Rats are a pest, and unfortunately, the best way of solving the problems they cause is through extermination through poison. While it can seem harsh, a rat infestation can cause more harm to one’s property and even personal health than initially realized. It is quite easy for human beings to get ill from rat scratches. It’s possible to die from such injuries, so this is quite a serious matter to consider.
Rats are also fairly clever creatures. If they’re hungry, they can and will be persistent in their approach to getting their next meal. They also multiply like crazy, leading to more frustration for any home or business owner in a short length of time. The most efficient way to deal with these pests is via poison, which can be applied as judiciously as one needs in a rat infestation situation.
In this article, we’re going to showcase the basics of what you need to know about various rat poisons before you even consider making a purchase. Shortly after that, we’re going to detail the best rat poisons in 2021 that can give you the best value for your dollar. Afterward, we’ll provide an extended guide that gives even more information about rat poison and help you to expand your knowledge on the subject matter. We realize that poisons can be dangerous, and we want to provide the best information possible for you to make a judgment based on safety as well as efficacy.
So, if you’ve got a rat problem, you’re in the right place. Let’s take a look at the very best rat poisons on the market today so you can take back control of your property from critters that go bump in the night.
- Features to Consider for Rat Poison
- Top 10 Best Rat Poisons 2022
- 1. Best Overall Rat Poison: Motomco Tomcat Bait Chunx 4lb Pail
- 2. Best Budget Rat Poison: Neogen Ramik Green Rodencide Nuggets
- 3. Best Premium Rat Poison: Neogen Havoc Rodenticide 8lb Pail
- 4. Just One Bite II Rat & Mouse Bar
- 5. JT Eaton 704-PN Bait Block Rodenticide
- 6. Motomco Tomcat Mouse and Rat 22 Count Pail
- 7. Farnam Just One Bite II Bait Chunks
- 8. Tomcat Rodent Station
- 9. Tomcat Rodent Repellent Spray
- 10. Rodent Sheriff Pest Control Spray
- Guide to Buying the Best Rat Poison
- Final Considerations
Features to Consider for Rat Poison
Here are a couple of points of consideration to keep note of when you’re looking to invest in some high-quality rat poison. These are essential features to note before putting down some cold hard cash. If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at these products, however, consider perusing our expanded guide at the tail-end of our products reviews.
Some bait formats might be better than others, depending on one’s situation. Here are a few examples:
This type of bait can be easily scattered around in order to cover a wide area. It’s effective for use both outdoors as well as indoors, and it’s great for getting poison in small nooks and crannies that can be difficult to reach.
This type of bait is highly attractive to all sorts of rodents due to its strong flavor. They can be scattered around easily, much like pellet bait, or they can be placed in specialized bait stations in order to keep pets and other non-rodent animals from consuming it.
These are rat poisons that are sealed up in individual units that have to be torn into to spill out their poisonous content. The advantage of soft bait is that it is far more resistant to the aging/mold process than any other bait type on this list.
Liquid bait is usually a rodent repellent that you can spray on almost any surface. However, liquid bait can be drinkable poison as well. This is considered to be an extremely dangerous type of rat poison for both animals and children.
Types of Rat Poison
Before making a purchase, determine what kind of rat poison you need first. Here are a few of the most common:
These types of poisons thin the blood of the rat and keep it from coagulating, which can take a few days to fully take effect and kill rodents. The advantage of this is that it won’t harm or kill pets and humans if a small dose is consumed. Also, rats are intelligent and will avoid certain food sources if they see their pals dying around them quickly. Slow-acting rat poison is a good way of keeping them confused in the long run.
These types of poisons only have to be consumed once to take full effect. The downside to this is that they are extremely dangerous to all types of life, such as other pets, wildlife, and kids. They also tend to make the carcass highly toxic. This means that the poisonous properties can easily spread to other types of wildlife that may eat it. For this reason, these types of poisons are banned in California.
This mostly consists of neurotoxin poisons that impair the nervous system of the rat. The main purpose of this group of poisons is to reduce the likelihood of secondary poisoning to pets, kids, and other animals.
The Amount of Poison Required
If you have a larger business, like a warehouse, you’re going to need a considerable amount of bait to eliminate your pest problem. Otherwise, in locations such as homes and small workshops, you won’t nearly need as much. The good news is, rat poison is very affordable, whether bought in small or large batches.
Now that you’ve got a decent lay of the land let’s look at the very best rat poisons out on the market today.
