The Top 3 Rat & Mouse Poison Baits

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There are different types of rat and mouse poison. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. In this review, we look at the best rat and mouse baits and explain how to use them safely, where to put the bait and advice on best practice. If you have any questions, ask them in the comment section at the end of this review.


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You can use the Table of Contents to navigate straight to the part of the review you are most interested in.

Table of Contents

#1 Choice – Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx

#2 Choice – Old Cobblers Farnam Just One Bite II

#3 Choice – JT Eaton 709-PN Bait Block Rodenticide Anticoagulant Bait, Peanut Butter Flavor, For Mice and Rats (Pail of 144)

#1 Choice – Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx

Tomcat All Weather Chunx kills mice and rats fast. It contains a poison that doesn’t let them last long enough to go back into your walls and floorboards to die. However, you have to use the right version of this product in the right way.

Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx is a powerful rodent killer that you use with a bait station. You load your bait station with the chunks, and wires from the top of the station go through holes in the chunks to secure them in place so your target can’t drag them away. Unless you are buying a version of the product formulated for California, the product in the red package contains the fast-acting neurotoxin bromethalin. California-approved versions of this product in a yellow package use a slower-acting anticoagulant called bromadialone.

What Is Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx Made Of?

Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx in the red label containers (#ad) aren’t like the other mouse and rat killers you’ll find that cause death in rodents by making them slowly bleed to death. This Tomcat product’s main ingredient bromethalin shuts down activity in the brain leading to a quick death for any rodent that eats the bait. This makes All Weather Bait Chunx a single-feeding rodenticide. Once a small rodent has taken the bait, it will soon die.

The State of California doesn’t trust fast-acting rodenticides. It insists that manufacturers use an older, slower, less effective mouse and rat killing poison called bromadiolone. Tomcat offers this product in a package with a yellow label (#ad). This product also kills rodents, but they have to take the bait several times, and it takes several days longer.

What Do You Need to Know to Use This Product Effectively?

There are two things every user of Tomcat Bait Chunx needs to keep in mind. One is something you should always do and one is something you should never do.

First of all, always plan for success. Unless you are using a product formulated for use in California, expect rodents to die relatively quickly after they eat the poison. (The California version of the product will take about a week.) You don’t want them to eat the bait and live just long enough to die inside a wall or under a floor board. Use Tomcat Bait Chunx in the corners of large open spaces, where mice and rats will naturally run for cover, close to a wall, but far from an opening to some nook or cranny.

Second, never put out Tomcat Bait Chunx where it can be reached by any animal you don’t want poisoned. Always use it in a bait station specifically designed to lure small rodents into the station so they and they alone take the bait. A low-profile bait station like a Bell Protecta LP will keep cats and dogs and birds and children out, and if you weight it down with a stone or a brick, they won’t be able to tip over the station and let bits and crumbs of poisoned bait fall out. This is a product for rats and mice. It’s not labeled for other kinds of critters and won’t work the same way with them (although it will kill squirrels in an attic).

What Kinds of Questions Do Users of Bait Chunx Ask?

Different rodent problems require slightly different uses of Tomcat Bait Chunx for best results. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Tomcat Bait Chunx.

Q. Do I really have to use a bait station? Can’t I just toss it around a pest-infested area?

A. You really need the bait station (#ad) too. Otherwise, the product may be found by larger animals (raccoons, pets, and skunks, for example) that get sick—the first symptom in a larger animal may be diarrhea—and decide to move in with you while they get well. The chunks are solid enough that a rodent has to gnaw on them. This allows them to be shaped so they fit on a wire that holds them in place inside a station where other animals and small children can’t get them.

Q. What’s the best place to put out the bait?

A. People report the greatest success when they use the bait station next to a trash can. If you have a well-sealed attic, it will work there, but don’t use it in any household space where it is in any way possible a dying mouse or rat can go off to the rodent hereafter inside your walls.

If you are going to use Tomcat Bait Chunx inside a large space, place the bait stations in a corner. Mice and rats like to press their whiskers against a hard surface as they cross a room. Place the station where they have to make a turn and the shortcut is right to the bait.

Q. I’ve had the station out for several days and I don’t see any dead mice or rats. Is it working?

A. You will see the most dead mice and rats in an enclosed space. You may not see any at all if you put is out in an open shed or in your garden (which are not really the best places to use this product).

Q. Is it safe to use this product where my cat roams?

A. Do not put out Bait Chunx where you have cats. A bait station minimizes the risk of your cat’s getting into the poison, but you don’t want your cat eating mice or rats that have been killed by the poison, either. There is more information about pet safety below.

