Using rodent, rat or mouse poison in your home is a very serious matter to consider, especially if you have children or pets. Each year over 10,000 kids are poisoned by rodenticides. Rodenticides, commonly known as rat or mouse poison, is meant to kill rodents. Some work with one dose while others take multiple doses to be effective.

Children, especially those under 6, can become poisoned unintentionally because they put just about everything they see in their mouths. Some formulations of rodent poison come in green pellet shapes or blocks that can resemble candy or food to a child. Also small children learn by putting things in their mouths. "Infants explore everything with their mouths," says Dr. Carla Fry, a registered psychologist in Vancouver. "Sucking and chewing on things is how they learn about their environment.". Having a two-year old I can attest to the truth in this. My wife and I are constantly telling her to take this or that out of her mouth.

Rodent poison comes in three main different types: 1. anticoagulants that cause the mouse or rat eating it to bleed to death. This works by blocking vitamin K in the animal ingesting it. Vitamin K enables coagulation of blood, without it you bleed out. This poison kills in one to two weeks and can work in one dose or may take multiple doses. 2. Zinc phosphide when ingested mixes with stomach acid and creates phosphine gas that kills rather quickly, 1-3 days. 3. Calciferols, better known as vitamin D. In small doses vitamin D is a good thing, in large overdoses of this vitamin it is lethal. It creates an over abundance of calcium in the blood stream that cause heart attacks and kidney failure.

In order for rodent poison to be most effective it is usually placed in open areas, like the floor where small children have easy access to it. While I'm on the subject of children eating rat poison I should also warn about pets also being susceptible to poisoning. Each year 1000s of pets die because of eating rodent poison or because of secondary poisoning.

I personally try my best not to use rat or mouse poison when treating a home that has children or pets in it. At the very least if I have to use a rodenticide, I'll place it in an inaccessible place like the attic.

First off if someone has a rodent problem in their home or business it's because the rats or mice are getting in from the outside. I mean mice just don't pop out of the thin air into your house. They are known to be able to get in through openings as small as a dime. The first course of action to solve your rodent problem should be to seal any access points they are getting in at and set traps. The last course of action should be to put down rat poison.

When combatting a mouse, rat, or rodent problem your best course of action is to have a local, reputable, licensed pest control company handle it. Especially if you have children.