1. Best Overall Rat Poison: Motomco Tomcat Bait Chunx 4lb Pail
- Poison Type: Neurotoxin (non-anticoagulant)
- Amount: 4 lb pail
This product contains Bromethalin, which is a neurotoxin that keeps secondary poisoning to other animals as close to an absolute minimum as possible. So, if you live in an area with a large number of predatory animals that would desire to feast on dead rat carcasses, this will keep their population from thinning down due to poison usage.
Additionally, this type of neurotoxin is potent against rats that have developed a certain level of immunity to anticoagulant poisons. It’s also faster-acting than many types of these poisons, usually working its magic in around two or three days maximum.
Another fantastic aspect of this product is that it can be used all season long due to its waxy makeup. This keeps it fairly water-resistant and not prone to molding like other rat poisons like this.
Overall, this is a great bargain when it comes to killing rats efficiently. Its safety is also a key factor here, as one of the biggest problems we face with rat poisons is how that secondary poisoning from dead rats can transmit to local wildlife. While it doesn’t kill rats instantly, it will work within days.
- Large four-pound pail
- Keeps secondary poisoning to a minimum
- The waxy coating makes it weather-resistant
- Faster-acting compared to a lot of rat poisons
- Not instantaneous when it comes to killing rats
2. Best Budget Rat Poison: Neogen Ramik Green Rodencide Nuggets
- Poison Type: Slow-acting anticoagulant
- Amount: 4 lb bag
Neogen’s rat poison is a wax-free and all-weather choice that is great for those who want to spread out a lot of poison in a short amount of time. The pellets are small enough to go practically anywhere, from large gardens to tight enclosed areas such as workshops.
The biggest upside to this product is it’s not composed of wax, despite being highly weather resistant. This wax-free design allows it to be more attractive to rats overall. While rats will usually eat bait that has a waxy composition, they are much more interested in consuming something without it that resembles more organic food sources. This is a definite strength of this particular product for sure.
Another key point to this product, along with its non-wax composition, is its inherent fish smell. Again, rats are more inclined to consume things that smell and taste like organic sources of food. The synthetic fish smell is sure to lure them in, thinking they are going to get a tasty meal instead of a one-way ticket to the grave.
There’s not much to talk about when it comes to downsides with this product other than it takes around four or five days for this particular poison to work its magic. However, we think it’s a good trade-off for the usability of the pellets (which can be spread easily) along with their high durability in lots of weather conditions. Also, the somewhat natural fish smell and lack of wax make it highly effective at luring them in the first place.
- Works great indoors and outdoors
- Holds up in almost all weather conditions
- Can be used in bait stations
- No wax content, which attracts rats easier
- Poisoning takes around 4-5 days
- Poison Type: Second-generation fast-acting
- Amount: 8 lb pail
- Legal Note: Not for sale in California
This offering from Neogen is one of the most effective rat poisons on the market today. The concept is simple; it’s a fast-acting second-generation anticoagulant. In many cases, rats will consume it the same day, as it works quickly to suffocate the rodent. The poison even kills Norway rats (some of the hardiest of all) with relative ease.
Neogen’s Rodenticide comes with a durable and resealable container that keeps the bait fresh and usable for quite a while. Additionally, this poison is great for fields and outside areas as it is highly weather-resistant. It’s the perfect pick for agricultural areas because of this. It can be used for indoor purposes as well, but since it’s such a strong poison that can kill quickly, it is not recommended. This is especially the case if you have pets and small children.
Another great thing we found about this product is how it can reduce the noxious smell of dead rats due to how it poisons them. It dehydrates them completely, which negates any foul odors that the carcass may emit after death. This is great if used indoors, especially if the rat perishes in a hard-to-reach area.
The downside to this product, and it’s a fairly serious one, is that this is second-generation rat poison. It kills instantly, and it is extremely dangerous to random animals, pets, and children. Because of this, it is mostly only recommended for use in rural areas. Even then, there’s still a chance for secondary poisoning because this product is just so strong.
If you’re looking for more of a generalized household poison, we recommend other alternatives such as Motomco Tomcat Bait Chunx or Neogen Ramik Green Nuggets, as they both are not nearly as toxic as this particular kind of poison.