Q. Do I use the red label product or the yellow label product?

A. Wherever it is available, use the red label product (#ad). The neurotoxin it contains works faster and better. The yellow label product (#ad) contains a first-generation blood thinner to which some mice and rats are resistant—it won’t very well or at all on them, or they will need to eat a lot more of the bait before they die. You will wind up using more of the yellow label bait than the red label bait for the same number of dead rodents.

Q. How will I know the product worked?

A. When it’s not being eaten, there aren’t any mice or rats left around to eat it.

What About This Product’s Effects on Pets?

Cats are more sensitive to this product than either mice or rats. They need only about 1/16 as big a dose (when body weight is taken into consideration) for a toxic reaction as rodents. Dogs are more sensitive to the product, too. They develop toxic effects on about half as much of the poison (taking weight into consideration) as rodents. You don’t want to leave Bait Chunx where Kitty or Fido might go exploring. The only pet that isn’t at risk from bromethalin poisoning is guinea pigs.

In the very unlikely event your pet were to ingest enough bromethalin for a toxic reaction, there would be stumbling, disorientation, paralysis in the back legs, and seizures. There’s nothing to be done but to keep the animal as comfortable as possible, under a veterinarian’s care. Your vet may be able to improvise a solution to help clear the toxin out of your pet’s system.

What About This Product’s Effects on People?

Bromethalin is fatal to small animals, but it usually only causes stomach upset in humans. Babies as young as seven months and elderly as old as age 90 have been poisoned after eating various products laced with the chemical, but in 129 cases reported to departments of health everyone got over the product exposure (which doesn’t happen unless you eat the bait) with just an upset stomach, usually with green poop. There no major or long-term health problems even after eating this or similar products.

Where can you Buy Tomcat Bait Chunx

You can buy red label, yellow label and the bait stations all on Amazon. Amazon provides excellent customer service and you get free shipping on orders over $35 when you buy the Tomcat Bait. We recommend the red label containers but remember if you live in California you have to use the yellow label containers. Links to Amazon are provided below:

1. Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx in the RED label containers (#ad).
2. Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx in the YELLOW label containers (#ad).
3. Rat & Mouse Bait Station (#ad).


#2 Choice – Old Cobblers Farnam Just One Bite II

Here’s a cost-effective rodent killer that gets the job done when you need to get rid of outdoor rats and mice. It kills pesky critters in the garage, in your barn, around your trash cans, or in wood piles, hay racks, or storage sheds. The big difference with this product is that it is designed to be very attractive to rodents. It has the taste they like, but it also has hard ridges for them to chew.

What Is Old Cobblers Farnam Just One Bite II Made Of?

Old Cobblers Farnam Just One Bite II (#ad) contains a well-known older mouse and rat poison called bromadiolone. It works by interfering with the way the body uses vitamin K to make clotting factors. It’s chemically similar to a drug some people take called warfarin (Coumadin), only it’s longer acting and ties up more vitamin K. In a scientific study of the strength of bromadiolone used in Old Cobblers Farnam Just One Bite, 83 percent of mice died in just one day after taking the bait.

What Do You Need to Know to Use This Product Effectively?

Always plan for success. Assume that when a rodent eats this poison, it’s going to die. So don’t put it out under your refrigerator so you can wait until you open the door to make a sandwich and dead rat smell knocks you down. Use this product where mice and rats won’t cause an intolerable mess when they die, like a barn, a shed, a large open store room, or, if it’s well sealed, an attic.

And always use this product in a bait station. You don’t want to kill everything in sight. You just want to lure that pesky mouse or rat into the warm, cozy bait station where it can have a great last meal. By putting the bait in a bait station, you ensure that only rodents get inside to eat it, and you get more kills with less product.

You can “prime” the bait station by putting out non-poisoned bait for a day or two before you put out the Old Farnam. This gets rodents comfortable with the station before you put in the product. Always wear gloves when you handle either the bait or the bait station so you don’t transfer your scent.

What Kinds of Questions do Users of Old Cobblers Farnam Ask?

Different rodent problems require slightly different uses of Just One Bite II for best results. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Q. What’s the best place to put out the bait?

