How does rat poison work?

Rat poison is one of the most common methods of dealing with a rat infestation. It is a cost-effective and reliable way of killing any rats living in your home. However, many people are understandably wary of using rat poison in their homes because they have pets or small children who don’t want to be exposed to potentially toxic substances. Fortunately, the rodenticides used to kill rats are safe to use, provided the user follows the instructions properly.

After rats consume poisoned bait, they will perish within a few days; the exact length of time it takes for the rat to die after consuming the poison will vary depending on several factors. The most important of these are the type of poison used and the amount ingested. Rat poisons can be divided into two distinct groups or generations. 

The first generation rat poisons are older and much less common today. These first-generation poisons take at least a week to kill their targets because they require multiple doses. Their relatively low toxicity means they will accumulate in the bodies of rodents that consume them. If another animal, a family dog or cat, for example, then consumes the carcass, they will ingest enough poison to kill them as well potentially. Second-generation poisons are more potent and kill a rat within a week after a single dose. They don’t suffer from the same problem of secondary poisoning.

Both generations of rat poison work in the same way; they are anticoagulants. Anticoagulants prevent the rat’s blood from clotting. The rat’s blood thins until it begins to bleed internally. It’s not the most pleasant way to die, but it is far from the most cruel. While it takes the rats a couple of days at least to die, there’s no evidence that they spend this time in pain or severe discomfort.

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