Last updated: August 8, 2021

Our method

18Products analysed

25Hours spent

12Evaluated articles

77User reviews

Welcome to our big rat poison test 2021. Here we present all the rat poisons we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best rat poison for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy rat poison.




Summary

  • Rats can be a real nuisance - for the fight against the rodents there are numerous rat poisons that kill the animals.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between bait blocks rat poison, fresh bait rat poison and bait pastes rat poison.
  • It is important that the rat poison is not put outdoors without a bait box, because depending on the active ingredient, it can be dangerous for small children and people with a weakened immune system.

The Best Rat Poison: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should answer before buying rat poison

What is rat poison/rodenticide?

Rat poison or rodenticide is an anticoagulant substance that is used specifically to control rodents such as rats or mice.

The bait is intended to be eaten by rats or to interfere with their organism via the skin and respiratory tract, causing them to die as painlessly as possible. (Image source: unsplash.com / Brett Jordan)

These are biocides that serve to protect human and animal health as well as material protection. You can buy rodenticide as bait, which contains vapours and is available either as a block, a paste or granules.

The poison usually has a time delay function of about 48 hours. Only then does the poison start to show its first effect. In order for you to see exactly how rat poison works, we have selected the following video for you.

Is rat poison dangerous for humans?

Yes, rat poison can be dangerous for humans. Due to the mechanism of action, the danger to human life from rat poison cannot be ruled out one hundred percent. When rat poison is administered internally, the same reaction occurs in humans as in rats.

By making the blood vessels permeable, blood clotting is prevented. There have even been cases of people attempting suicide with rat poison, but this did not succeed. These attempts led to severe and long-lasting bleeding of the gums.

It is important to note that both the type of rat poison and its quantity are decisive for the effect, because a human weighs 100 to 200 times more than an adult rat. It can be concluded from this that there is no health risk if there is very little contact between humans and the rodenticide bait box.

However, care should be taken with young children and people with a weakened immune system. Any contact there should be avoided, otherwise a doctor should be consulted immediately.

When applying rat poison, you should proceed very carefully and wear gloves. It is also advisable to wash your hands very carefully afterwards.

Is rat poison dangerous for pets?

Yes, rat poison can be dangerous for pets. The danger to life is mainly related to the weight of your pet. For this reason, you should only put out rat poison boxes that can be resealed.

In addition, rat poison is sold in boxes that cannot be repositioned by rats themselves. You should not use bromadiolin in agriculture, because it is a rat poison that can be dangerous for both pets and humans.

How much does rat poison cost?

There is a medium price range between the different poisons. Depending on the quality and model of the rat poison, the cost point varies. Loose baits for sprinkling and prepared paste baits, for example, are available in the single-digit price range, while bait blocks are in the double-digit price range.

In addition to the bait blocks, we recommend that you also buy a bait box, which is available for as little as seven euros. While you have to change the bait every now and then, you can use the bait box (if it is made of plastic) forever. Some bait boxes don't even need to be washed.

Type Price range
Loose baits 5-30 euros
Bait blocks 15-50 euros
Bait pastes 5-20 euros

The price range is approximately between 5 and 50 euros. Depending on what is important to you, you can freely choose a model.

What is the difference between rat poison and rat traps?

In addition to rat poison, there are also rat traps that have similar functions to rat poison. In the following section we will give you a brief overview of rat traps. There are three different types of rat traps: Live rat traps, rat strike traps and electric rat traps. All three types have advantages and disadvantages.

Live traps are the humane version of rat control. The rat is trapped but usually remains unharmed. However, this process is more time-consuming (Image source: pixabay.com/ 3D_Maennchen).

Rat traps are mostly used in places where there is not yet a plague. Furthermore, rat traps are more time-consuming than the use of rat poison. It is important to pay attention to the quality of rat traps, because poorly made rat traps can unnecessarily injure the rodents or let the rats get away.

Furthermore, a poorer quality rat trap requires more cleaning. Although pets and even small children can be injured by rat traps, rat poison is still more dangerous in this respect and should be handled with greater care. In addition, one advantage of rat traps is that they are not harmful to the environment, whereas rodenticides are.

Decision: What types of rat poison are there and which is right for you?

If you want to get rat poison, there are three alternatives to choose from:

  • Bait blocks Rat poison
  • Fresh bait/loose bait Rat poison
  • Bait pastes Rat poison

All three types of rat poison have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer and what you want to use your rat poison for, a different type is suitable for you. The following section is designed to help you make this decision.

What are the characteristics of rat poison bait blocks and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Rat poison is available as a bait block. This variant has both advantages and disadvantages. A big advantage of rat poison as a bait block is that it is always pre-portioned, so you don't have to worry about getting the wrong quantities.