A. It helps to think like a rat. Rodents live in fear of their predators. They move around by pressing their whiskers against flat surfaces, and they don’t like to travel over open spaces. They also have territories. A mouse or a rat is not likely to scamper more than about 25 feet in any direction if food and water are available. So provide the water and let Old Cobblers Farnam be the food. Place your bait station in a corner where rodents will have to turn to continue their path. Or place it at the first covered location a rat or mouse would encounter coming in from outdoors to your storage shed. If you have a well-sealed attic, it will work there, but don’t use it in any household space where it is in any way possible a dying mouse or rat can go off to the rodent hereafter inside your walls.

Q. I’ve had the station out for several days and I don’t see any dead mice or rats. Is it working?

A. You will see the most dead mice and rats in a tightly sealed enclosed space. You may not see any at all if you put is out in an open shed or in your garden.

Q. Is it safe to use this product where my cat roams?

A. No, and don’t leave it out where your dog can find it, either. Do not put out Old Cobblers Farnam where you have pets, and don’t use your pets for pest control. A bait station minimizes the risk of your pet’s getting into the poison, but you don’t want your dog or cat eating mice or rats that have been killed by the poison, either. There is more information about pet safety below.

Q. When wouldn’t this product work?

A. If you have so many mice or rats that they only get a teeny tiny nibble of the wafer each visit to the baiting station, you may have a lot of sick rodents with diarrhea but no kills. It’s been known to happen. And if you have so many delectable food sources left unprotected that they don’t need to visit the bait station, it won’t work, either.

Q. Aren’t there some rodents that are immune to bromadiolone?

A. This chemical has been used in pest control since the 1950’s, and there are some rats and mice who have inherited a group of mutations that makes them resistant to it. It doesn’t make them totally resistant to it. In one field trial of the product, 83 percent of non-resistant rats died in one day after taking the bait. But in another trial, 81 percent of resistant rats still died in seven days after taking the bait. (Some may have gone outside the test area to die.) The greatest number of resistant rodents are found in Europe, not in North America. But it just takes longer to work when resistant rodents eat it. It’s still effective.

What About This Product’s Effects on Pets?

Most of the cases of pet poisoning and bromadiolone Involve hungry stray dogs that happened to find the bucket of poison and ate a very large amount. Keep the product where dogs and cats won’t find it by accident. Use it in closed quarters, or in a bait station.

What About This Product’s Effects on People?

There has been just one report of a serious (non-fatal) poisoning of a person who was not mentally ill who came in contact with the active ingredient in Old Cobblers Farnam since 1992. There have been reports of people trying to commit suicide by eating a whole bucket of a similar product—and it didn’t work. If you were to get nosebleeds, bleeding from the mouth or eyes, serious digestive upset, and a general feeling of dis-ease, you should see a doctor in any event, but it’s highly unlikely to be due to the product.

Where can you Buy Old Cobblers Farnam Just One Bite II

We found the best place to buy Old Cobblers Farnam Just One Bite II is on Amazon (#ad). The prices are very competitive. You get free shipping on orders over $35 and at the time of writing it has 4.5 stars out of 5. Remember Amazon provides extremely good customer service so if you have any problems it is normally sorted very quickly.


#3 Choice – JT Eaton 709-PN Bait Block Rodenticide Anticoagulant Bait, Peanut Butter Flavor, For Mice and Rats (Pail of 144)

JT Eaton Bait Block (#ad) is one of your most economical tools for fighting mice and rats. Success in putting it out just requires a little strategy that the manufacturer and product reviews may not tell you about.

What Is JT Eaton Bait Block Made Of?

Bait Block is a pail of 144 one-ounce blocks peanut butter-flavored bait blocks with a tiny amount of a toxin called Diphacinone especially effective for smaller rodents. Unlike some faster-acting, higher-priced mouse and rat poisons, it’s approved for use in California. It’s effective on mice and rats as well as voles and smaller ground squirrels. It may kill chipmunks and tree squirrels, but they are not the manufacturer’s target for this product. It won’t kill rabbits or skunks.

What Do You Need to Know to Use This Product Effectively?

Bait Block isn’t a fast-acting rodent poison. It works faster on rats than on mice. Usually it takes five to seven days for a mouse to eat enough of the bait to die of the poison, maybe just one day to three days for rats.

Many people want a one-bite-and-dead mouse and rat poison, but the problem is, when you put out a really strong rodenticide, the rodent you kill may die inside your walls or under your floorboard or in a vent. A slower-acting product like JT Eaton Bait Block increases the likelihood that your target pest will die somewhere you won’t have to smell the decaying corpse for days or weeks after it does its work.

