Rattengift (Rodentizid) – diese schonenden Alternativen zum Rattengift sollten Sie unbedingt kennen! - IREPELL

Rat Poison (Rodenticide) – Discover These Gentle Alternatives You Must Know!

Written by: Christian Hochmuth



Time to read 10 min

Christian Pride

Co-founder of IREPELL and responsible for technical development.

The use of rat poison is a common method of pest control, but it poses significant risks to the environment and human health, as well as ethical concerns.

In this article, we will therefore present you with gentle alternatives that effectively combat rats without the associated dangers of traditional rat poison. 

We will also give you an insight into how IREPELL ® works, enabling a humane and environmentally friendly method of repelling rats – without fragrances, chemicals or violence.

Common active ingredients against rats

When controlling rats, different active ingredients are used, which are available in different forms – such as rat bait, feeding bait and paste bait. These agents, often referred to as rodenticides, work through various biochemical mechanisms to control the rat population.

These substances are designed in the form of grain bait, so-called poisonous wheat, or as solid bait or portion bait. It is advisable to place these in bait boxes that are difficult for other animals and humans to access.

Here is an overview of the most common active ingredients and their specific properties:

  • Vitamin A antagonists: This class of substances interferes with vitamin A utilization in rats, leading to serious health problems. However, it is used less frequently than other rodenticides because it requires a longer exposure time.

  • Warfarin and coumatetralyl: Both substances belong to the first generation of anticoagulants. They dilute the blood of the rats, which leads to internal bleeding. These active ingredients are found in many commercial products such as bait stations and grain bait and are often used indoors.

  • Bromadiolone: A powerful second-generation anticoagulant that is particularly effective against rats that have developed resistance to the first generation of anticoagulants. Bromadiolone is commonly used in areas such as sewerage and in the control of migratory rats.

  • Difenacoum: Similar to bromadiolone, but with a slightly broader efficacy against different rodent species. Difenacoum is widely used in bait boxes and as part of solid bait designed for outdoor use.

  • Flocoumafen: Another highly potent anticoagulant known for its long-lasting effects. It is mainly used in areas where fast and effective results are required.

  • Difethialone: This active ingredient is known for its ability to be lethal even when ingested once. It is often used in industrial and agricultural applications.

  • Diphacinone and chlorphacinone: Both are first-generation anticoagulants and are used in areas where the animals have not yet developed resistance to older agents. They are available in various bait forms such as grain bait and portion bait.

  • Alpha-chloralosis: A narcotic that numbs rats and other rodents. It is often considered a humane option because it puts the animals to sleep before it has a lethal effect.

  • Calcium carbide: reacts on contact with moisture and forms gas that suffocates rodents in their burrows. This method is mainly used in enclosed spaces such as attics or under buildings.

These active ingredients are available in various product forms such as bait blocks, granules and liquids, which are selected according to need and area of application. When using these products, expertise is necessary to ensure effective and safe application, in particular to minimize risks such as secondary poisoning of non-target animals and humans.

Correctly, rat poison is placed by experts exclusively in a closed bait box to prevent carry-over and prevent non-target species from coming into contact with it.

As promising as the effect of rat poison is, rat poison is a great risk for humans and nature.

Rat poison under criticism – dangerous for humans and nature

Rat poison, also known as rodenticide, is a widely used means of pest control that is increasingly under criticism. Studies, such as the Federal Environment Agency-funded study on alternatives to conventional rodenticides, show growing concerns about the safety and environmental compatibility of these products.

The use of rat poison poses risks not only to the rats themselves, but also to human health and ecological balance. It also raises ethical concerns about killing rats.

Study: https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/themen/studie-zur-foerderung-von-alternativen-zu

Prolonged poison death – agonizing death

The mode of action of many rodenticides, especially the anticoagulants such as difenacoum and bromadiolone, leads to a protracted and agonizing death of the rodents. These substances prevent blood clotting, causing the animals to die from internal bleeding – a process that can take several days. This cruel method of killing raises serious ethical questions and has led to calls for more humane alternatives.