Advantages
  • Damp area
  • Pre-portioned
  • Indoor and outdoor
Disadvantages
  • Use bait boxes outdoors
  • More expensive

We recommend using bait blocks especially in damp areas, as they do not attract moisture and therefore do not swell. Another advantage of bait blocks is that they are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

On the other hand, bait blocks also have disadvantages, as they can only be used outdoors with a bait box. Furthermore, bait blocks are more expensive than their alternatives.

What distinguishes fresh bait/loose bait rat poison and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Fresh bait rat poison is particularly attractive and appealing to rats and is therefore very effective and efficient. Another advantage of loose baits is that they are perfect for dry areas.

Advantages
  • Highly attractive
  • Dry area
  • Very effective
Disadvantages
  • Outdoors necessarily with bait box
  • Not suitable for damp areas

Just like bait blocks, you must also use a bait box for fresh bait outdoors. This is even more important for loose baits, as the wind can quickly blow them away. Another disadvantage of loose baits is that they are not suitable for wet areas.

What distinguishes bait pastes rat poison and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Paste baits are also very attractive to rats, especially in dry areas, as rodents also have to absorb liquids there, making the paste bait even more appealing to them.

Advantages
  • Dry area
  • Indoor and outdoor area
  • Wet area
Disadvantages
  • Must be laid out protected

However, the paste bait can also be used in damp areas without any problems. You can also use it indoors and outdoors as you wish. One disadvantage of the paste bait is that it must always be placed in a protected area. Either with a bait box or other alternatives.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate rat poison

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many different rat poisons. The criteria you can use to compare different rat poisons include:

  • Generation
  • Time delay
  • Active ingredients
  • Odour
  • Shape and colour

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in each of the criteria.

Generation

One criterion for distinguishing between the different products is the generation. Here we speak of rat poison of the first (FGAR) generation and the second (SGAR) generation.

Initially, only first-generation products were available, but due to the resistance that rats have developed over time to the toxins used in them, researchers had to introduce second-generation rat poison.

Did you know that the first generation drugs were discontinued in the 1970s and 80s?

Over time, resistance emerged in rats to the active ingredients in the first generation remedies and so they were withdrawn from the market in the 1970s and 80s. Some time later, the first generation agents were available again. Since 2007, some pests have again shown resistance.

The main difference between first and second generation agents is that rat poison from the second generation is much more harmful and also more difficult to biodegrade.

While rat poison with the active substances of the first generation may be used by private persons, you must show an appropriate certificate of competence when buying rat poison of the second generation.

The first generation of rat poison contains active ingredients such as coumatetralyl and warfarin. The second generation of rat poison contains active ingredients such as bromadiolone, brodifacoum, difenacoum, flocoumafen and difethialone.

Time delay

The time delay in rat poison is very important. Depending on the agent, the effect can take up to 48 hours to take effect.

There are also rat poisons where the first effects are only seen after four to seven days.

This is essential because rats are very cautious animals. Rodents therefore always send a "pre-taster" at the beginning to test whether the food is OK. If the tester survives, this is a signal to the other rats that there is no danger from the food.

If, on the other hand, the "pre-coster" were to collapse immediately or within a few minutes, the poison bait would be perceived as a danger by the rest of the rats and would not be touched.

Active substances

Rat poisons, also called rodenticides, can contain different active substances. A distinction is made primarily between first-generation and second-generation agents. First-generation agents include coumatetralyl and warfarin.

Both are indirectly acting anticoagulants and ensure that rats that have eaten from the poison die within a few days from small injuries or internal bleeding. Bleeding in the entire gastrointestinal tract or in the urinary tract is also common in rats. Several agents belong to the second generation.

One of these agents is bromadiolone, which is mainly used for municipal and agricultural purposes. Bromadiolone can be ingested by rats both through the skin and by inhaling the active ingredient while eating. This agent can cause secondary poisoning and harm aquatic organisms.

Another second-generation active ingredient is brodifacoum, an anticoagulant that should only be used indoors. Animals suffering from brodifacoum poisoning must not be allowed outdoors under any circumstances. Brodifacoum is absorbed orally, through the respiratory tract or the skin and causes severe bleeding in the mucosa and skin, causing the rodents to eventually bleed to death.

Furthermore, the active ingredient is also flocoumafen, a second generation agent. This is a well-known active ingredient that you can also use in the household to control rats. The agent is usually sold in the form of bait, in a special bait box, and it has a delayed effect within four to seven days. In addition, this active ingredient is also used in landfills.

Flucoumafen is a very toxic substance and acts after a single ingestion. The ingestion takes place orally. This active substance can lead to secondary poisoning and inhibits blood clotting.

The last drug of the second generation is the active substance difethialone. It is an anticoagulant that controls both rats and mice in the home, in stables and other outbuildings.