- Fast-acting poison
- Strong, easily-sealed container
- Dehydrates the rat's body, keeping smells to a minimum
- For multiple uses
- Extremely dangerous to pets and children
- Poison Type: Second-generation fast-acting anticoagulant
- Amount: Eight 1 lb bars
- Legal Note: Not for sale in California
Like the common Norwegian rat, some rats are very resistant to a lot of poisons due to their cast-iron stomachs. You’re going to need something stronger to get rid of these guys. The good news is, the Just One Bite II Bar is just what one needs to get rid of these pesky creatures quickly without too much fuss.
This rat poison consists of eight 1 lb bars that can be placed almost anywhere you can fit them. This is the perfect product for home use, as these highly potent poison bars fit well in all sorts of nooks and crannies in a home. And since this poison is so dangerous and effective, it’s a good idea to do just that in order to minimize any potential damages to other pets in the house.
This product is made with a second-generation fast-acting poison made with Bromadiolone. This kind of poison is made with tough rats like the Norwegian variety in mind. Usually, after consuming this product, the rat in question will be dead within the same day. This is a top product to consider for your home if you need the rat dead and gone quickly and effectively.
Since this is a second-generation anticoagulant, the downside to this product is that it is highly toxic to pets and children. If you’re going to use this in your home (which is ultimately what it’s made for), be sure to be extremely careful with its placement. Just keep in mind that this is a highly dangerous poison that is designed to eradicate rodents on the same day. If you have pets, make sure this product is well out of their reach.
- Fast-acting second-generation poison
- Compact 1 lb bars for home use
- Kills resistant rats with ease
- Extremely dangerous poison in homes with pets and children
- Poison Type: Slow-acting
- Amount: 2 lb pail, 64 blocks
This offering from JP Eaton is one of our top choices for numerous reasons. It’s a first-generation slow-acting rat poison, which means it’s not as dangerous when consumed by other animals. This, of course, doesn’t make it 100% safe, but it’s far better than a faster-acting poison that is certain to kill. It will also limit secondary poisoning from predators consuming dead rat carcasses, which is good for the environment as a whole.
These blocks are small, attractive-looking, and great-tasting to rodents, and can fit in all kinds of bait stations. As far as safety goes, the package is tamper-proof with a durable lid design. This ensures that kids and pets won’t get into it and potentially injure themselves.
If you’re looking for a decent first poison that’s somewhat “safer” than others, this is a top choice. Not only that, you get quite a lot for your buck. Probably the biggest downside is that this is not an “all year long” poison, as it tends to degrade in rainy, humid weather. It also takes around three or four days to kill rats that consume it due to its slow-acting nature, so if you’re looking for a fast fix, it’s best to look elsewhere.
If you’re still on the fence, it’s worth noting that this product comes with a one-year warranty. If you don’t think that the poison is doing its job, you can return it for a full refund. Not bad!
- Attractive to rodents both in sight and smell
- Slow-acting rat poison
- Tamper-proof lid
- Comes with one year warranty
- Not for all weather conditions
- Poison Type: First generation, slow-acting
- Amount: 22 packets
This is a unique product in that it gives you 22 individually sealed packets of slow-acting rat poison pellets. These pellets can be easily thrown about your residence and spread around without too much trouble, and the individually-sealed packets keep you from having to physically touch the poison with your bare hands. The pail also seals up well, so you effectively have two different layers of protection for the poison itself, ensuring it will last a long time.
This is a good product if you are looking for a generalized rat poison that isn’t super-toxic to nearby animals and pets. Since this is slow-acting, accidental deaths can be easily prevented if you are aware that a pet has consumed the product.
The downside to the product is that there’s no real control here. Each packet has its set amount, nothing more and nothing less. If you like to micromanage how you disperse your poisons, then it’s best to look elsewhere.
- 22 individually-wrapped packets
- Slow-acting poison that's somewhat safer to use around household pets
- Good for applying to an area quickly
- Predetermined amount of poison per packet—not ideal for those who want to control specific dosages
- Poison Type: Second-generation fast-acting
- Amount: 8lb resealable box
- Legal Note: Not for sale in California
This product is extremely similar to the this poison provided by Farnam for home use. In this case, it’s specifically designed for large fields and farm-based areas as opposed to general home use. This is a second-generation poison that is fast-acting and will eradicate rats judiciously when used.
It’s made up of a Bromadiolone blend that effectively kills the toughest Norwegian rats out there. It’s also worth noting that this poison is also good at getting rid of all sorts of other pesky critters as well. Do you have a possum that keeps haunting your farm? This will get rid of it quickly.