Secondary poisoning of hunters and scavengers

A significant risk of rat poisons is secondary poisoning of wildlife such as owls, falcons, and other predators that eat poisoned rodents.

Even at low doses, the toxins found in rodenticides, such as brodifacoum and bromadiolone, can cause fatal bleeding in these animals. These indirect impacts threaten biodiversity and ecosystem health. Many pets can also be secondarily poisoned.

Rat poison as a danger to humans

In addition to environmental and animal welfare concerns, rat poison also poses a direct risk to human health. Children who accidentally touch bait stations or poison bait or are otherwise exposed to the poison can suffer enormous damage, which can sometimes even lead to death.

Likewise, adults who act improperly in the application or disposal of rat poison may suffer health damage. Inhalation or skin contact, for example, can lead to serious symptoms of poisoning, especially with products containing strong anticoagulants.

These serious risks show that the use of rat poison as a control method needs to be reconsidered. Comprehensive information campaigns and the development and promotion of safer, environmentally friendly alternatives are needed to ensure sustainable pest control.

There is an exciting study by the German Federal Environment Agency – absolutely worth reading: https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/themen/studie-zur-foerderung-von-alternativen-zu

Prevention – don't attract rats in the first place

One of the most effective methods of controlling rats is prevention. By taking proactive measures, you can prevent rats from being attracted to and settling in your home or business in the first place. Here are some crucial rat prevention steps:

  • Elimination of food sources
  • Removal of water sources
  • Sealing of entrances
  • Regular inspections

Despite all preventive measures, it is important to realize that rats are widespread and can affect almost anyone who owns a garden, basement or storage room. Farms that store feed, as well as gardens with compost heaps, are particularly vulnerable and can quickly become magnets for rats. 

The rodents are not only extremely adaptable, but also very intelligent, which makes prevention a constant challenge. Therefore, it is important to remain vigilant and carry out regular checks to detect the first signs of an infestation at an early stage and act accordingly. 

Tip: Rat droppings are frequent whistleblowers who provide information about the extent of a possible rat infestation. It is often found on rodents' walkways and near food sources and nests.

Fight rats without traps, poison and death

Traditional rat control using poison and rat traps (live traps or dead traps) is not only dangerous for the environment and other animals, but often also represents an ethical and hygienic problem. Poison spreads uncontrollably, carcasses decay and attract further pests. Animals in live traps must be brought out, but they are often killed as well.

All in all, this can be perceived as overwhelming. In addition, studies have shown that home remedies such as fragrances (vinegar, cat litter, ammonia) or similar deterrents are often ineffective. Because rats are exceptionally adaptable and intelligent rodents that learn quickly and adapt to new conditions.

The gentle alternative: expelling rats with ultrasound 

An innovative and humane alternative to conventional rat control is the defence by means of ultrasound. Ultrasonic devices such as IREPELL ® use high-frequency sound waves that are inaudible to humans but extremely uncomfortable to rats.

These devices can be used in a variety of environments, from living areas to warehouses to farms. There, they offer an effective solution for repelling rats without the use of poisons or deadly traps.

Dispel rats gently with IREPELL®

IREPELL® offers an innovative and humane solution for rat control through the use of ultrasound technology. This device relies on advanced methods to effectively repel rats without the use of poison or deadly traps.

Here are the main advantages of IREPELL ® at a glance:

  • Environmentally friendly: IREPELL ® uses ultrasonic waves instead of chemical substances, making it an environmentally friendly alternative that leaves no harmful residue.
  • Safe for pets and humans: The frequencies of the ultrasound are chosen so that they are safe for humans and pets, so that there are no health risks.
  • No killing: IREPELL® only drives rats away by producing annoying noises.
  • Easy installation and maintenance: The device is easy to install and requires little maintenance, making it a convenient and practical solution for households and businesses.
  • Versatile: IREPELL ® can be used both indoors and outdoors, making it ideal for a variety of settings, from basements and lofts to garages and warehouses. Both battery and mains operation are possible.
  • Noiseless and odourless, free of chemistry: Unlike other defence methods, IREPELL ® works silently from a human perspective, so it doesn't bother you in everyday life. No odours or other chemical substances are sprayed.

