fruits, nuts, pet and bird food, fresh grain, meat, and fish, even slugs and snails. Their powerful teeth can gnaw through plastic garbage cans, electrical wires, doors, walls, and insulation. Burrowing types can undermine building foundations and slabs, damage garden crops and ornamental plantings. Rats can also transmit diseases to humans or livestock.
Before reaching for a product to deal with these varmints, DON’T! Instead, Stop. Think. Protect. Ready-to-use pesticide products have one thing in common – they’re poisons, intended to kill a particular kind of creature, be it plant or animal. In the process, they can hurt more than the target pest – sometimes, much more! Why is using poison bait a bad idea?
- Rat poisons don’t just kill rodents – they also kill or seriously injure the animals that eat rats and mice, like hawks, owls, foxes, raccoons and skunks, the natural predators that can keep rat populations in check.
- Rat poisons can be consumed by pets and other wildlife that are attracted to the tasty flavorings used to make the poisons (like fish oil, molasses, or peanut butter).
- Rat poisons, some with bright colors, can appeal to curious young children and their desire to stick everything in their mouths making the risk of accidental poisoning a danger for kids.
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Check out our video on “Keeping Rats and Mice Out”