How to safely use rat poison

Updated February 21, 2017

Rats are pests that invade homes and buildings, causing unsanitary living conditions. These rodents carry diseases and parasites and can infect the food supply with bacteria if they eat it. Rodenticides, another name for rat poisons, are powerful poisons designed to kill rats and eliminate infestations. Because they are poisons, the substances are toxic to people and pets. With proper safety precautions, though, rat poison can kill rats without causing any other harm.

Place rat poison in areas not accessible to pets and children. Some good places to put rat poison are attics, inside walls, and closed crawl spaces. Do not put rat poison behind stoves or other places where pets may be able to pull it out with their paws.

Use rat poison pellets sealed in bags rather than powdered rat poison. Powdered rat poison is almost impossible to remove completely from the area where it has been applied. Sealed bags of pellet rat poison will be almost entirely eaten by the rodents, and the leftover packets can be easily discarded.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling rat poison.

Store unused rat poison in a sealed plastic container located on a high shelf. This precaution prevents accidental access to the poison by children.


Do not open bags of rat poison pellets to distribute the pellets. The pellets can be confused for food by pets and kill them.

Things You'll Need

  • Rat poison
  • Plastic container with lid
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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.