You’ll certainly get your money’s worth with this product, especially if you have a lot of exterminating to do. Not only does it come in a hefty 8 lb resealable box, but it also works stunningly well. Most rodents will perish after their first feed within a few days.
Like all of these kinds of fast-acting poisons, the big issue with them is that they do not discriminate. It will kill pretty much anything that consumes it and quickly (typically within four days). Also, this particular brand doesn’t seem to dehydrate animals very well, which prompts them to smell terribly after death. This is certainly the pick to use in more rural or farm-based areas for these reasons alone; just be aware there still could be a significant collateral damage effect due to the harshness of the poison itself.
- Huge 8 lb sealable box
- Fast-acting second-gen poison
- Best for farms and other agricultural areas
- Kills in one feed
- No dehydration effect, so rats will smell upon death
- Poison Type: All kinds
- Amount: 1 rodent station per purchase
Quite simply, this is a mobile unit you can fit four bricks of poison within that can easily be locked up via a key mechanism. This is perfect for household use, as it protects children and other animals from accessing the poison. Only rats can enter into these useful bait devices as their entrance is only accessible to something as small as one!
In terms of durability, the Tomcat station is made of heavy-duty plastic. It can withstand sunlight, rain, and other types of weather. As far as the key mechanism goes, Tomcat provides you with a high-quality metal key system as opposed to brittle plastic. This keeps the bait box from breaking each time you open it up to apply more poison.
There’s not too much bad to say about this product other than we would like to see larger versions for bigger areas such as warehouses where larger infestations of rats can occur. That being said, this is a household-based bait station that will keep rat poison safe, secure, and accessible only to rodents themselves.
- Made of durable, solid plastic
- Metal key system
- Holds four different bait blocks
- Size only makes sense for homes, not larger buildings
- Poison Type: N/A
- Amount: 1 gallon
If you have consistent problems with rodents and you want an extra solution to keep them at bay besides poison, then you don’t need to look any further than this high-quality repellant spray from Tomcat. Tomcat is one of the leading brands when it comes to vermin control, and this product delivers when it comes specifically to keeping rats and mice from wanting to enter your home in the first place.
This product is completely devoid of smell. That’s because it’s created with essential oils that naturally repel rats and mice. This allows you to spray it all over your house, even in food-sensitive areas, without any worry of toxicity and nasty odor. It also comes with a spray wand, which helps when spraying in narrow areas throughout your home.
This spray is proven to work around 30 days per application and then must be reapplied. It is also rain-resistant, so it’s good for outdoor usage as well as indoors.
While this isn’t rat poison and won’t kill any rodents that have already taken residence in your home, it will keep others from wanting to come into your house in the first place. It’s best used in tandem with a bait trap set up within your house in order to fully protect your property from pests.
- Each application works for 30 days
- No-smell essential oil formula
- Comes with a spray wand for touch-to-reach areas
- A prevention tool only. Does not poison rats currently in your hom
- Poison Type: N/A
- Amount: 1000 sprays per can
It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to rats and other pests, this is probably a smart parable to take to heart. While this particular product by Rodent Sheriff isn’t what you would typically consider being a rat poison, it might very well help keep you from ever having problems with the vermin coming into your home in the first place.
Quite simply, Rodent Sheriff is a spray-based product that contains natural peppermint oil. Peppermint is known to repel rodents of all kinds. Each can have around 1000 sprays total, so you can cover a wide swath of your household with just one can of this. It’s safe to use everywhere, even in areas where food preparation is a possibility.
The efficacy of this product depends on what you’re using it for. Rats certainly seem to be repelled by it; however, the biggest pests like raccoons don’t seem to be phased by it at all. If you’re really concerned, it would be a good idea to use this product in tandem with another type of poison-based product that could be utilized in a bait box within your home. This way, full coverage (and peace of mind) is possible.
- Each can is good for 1000 sprays
- Keeps rats and other pests away from your home
- Natural peppermint oil scent
- Not as effective as full-blown rat poison
Guide to Buying the Best Rat Poison
Here are a few more points that expand on what we covered earlier in this article. Our goal here is to give you more detailed information on rat poison in order to make a more informed purchase.
The Best Locations to Place Rat Poison
There are some pretty typical places to position rat poison, even if you don’t know where the creatures are coming from exactly. Here are a couple of quick tips to maximize your poison’s exposure to the rats that have infested your building.
Rats have to get inside buildings somehow, and the best way to do this is through openings into your home or business. If you have any small holes in your domicile, be sure to poison these areas thoroughly. After that, close up any holes, so they never enter in that way again.