These benefits make IREPELL® an attractive choice for those looking for an effective and humane method of controlling rats. IREPELL ® is completely harmless to humans and other animals.

Insects such as ticks, ants, mosquitoes, moths and cockroaches as well as mice, martens or raccoons can also be kept away by IREPELL ®. The device thus proves to be a true all-rounder in pest control in both stationary and mobile use.


Where is rat poison used?

Rat poison is often used in areas where rat infestations are a problem, such as in homes, warehouses, farms, commercial facilities, and urban sewer systems. It is used to control the rat population and prevent damage from rats.

How to safely dispose of rat poison residues?

Rat poison residues should be disposed of safely to avoid environmental damage and risks to non-target animals and humans. Toxic residues should be left in their original containers and handled according to local hazardous waste regulations. Many municipalities offer special collection points or pick-up dates for hazardous household waste.

What are the first signs of rat poisoning in pets?

The first signs of rat poisoning in pets can be lethargy, blood in urine or stool, nose and gum bleeding, shortness of breath, excessive panting, and sudden weakness or collapse. If poisoning is suspected, you should consult a veterinarian immediately.

What happens when rats eat rat poison?

When rats eat rat poison, the toxins contained usually lead to internal bleeding and eventually death. Many common rat poisons are anticoagulants that inhibit blood clotting and lead to uncontrolled bleeding.

What are effective alternatives to traps or rat poison?

Effective alternatives to rat poison and traps are ultrasonic defense devices that expel rats through high frequencies. Natural deterrents such as essential oils and mechanical traps that catch rats alive can also be used. Eliminating food sources and closing accesses can also help keep rats out.

How long does it take for the rat poison to take effect?

The duration of action of rat venom may vary depending on the type of active substance. Anticoagulants usually take several days to take effect, as the rats have to take several doses before fatal symptoms appear.

For which animals is rat poison dangerous?

Rat poison is not only dangerous for rats, but can also be toxic to humans and all animals that come into contact with it, including pets, wildlife, and birds. Secondary poisoning can occur when predators or scavengers eat poisoned rats.

Is rat poison also dangerous for humans?

Yes, rat poison can also be dangerous for humans, especially for children who might accidentally touch or consume bait. The toxins contained in rat poisons can cause serious health problems, including bleeding and, in the worst case, death. Therefore, extreme care must be taken when handling these substances.

Does rat poison also work against house mice?

Yes, rat venom can also be effective against house mice, as the active ingredients in most rat poisons have a similar effect on mice. Many rodenticides are broad-spectrum formulated to control both rats and mice. However, due to the different dosages, one should rather resort to special remedies against mice.

Is mouse venom and rat venom the same thing?

In many cases, mouse venom and rat venom are the same product or contain very similar active ingredients. Products marketed specifically as rat venom are often more heavily dosed or packaged in larger quantities, as rats grow taller and require larger amounts of bait.

Can rat poison also be used against voles?

It is not recommended to use rat poison to control voles. Voles require specific control strategies because they differ from house mice and rats in their behavior and biology. In addition, voles are often more resistant to the active ingredients typically used in rat poisons. For voles, specially formulated products should be used that are tailored to their specific habits and biological properties.

Can rat poison also be used against house mice?

Although rat poison can be technically effective against house mice, it is important to ensure the correct dosage and placement of the bait to be effective. In addition, when using rat poison for house mice, there is a risk that other animals and the environment will also be unnecessarily exposed. It is therefore advisable to use special mouse baits instead, which are suitable for smaller rodents and contain an appropriate dosage of the active ingredient. Using rat venom against mice is generally not recommended.