Rat poison has been around as long as humans have tried to rid themselves of rats. Many types of rat poisons have been tried over time. Today there are only three main types of rat poison.
There are three types of rat poison: anticoagulant rodenticide, cholecalciferol rodenticide, and bromethalin rodenticide. Anticoagulant rodenticides are the most common and the only type of rat poison with an antidote available.
Anticoagulant rat poisons contain bromethalin, neurotoxins and cholecalciferol. Anticoagulants reduce vitamin K, which reduces blood clotting--causing the rat to bleed to death. Common brands include Warfarin, Fumarin, Diphacinone and Bromadiolone.
Cholecalciferol rat poison is a form of vitamin D. Cholecalciferol causes toxiosis by raising serum calcium levels to deadly amounts. Usually this causes slowed heart rate or cardiac arrest. It can also cause increased water intake, which causes bloating. Cholecalciferol takes up to 36 hours to be effective.
Bromethalin rat poison is the newest form of poison. This type is fatal after one dose. Bromethalin affects the brain and spinal fluid. This poison usually causes tremors, seizures and excitability. Bromethalin takes up to 10 hours to be effective.
Rat poisons are toxic and can be deadly to anything or anyone that swallows them. If poisoned rats are eaten by other animals, these other animals can also die.