With difenthialone, too, it is important that the poisoned animals do not get out into the open, as secondary poisoning cannot be ruled out. Difenthialone is orally absorbed by the rats through eating and leads to severe bleeding with a time delay.

Active substance Generation Uptake Effects Toxic factor*
Coumatetralyl 1st generation Orally when eaten Death by bleeding to death *
Warfarin 1st generation Orally when eaten Death by bleeding to death *
Bromadiolone 2nd generation Via skin contact or inhalation Secondary poisoning, fatal bleeding, damage to aquatic organisms **
Brodifacoum 2nd generation Orally when eaten, via the skin Secondary poisoning, fatal bleeding, damage to aquatic organisms. Death by severe haemorrhage **
Flocoumafen 2nd generation Oral ingestion Inhibits blood clotting, secondary poisoning ***
Difethialon 2nd generation Oral ingestion Secondary poisoning, blood poisoning ***

*(Poison factor: * = slightly toxic, ** = moderately toxic, *** = very toxic)

Odour

The different rat poisons are also distinguished by the scents with which the baits are provided. Depending on where you want to put your rat poison, indoors or outdoors, you should choose a scent. All manufacturers try to make the smell of their product as enticing as possible to rats. This is usually stated on the package insert.

Shape and colour

Other criteria you should consider when buying rat poison are the different colours and shapes. Since legal regulations for rat poison and EU directives do not specify anything in this respect, manufacturers are free to choose.

There are products in which the cereal grains that have been dyed with poison are recognisable. Furthermore, there are products that are offered in the form of pressed granules, tablet-like pellets or large pressed pellets.

Some rodenticides, on the other hand, are sold as a shapeless paste. In principle, rat poison can be dyed in any colour and can also have any external shape. Some manufacturers dye rat poison in red, pink, purple, pink, blue, green, yellow, violet, black and other colours (usually food colouring).

In most cases, the more harmless the colour, the more successful the rats are in absorbing the poison.

Facts worth knowing about rat poison

Laying out rat poison correctly

In principle, the application of rat poison is easy, but some rules have to be observed and the rats have to be watched carefully. If you already know where the rodents' nest is, you should place the rat bait as close to it as possible.

Otherwise, you should place the rat poison where the rats have left their tracks. This is because the presence of traces indicates a high level of activity in this area.

Just like mice, rats do not like to move in open areas, but rather along walls and edges. This suggests that you should place rat baits in what you believe to be safe places.

When placing rat baits, make sure that neither children nor pets can get hold of the poison.

It is also important that the bait cannot be blown away by gusts of wind or get wet by rain. The poison should also never be laid openly or the boxes placed in freely accessible places.

Why are rats dangerous?

In the last five years, the number of Norway rats has doubled. Experts estimate that there are up to 300 million rats in Germany. The burrowing and eating activity of rats, as well as the transmission of diseases, leads to huge economic losses.

Rats are harmful pests because they can transmit diseases to humans through their urine and feces, as well as by gnawing on food. They transmit diseases ranging from tuberculosis or rabies to Weil's jaundice or the rat tapeworm, which causes severe gastrointestinal problems in humans.

Once the small rodents have found their way into your house and pantry, they contaminate the food you find there, which you should then destroy immediately.

Did you know that rats have to be registered with the local authorities because of the increased risk of infection?

The municipality or city will accordingly carry out additional control measures in the close public vicinity of the affected property.

A rat infestation has negative consequences not only in the area of health, but also for the entire building. This is because the rats gnaw on everything they find. Therefore, even pieces of furniture or electrical cables are not spared. The latter is very dangerous, as it can cause short circuits, which can result in a house fire.

How do I recognise a rat infestation in the house?

You can recognise a rat infestation in your house by various signs, such as spindle-shaped droppings, an acrid ammonia smell, smear marks and gnawed objects. Spindly droppings all over the house are usually the first sign of a rat infestation.

The infestation is fresh when the droppings are still soft and shiny. In addition, an acrid ammonia smell can also be detected in "infested" areas. This smell results from the mixture of a high presence of (dead) rats and faeces.

Rats also leave smear marks on the walkways. These smear marks result from dust lying around and the body fat of the animals. A rat infestation can also be recognised by chewed food, furniture, etc.

Home remedies against rat infestation

If the rat infestation is not yet so severe, you can try it without poison for the time being and see if home remedies are effective. Possible effective remedies against rats are, for example, essential oils, especially mint oil and clove oil.

Cloves and oleander leaves can also help. You can also try sprinkling cayenne pepper or chilli powder on the rat's paths or coating the entrances to the burrows and walkways with vinegar essence.

Cats are not only perfect for catching rats, but you can also use their litter as a home remedy against rats. Another tip is to soak your rag in turpentine and then press it into the tunnel opening.

Image source: 123rf.com / 22704390

Why you can trust us?

Reviews