Primary poisoning is caused when a pet eats the rat bait directly. The commonest way this occurs is when a pet gets into a container of bait that has been incorrectly stored. None of us are infallible and sometimes we can forget that we have a container of rat bait on the shelf in a shed. If the packet is accidentally knocked to the ground, spilling its contents, a pet will readily eat it.
Secondary poisoning is different. It occurs when an animal eats a poisoned rat. The residue of bait in the rat’s stomach is the cause of the toxicity. Often this occurs when an affected rat, perhaps slower and more lethargic than a normal one and thereby less able to defend itself, falls victim to a dog or cat or to a bird of prey such as an owl, a hawk or a falcon.
Rat and mice numbers are on the rise as the cooler weather forces them to search for food closer to our homes, especially sheds and garages where we feed our pets and in the house, too. Be aware that rat baits might be out on neighbouring properties and contact your vet if your pet appears off-colour.
There are many rat poisons on the market, and some are safer for pets and wildlife than others. No matter which rat poison you use, be especially aware that all of them pose some danger to pets. This danger can be minimised by the careful choice of baits, by using effective baiting procedures and by ensuring you store baits safely.
Multi-feed versus single feed rodenticides ...
Most rat baits that you can get from the supermarket are based on anticoagulants. These baits are of two basic types. The first are those generally termed multi-feed rodenticides and the second are those that are single-feed rodenticides.
The oldest anticoagulant bait is based on the chemical warfarin. Ratsak is the most commonly recognised. Another readily available rodenticide is based on the chemical coumatetralyl available as the Bayer product Racumin. Both warfarin and coumatetralyl are multi-feed rodenticides. This means that the rat must eat these types of baits over several days to become affected by them. This means that pets and wildlife are less at risk because they either have to consume a large quantity of bait in one sitting or consume small quantities of bait over a long period.
Single feed rodenticides act more quickly. These rat baits are more toxic to rats and pets and a single dose is more likely to cause poisoning. Single feed rodenticides are those containing brodifacoum (e.g.Talon) and bromadialone (e.g.Bromakil). They are commonly available from local supermarkets.
Brodifacoum is at least 40 times more potent that warfarin and is much more likely to cause the death of a rat, a pet or a wild animal with a single feed. Secondary poisoning is also more likely to occur because a rat can have enough bait in its stomach to poison a dog and certainly a bird.
I breed rats and have over 100
and I also have them wild living under the hen house. I dont bait or live trap them as I find the girls themselves have so far kept the numbers down. They breed and the babies enter the hen house like the parents to nibble on the food and the hens kill the babies. I find them dead all the time on the floor.
Rats are very smart when it comes to poisons and the reason they dont work after a short period of time is that the one who eats it first when it feels unwell will go back to the nest to die and the others will smell the poison on them and will then not eat it. So the best way is to have a huge amount of poison around for 2 weeks and then use a different poison in a large amount for a further 2 weeks. Rats have a 21 day gestation so the idea is that you kill as many adults within that period so there isnt anything old enough left to breed. They can breed as young as 5/6 weeks of age.
Hope this helps.