Rats can sometimes be found in easy to identify food source areas. This can either be an area where they store food themselves or some other location like a kitchen. Once you place the poison accordingly, remove as much of the current food source as you can in order to get the rats to feed on the poison instead. This will accelerate the extermination process.
Rats are not the cleanest of animals and tend to congregate in areas where they also relieve themselves. If you see areas like this, lay down poison near them as they are sure to return to these locations frequently.
Rats travel through walls in order to minimize themselves from being out in the open too long. So placing poison within walls and near rafters is a way to get them to consume poison. The only real problem with this is that any rat that dies inside your walls may be difficult to remove afterward. This, however, is not a recommended technique for rat extermination.
Important Tips for Handling Rat Poison
Always be cautious when using rat poison, no matter what. Even if it’s a kind that won’t outright kill you if ingested, it can still cause you to feel massively ill. Here are a few key things to keep in mind when handling rat poison.
Always wear some type of glove, either rubber or otherwise, when handling rat poison of any kind. Once you’re finished applying the poison to the area of your choice, carefully remove the gloves and then wash your hands as completely as possible.
Remove Rat Carcasses
Dead rats have to be removed as soon as possible, or they will end up causing a foul odor in the long run. Even worse, there’s also a possibility of disease if you don’t remove the rats as well. How best to deal with rat carcasses? A decently sized Ziploc-style bag or garbage bag will isolate them enough before placing them into an outdoor trash can. Don’t dispose of dead rats via your indoor garbage, as this might interest any household pets in digging through the trash, potentially making them sick if they end up consuming the dead rat.
How to Deal With Rats Outside
Rats can also inhabit other areas besides our homes. In the warmer seasons, they can take root in places like gardens and fields as well. Here are a few strategies to deal with them in this context.
Enlist the Help of Predatory Animals
Rats are hunted by predators such as owls and other birds of prey. However, the easiest way of dealing with them is simply to take in a cat that is used to being outdoors. They will keep your rat population down considerably via nightly hunts.
Keep Your Yard Clean
Rats love to hide to stay away from some of the more natural predators we mentioned above. Don’t make this easier for them. Keep your lawn cut and piles of clutter down to a minimum. Make sure any holes and apertures that they can crawl through are sealed. The less hospitable your yard to hide in, the less likely rats will set up shop.
Take Out Nests
If you can locate their nests, also known as burrows, you can utilize dry ice in order to exterminate them. Dry ice emits carbon dioxide, which can kill the rats in their nest quickly. This is a simple way of taking out a group of rats without resorting to high-powered poisons.
Set Up Traps
The trusty snap traps are your best bet here. They are inexpensive and can be placed almost anywhere. Just remember where you put them so you don’t get a nasty surprise early in the morning when you can’t see as clearly!
Here are some commonly-asked questions about rat poison:
How Does Rat Poison Work Exactly?
It depends on the poison. Anticoagulants cause the rat to bleed internally. Others front-load their system with calcium which ends up causing their internal organs to shut down. Some are neurotoxins, and others cause them to dehydrate over a period of time.
Should I Worry About Safety When Using Rat Poison?
Absolutely. If ingested, any living person or thing is susceptible to these poisons, even if the poison happens to be slow-acting first generation. So be sure to read all instructions to the letter before applying rat poison to your property, and always have the poison hotline number on standby just in case.
How Long Does It Take for a Poisoned Rat to Die?
Again, this depends on the type of rat poison used. First-generation poisons can take anywhere from 3-5 days for the rat to perish. More dangerous second-generation poisons that work quickly can, sometimes, kill a rat the day they consume it.
What Do I Do if My Pet Consumes Rat Poison?
Call your vet as soon as possible to see what needs to be done. The faster you contact a veterinarian, the better chances that your pet will survive with little to no complications. Be sure to take the container the poison came in with you to give your vet an idea of the compound your pet ingested to help with the diagnosis.
We hope that this guide has helped you to determine what rat poison will solve your infestation woes. Rats are a serious issue that can cause lots of problems due to their ability to spread disease and cause all sorts of additional mayhem in general. However, high-quality and effective rat poison can solve this particular pest problem quickly and efficiently, with very little hassle on your end other than taking some time to spread it around your property.
It’s worth noting that some rat poisons can be dangerous to humans and other animals. Be sure to read the instructions that come with every purchase. It’s also worth having a doctor and even a poison control hotline on standby just in case for extra peace of mind.