Environmentally Friendly Rat Poison

Updated April 17, 2017

For some, rats are a huge inconvenience that can carry dangerous diseases and germs, and are potentially harmful to your living space. Now that more individuals are becoming environmentally conscious, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional rat poison are a must. Unfortunately, there are very few poisons that are considered safe for the environment or your household; most conventional rat poisons contain a harmful chemical called brodifacoum that causes secondary poisoning when pets or wild birds consume rodents that have been poisoned. In studies in both California and New York, brodifacoum was found to account for 80 per cent of the secondary poisonings by rodenticides. This toxic material can also be extremely dangerous when exposed to children.

Chemical-Free Rodent Bait

Products like EradiRat and EradiBait are made of 100 per cent formulated comminute plant material that kills rodents effectively without the risk of secondary poisoning of nontarget animals such as pets and birds. It's an environmentally friendly option because it contains no harmful chemicals. Instead of thinning the blood and causing hemorrhaging like traditional rat poisons, this method has an opposite effect: it thickens the blood, causing the rodent to become lethargic; eventually it becomes comatose and will die. Since the results are slow and it takes some time for the rodent to die, those of you looking for a more humane way to kill rodents should look elsewhere.

Rodent Repellents

There are several different eco-friendly rodent repellents on the market today. Nature's Defense Organic Repellent is made of seven different active ingredients that are certified organic, and can therefore be used almost anywhere in or around your home. It comes in a powder form and can repel over 20 different unwanted rodents from your home or outdoor living space. Other safe alternatives are repellents made from dried coyote, bobcat and fox urine. These natural repellents are said to instil fear in the rodents because they can smell the scent of their worst enemies and predators, which causes them to flee the area. Most are organic, so they're safe for use around pets and children.


There are several options to choose from when considering a rat trap. The classic "snap-trap" has a spring-loaded bar that rapidly snaps closed when the trigger is touched by the mouse or rat, designed to break the spinal cord and kill the rodent instantly. The glue trap has been considered even more inhumane due to the fact that it takes the rodent much longer to die from either starvation, dehydration or suffocation, extending the length of the animal's suffering. Traps that have been considered more humane are the live-catch traps that use an entry-only opening that doesn't allow them to escape the trap, and a bucket trap that has a ramp leading to a deep-walled container where food can be placed to entice the rodent. These traps allow for the rats or mice to be released into the wild after being caught.

Electronic Pest Control

Technology is progressing in nearly every facet of our lives, including pest control. Systems like the Rat Zapper 2000 and the Victor Electronic Rat Trap look similar to most rat traps from the outside; but once the rat enters the trap, sensors trigger the system to give a lethal electric jolt, killing the rat or mouse instantly. The systems run on batteries, so little energy is used in the process. There are also ultrasonic mouse repellers that emit a high-pitched noise that is inaudible to humans, which scare the rodents out of your home or establishment. These options are considered better for the environment because they don't use toxic chemicals.

Inert Gas Trap

Recognised by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) as an "animal friendly achievement," the RADAR mousetrap, invented by Rentokil Pest Control, kills trapped mice or other rodents by releasing carbon dioxide into the trap, then alerts the user by e-mail so that the trap can be quickly emptied and reset. Rentokil claims that the trap is virtually painless for the rodents and prevents future deaths by identifying the precise location of the trap and the number of rodents caught so that their admission into the structure can be controlled by sealing entrance holes. This is considered to be a very humane and progress-driven form of rodent control because the effort is being made to stop the problem from the source. This method is also considered environmentally safe because there are no toxic chemicals involved and only a very small amount of carbon dioxide is released into the trap.

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About the Author

Yvonne Hawkins is a recent University of Alabama graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in anthropology. Her writing interests include music and entertainment, travel, and sustainable living. She aspires to become the chief editor of a major publication before she's 30.