A mouse’s ability to fit through a hole the diameter of a pen (approximately 6 millimeters) allows it to get into nearly any house, apartment, or yard. Once inside your home, they quickly begin nesting in the walls, ceilings, and floor, and then start chewing through your drywall, frames, and even the concrete. This amount of damage can make your home more susceptible to water damage, mold, and further infestation.
The best mouse poison for your pest problem depends on the location of the infestation, the speed of treatment, and, most importantly, the presence of pets or kids. Know that some poisons take almost a week to kill a mouse, and, if the dead rodent is consumed by a pet or another animal, the poison can be transferred. The products below were selected as the best mouse poison available in each respective category based on poison type, product efficacy, and overall value.
- BEST OVERALL: 18 LB Contrac Blox Rodent Control Rodenticide
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Neogen Ramik Green Fish Flavored Rodenticide Nuggets
- BEST POISON PELLETS: MOTOMCO Tomcat Mouse and Rat Pack
- BEST POISON BAIT CHUNKS: JT Eaton 166004 709-PN Bait Block Rodenticide
- BEST REUSABLE BAIT TRAP: Rat Bait Station 2 Pack
- BEST DISPOSABLE BAIT TRAP: Tomcat 4388404 Rat and Mouse Killer
- SAFEST FOR HUMANS AND PETS: D-Con Corner Fit Mouse Poison Bait Station
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mouse Poison
Don’t buy before you know what to look for in a mouse poison. Consider these important product factors and how they apply to your mouse problem.
Mouse poison comes in three main types or forms: pellets, chunks, and refillable or disposable bait stations.
- Pellets offer a simple, effective way to lay out mouse poison. You can use them in combination with bait stations, but individual pellets are also small enough to fit in crevices where other mouse poison options cannot. This ensures that all frequent travel routes can be properly covered.
- Chunks (or blocks) are ideal for mounting on the exterior wall of your home, keeping it away from other animals. They are not easily moved, so you won’t accidentally sweep them up.
- Refillable bait stations must be used with mouse poison pellets to keep them full. If you have recurring mouse infestation issues, refillable bait stations are an affordable solution. You can get more bang for your buck with a bulk bag of pellets and a couple refillable bait stations than a large supply of disposable bait stations.
- Disposable bait stations come pre-filled with poison for one-time infestation control. Because they’re tamper-proof, they are typically safer to use around kids and pets. Only mice or other small rodents can get into the bait station to consume the poison.
Any mouse poison you choose will come with the manufacturer’s directions for use and the exact dosage required to kill a mouse.
- Multiple-dose poisons are a good option for infestations in households with kids or pets because they have a lower toxicity and lethality, meaning they would do less damage if accidentally ingested once. However, these poisons are less effective against larger rodents, like rats.
- Single-dose poisons are very potent, making them ideal if you have only one or two mice in your home and are trying to head off an infestation. However, the lethality of these poisons is much higher, so they pose more of a safety risk. Ensure single-dose poisons are properly placed and protected from accidental ingestion. These poisons may also cause secondary repercussions if the poisoned mouse is eaten by another animal.
The quantity of poison needed for your infestation depends on the size of the infestation, the size of the affected area, and the frequency of infestation.
Mouse poison pellets and mouse poison chunks can be found in a range of quantities from small, 3-ounce packages to large buckets weighing more than 18 pounds.
Bait stations come in single or multi-pack options. The number of bait stations can range from a single station to full building treatments with more than 20 disposable bait traps in a pack.
The active ingredient in a mouse poison determines how the poison acts inside the system of the mouse and how it ultimately kills the mouse.
- Calcium releasers kill mice in one to three days by steadily releasing excess calcium into the bloodstream of the mouse. This slowly calcifies the arteries and cardiovascular system causing death.