Put Bait Block first where you see the greatest evidence of rodent activity. This may be where you see their droppings, or you smell their urine, or you have seen a trap dragged away. But move the bait further and further away from the places you don’t want a rodent to die unnoticed. Remember to wear gloves when you handle the bait, both for your protection for the poison, and to avoid putting your own tell-tale scent on the product.

The ideal place to use Bait Block is a large, open space, to which you have blocked escape. This should be a place you and your children and your pets don’t enter very often, like an attic or a shop or a garage. It should be a place where rodents can’t crawl into tight places to die. For these applications, Bait Block is very economical and very effective.

What Kinds of Questions Do Users of JT Eaton Bait Block Ask?

Different rodent problems require slightly different uses of Bait Block for best results. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Bait Block.

Q. Shouldn’t I be buying a second-generation anticoagulant product like Fastrac?

A. Not necessarily. Sometimes it’s better to get a slower-acting product. If your rodent problem is in your living quarters, you really want to use a first-generation anticoagulant so you can entice the rodents away from your living space as they feed on it over a period of five days to a week. If you have both mice and rats and you particularly want to get rid of the rats, you should use this product to kill rats first. (Mice are not as sensitive to it.) If your concern is the odor of decaying dead mice and rats, this product gives you a way to “herd” the problem to the perimeter of the infested area. And if you live in California, this is the product you will have to buy.

Q. Do I need to use a face mask and gloves when I put out Bait Block?

A. There’s not a lot of danger that you’ll inhale anything toxic from Bait Block, but why not make sure by wearing a face mask? Gloves keep you from transferring your scent to the bait, so mice and rats will come to it more readily.

Q. Can I use Bait Block outdoors?

A. Bait Block may keep critters out of your garden, but it can also kill desirable wildlife and make pets sick. Also, it will deteriorate quickly in the rain. The poison will remain in the soil where the bait block breaks up.

Q. This product doesn’t kill squirrels and skunks!

A. No, it doesn’t. It won’t kill feral pigs, either, but they can eat enough that if you eat them, the product in their system can make you sick.

Q. What about roof rats?

A. Bait Block works on roof rats. Roof rats tend to avoid “ground” foods like wheat products, but they will eat products made with nuts, even peanuts.

Q. How can I protect my pets from accidental poisoning?

A. Put out the bait in a bait station that is large enough for the rodent to enter but too small for your dog to paw inside and take the bait. Dogs are more sensitive to this bait than cats, but you don’t want your cats hunting mice or rats that have been eating the bait, either. Keep cats out of the baited area.

Q. Should I buy the bait blocks in peanut butter flavor or in apple flavor?

A. Generally mice and rats are more readily attracted to a nut or seed flavor like peanut butter, especially if they are used to feeding on your food supplies. If they have been foraging fruit from your yard or garden, however, they may go for apple flavors first. If you have been battling rats and mice for many years, buy a different flavor. First put out food that has not been poisoned that has the same flavor as your bait. Wear gloves when you handle the food, so you don’t get your scent on it. This gives the rodents a sense of security about the food. Then a few days later, go to the places you see the most droppings, and put out Bait Block.

Q. I’m half way through the bucket. When I put out the blocks, they disappear, but I don’t ever see any dead mice or rats. What’s the problem?

A. Bait Block kills rodents after they get a cumulative toxic dose. If you have just one bucket of Bait Block and you have a very large infestation of pests, then you may be just offering them an hors d’ oeuvre they only get every week or two. Put out more bait, and put it in less traveled areas where there are still some droppings, chewing, and/or signs of urine.

How Does JT Eaton Bait Block Work?

Bait Block contains a “first generation” anticoagulant called diphacinone. (Despite some advertising to the contrary, it does not actually contain any “second generation” anticoagulants as does FasTrac.) This is the same poison you can also find labeled as dipazin, diphacin, diphenadione, diphenacin, and ratindan. It’s found in other brands of rat poison, too.

Diphacinone causes hemorrhages inside the body that leads to death. It inhibits the enzymes that enable to clot by interfering with action of vitamin K1. It’s a lot more toxic to rats than it is to other animals. A rat may need to ingest just about a tenth of a milligram (less than one one-hundred thousandth of an ounce) to die of internal bleeding. A mouse won’t die unless it ingests about 150 times more, but that’s still less than one one-thousandth of an ounce of the poison.

What About This Product’s Effects on Pets?