- Acute toxins typically act very quickly, killing affected mice within 24 hours. The term “acute toxins” normally refers to bromethalin or zinc phosphide. Bromethalin interferes with the mitochondrial function in the cells of the mouse to cause the shutdown of vital organs and imminent death. Zinc phosphide is used in the agricultural industry and not commonly available for residential use. This is because the poison affects the digestive system of the mouse, causing it to swell up until it dies. At this point, the body of the mouse releases noxious gases into the air. During that time, the poison can be transferred to other animals, though it is not likely to be lethal in a secondary capacity unless the dosage is high enough.
- Anticoagulants are the most frequently used in residential applications. These poisons prevent the coagulation or clotting in the blood of the mouse, causing the mouse to bleed internally for between six to seven days until they succumb to the bleeding and die. These poisons are very likely to cause death or severe injury if the affected mouse is eaten by another animal, including your pets.
The length of time it takes for a mouse poison to kill the mouse after it has ingested a lethal dose is known as the working time of a mouse poison. This working time can vary between active ingredients and individual products, so you should always refer to the manufacturer’s directions for expected working time.
- Acute toxins, like bromethalin and zinc phosphide kill mice within 24 hours of ingesting a lethal dose.
- Calcium releasers take a bit longer to work, with a working time of one to three days.
- Anticoagulants take between six to seven days to kill the mouse after it has eaten a lethal amount.
Additional Pest Control
Most mouse poisons can work just as well against a variety of other rodents including moles, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, and field voles. If you know you have a mouse problem and suspect other rodents trying to take up residence in your home, then a broad spectrum poison is a great way to treat both issues at the same time.
Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations to identify what pest infestations the poison will be effective at handling and species-specific dosage. The dosage requirements will differ between species due to size differences and other species-specific variations that can change the way the poison is ingested or activated.
Whenever you use a poison, or any other dangerous pest solution, safety should be a primary concern, especially when children or pets are involved. Most mouse poisons are made with broad spectrum toxins that are dangerous to humans and other animals. Even those made to be pet- and child-safe are not good to ingest; consult a Poison Control Center immediately if they are accidentally eaten.
Bait stations help shield pets and kids from the mouse poison, though refillable bait stations can be opened with enough time as they’re designed to be reused. Disposable bait stations are one of the safest methods for households with kids and pets, because they cannot be opened.
Our Top Picks
Selected with those shopping tips in mind, the following recommendations cover a variety of types to help you find one of the best mouse poison options to deal with your infestation.
With 18 pounds of mouse poison chunks, this Contrac Blox is an excellent option for large infestations. The poison contains food-grade ingredients and a small amount of paraffin wax making it resistant to water, which is important for exterior infestations or interior ones in damp locations—and is still tasty enough that mice won’t pass it up. A hole in the center of each 1-ounce block allows it to be nailed to ceilings or rafters.
This single-feeding mouse poison uses an anticoagulant to trigger internal bleeding and death in six to seven days. While the poison is designed to be less poisonous to non-target animals, like your pets, it is still a single-feeding poison so you should keep the antidote, Vitamin K1, on hand just in case of accidents.
For a very affordable price, you get 4 pounds of weather-resistant mouse poison nuggets that also work on rats and meadow voles. The poison’s fish flavoring attracts pests and ensures that once a mouse takes a bite, they swallow. This formula uses diphacinone, an anticoagulant that causes internal bleeding and eventual death just four to five days after a mouse has consumed a lethal amount of poison.
Place the poison inside or outside your home, in a wet, damp, or dry location. As long as the poison isn’t swept away by a rushing current of water or buried under snow, it will remain potent through wind, rain, and sun. Make certain your pets are kept away from this poison; if you have cats or other predatory pets, try to keep them from hunting and eating potentially affected mice.
This bulk package from MOTOMCO offers plenty of pellets for individual placement or bait station refills during an infestation—22 individually sealed 3-ounce packages of pellets, to be exact. Individual wrapping lets you use the poison as you need it without exposing the remaining mouse poison, so that it retains its potency and flavor and protection from nosy household members.
The mouse poison is designed with food-grade ingredients and flavor enhancers so that mice won’t want to drop the poison once they taste it. The active ingredient diphacinone is an anticoagulant that causes internal bleeding and death within four to six days of ingestion. This poison can also be absorbed through the skin, so be sure to wear proper protection when setting the bait.