Dogs are more sensitive to the poison than cats, but it can kill your pets. However, a cat would need to consume about 100 mg of the poison, and average-sized dog, about 75 mg. There are about 200 mg of the poison in a 9-pound bucket of bait, enough to kill many, many rats and mice, but not your pet unless your pet somehow managed to gorge on the bait—and it’s not designed to be tasty for cats and dogs. Eating a bait block is not likely to kill your pet, but eating several bait blocks might make your pet sick. Don’t put out the product where it can be washed into a fish pond or found by birds.

What About This Product’s Effects on People?

JT Eaton Bait Block does not contain one of the relatively dangerous rodent poisons known as a superwarfarin. If you happened to have a relatively rare blood clotting problem called factor VII and X deficiency, or if you added it to marijuana, then you might have some symptoms of toxicity (nosebleed, bleeding from the mouth or eyes, blood in the urine, dizziness, headache) about 24 hours after you ingested a toxic dose. If you don’t inhale the product vapor, and you don’t have a blood clotting disorder, even eating a pound of the bait (don’t do this) likely would not make you sick. However, consuming a small amount every day over a period of weeks or months can cause the same kinds of problems as consuming a very large amount all at once.

Where can you Buy JT Eaton Bait Block

Again, you can buy JT Eaton 709-PN Bait Block (#ad) Rodenticide Anticoagulant Bait, Peanut Butter Flavor on Amazon. The same free shipping, as per the above two products, for orders over $35 apply. This bait is given 4 stars out of 5 and is a fairly popular product.


Simon

Simon Mann is a "handy man" to have around the house. Although he was a trained carpenter he went on to become a VP of a construction company. Any pest or DIY problem you may have, he always seems to come up with the right solution.

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  • hello Simom.i have aoest problem I hear them at night .pest control didn't find anything there had been bait blocks 3 left up there from previously tenant untouched .pest control said our block has history of pest problems ,he looked in my loft and couldt see any droppings I use an mr10 plug I asked if hes willing to lay traps start about twelve at night like theyre under insulation.i have tried to block all gaps in flat 2 months ago I found droppings in a kitchen cuboard cleaned them none since.we live rural natur trail down from us.could you advise me please it like a scuttettering noise one side of my bedroom arries on throughout the night haven't slept for to moths now not properly .pest control leaving baits blocks in they were blue rigded.just placed in the middle iof loft .if poison is put in a loft hw often should it be checked please mice or rat ,it was a mice and rat one .thankyou for reading this can you help advise me please thankyou take care.lesley

    • Hi Lesley - if you have no recent evidence of rats or mice and you are hearing scuttering noises, I would get a camera trap and catch the culprits on video to learn what type of animal is making the noise. You should check the bait blocks every couple of days, I assume you are using a bait station?

  • I have rats or mice in my attic and walls. I hate this but would hate dead rats in my walls or attic. Any suggestions?

    • Yes, use rat traps. First get a camera trap so you can see what they are up to and get ideas for where to place the traps. Don't rely on one type of trap, put down a selection - the more traps you use, the higher your chances of success.

  • Thank you for this information. I find TomCat very effective but thought some of the other products might be more cost effective until I read your post. I especially appreciate the information on the TomCat's speedy results and the difference between red and yellow packaging. I almost went for the yellow on Amazon as it was less expensive, but will gladly pay for the fast action to increase the chances of dead mice in the walls!
    Thanks again

  • Tomcat with diphacinone
    I purchased the 4lb bock from a farm supply.
    I previously purchased the trap and the poison as a kit at home depot. The blocks were dark green. They don't sell the refills. so I got them at the farm store. the blocks were a lighter green. the home depot poison was eaten every day. the light green blocks have not been touched in 3 days. I know the rats are still there because I caught some in the Victor traps. the product has no date on it. i wrote Tom Cat about this. wondering if you have an answer. thanks

    • I'm sorry, I don't have a view on this. If they were eating the old bait and not the new bait, then that does suggest something is a miss. The only thing I can suggest is try another bait.

      Simon

  • I use to buy the blue bait blocks in CAlif and they worked fine....that was a while ago .....I see that pest controle companys still use them

    do they need a special licence?..............Can I buy them some where

  • Will a pet or non-targeted wild life be poisoned if they consume rodents who have died poisoned by single kill rodent poisons?

    • The short answer is yes. How badly they are poisoned will depend on how much and which parts of the rodent they consumed. For example, if they ate the complete head and there was some poison left in the mouth, then this would have a greater effect than just chewing a leg. Furthermore, the larger the animal the less affect the poison will have.

      Simon

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