The 9-pound bucket of JT Eaton Bait Block Rodenticide comes with 144 bait chunks or blocks of mouse poison that are brightly colored to help prevent children and other adults from mistaking them as food. The chunks have holes through their centers that can be used to mount them on the ceiling or in the rafters.
A peanut butter flavoring attracts mice to eat and come back for extra helpings, which is important for this multiple-feeding mouse poison. A portion of the block must be eaten every day for several days for it to take effect, which helps keep predator pets, like cats, relatively safe from secondary poisoning. The active ingredient is an anticoagulant called diphacinone, which kills rats and mice in just four to six days.
While this pair of bait stations does not include the bait, it does boast versatility and can be used with any form of mouse poison, including bait blocks or chunks, pellets, and liquid. The bait station is made of durable plastic that is safe for use inside or outside, even attached to a wall, ceiling, or joist, if necessary. Two entrance holes prevent the mice from feeling trapped when they are looking for food, which would potentially drive them away before biting into the poison.
The bait station features a lockable door that can only be opened with a key, ensuring households with kids and pets stay safe while dealing with the infestation. The plastic bait stations are intended for use with rats, mice, chipmunks, and other comparable rodents.
The Tomcat Rat and Mouse Killer Bait Stations come in a pack of two so that you have double the coverage in your home. The bait stations are prefilled with 4 ounces of block or chunk bait that includes the active ingredient, bromethalin, which is an acute toxin that kills quickly by damaging the central nervous system. Due to the durable, weather-resistant plastic casing, the bait stations can be used inside or outside the home, with the option to refill after the initial chunks have been eaten.
These bait stations are designed for use on mice, rats, and other comparable rodents, with one bait block containing enough poison to kill up to 20 mice (or 10 rats). The bait stations are child- and dog-resistant to keep your family safe, and their see-through windows allow you to see when it is time to replace the station or refill the bait.
Poisons of any kind, even those that are labelled as non-toxic, can potentially have harmful effects if ingested by adults, kids, or pets—and the best way to ensure your family’s safety is to stop them from being able to reach the poison at all. The D-Con Corner Fit Mouse Poison Bait Station comes with 20 bait refills and a tamper-resistant casing that prevents children and pets from accessing the poison.
The compact trap is weather-resistant, so you can set it up inside or outside. The active ingredient in this mouse poison is a calcium releaser called cholecalciferol, also known as Vitamin D3. The poison steadily releases excess calcium into the bloodstream of the mouse or rat, calcifying the arteries and cardiovascular system and causing death within three to five days.
FAQs About Mouse Poisons
Take a look below at these helpful answers to some of the most common questions about mouse poisons.
Q. What is in mouse poison?
There are typically four common ingredients in all mouse poisons: long-acting anticoagulants, cholecalciferol (common calcium releaser), bromethalin, and zinc phosphide. Each offers a different poisoning mechanism, though anticoagulants are the most commonly used in residential mouse poisons.
Q. How does mouse poison work?
Most mouse poisons you can purchase for your home use an anticoagulant formula to prevent the mouse’s blood from clotting. This results in exposed mice bleeding internally until they die.
However, there are other types of poison that work differently. Calcium releasers continue to release calcium into the bloodstream of the mouse until it suffers cardiovascular failure. Bromethalin,on the other hand, damages the central nervous system, and zinc phosphide causes a lethal build up of gas within the digestive system.
Q. How long does it take for mice to die after eating poison?
After ingesting a lethal dose of poison, a mouse may die anywhere from a few hours to one week, depending on the type of poison and the dosage that was consumed.
Q. Is mouse poison toxic to humans?
Yes, mouse poison is toxic to humans. If you or someone else has ingested mouse poison, contact a Poison Control Center immediately.
Q. What if my dog eats mouse poison?
If your dog eats mouse poison, contact a Poison Control Center immediately and follow their emergency instructions. Different poisons require different treatments, so it is very important to have the name and type of poison that was consumed readily available when you call.