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 a home, mice quickly begin nesting in the walls, ceilings, and floors and then start chewing through the drywall, frames, and even the concrete. This amount of damage can make a home more susceptible to water damage, mold, and further infestation.
The best mouse poison for a 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 mice and rat poisons take almost a week to kill a mouse, and if a pet or another animal consumes the dead rodent, the poison can be transferred. The products below were selected as the best mouse poisons available in each respective category based on poison type, product efficacy, and overall value.
- BEST OVERALL: Bell Contrac Blox Rodent Control Rodenticide
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Neogen Ramik Green Weather-Resistant Rodenticide
- BEST POISON PELLETS: Motomco Tomcat Rat and Mouse Bait Place Pacs
- BEST POISON BAIT CHUNKS: JT Eaton Bait Block Rodenticide
- BEST REUSABLE BAIT TRAP: Redtop Rat Bait Station
- BEST DISPOSABLE BAIT TRAP: Tomcat Mouse Killer Disposable Bait Station
- SAFEST FOR HUMANS AND PETS: D-Con Refillable Bait Station
Before You Buy Mouse Poison
Mouse poison products may be the first thought that comes to mind when you notice a rodent infestation, but before heading out to pick up mouse poison products, it’s recommended to consider the potential risks and alternate solutions. If you live in a home with pets or small kids, rat poison and mice bait are a substantial risk. These products are designed to kill mice and can cause harm to pets and humans if the poison is ingested or even absorbed through the skin.
Pop Sci notes that cats and some dogs kill mice around the home and can ingest the poison, leading to secondary poisoning. According to the Audubon Society, even if you don’t have pets, the dead mice can be consumed by nearby wildlife that prey on mice and rats, like owls and hawks.
Another factor to consider when choosing pest control products is that when mice are poisoned, it can take several days for them to die. During this time, they tend to retreat to a well-hidden nest in the walls, floors, or ceiling. As described in this piece by National Geographic, the dead mice take several days to decompose, during which time the smell in the home can be terrible. Additionally, flies and other pests that feed on decomposing flesh may infest the home, laying eggs in the dead rodents trapped inside the walls, introducing a new problem.
To avoid these risks, you can try to solve the problem with rodent repellents, setting traps to catch and release or catch and kill the mice without resorting to these toxins.
How We Chose the Best Mouse Poisons
Extensive research into a wide selection of mouse poison products helped to form the basis for this list. Variety is important when choosing the top mouse treatment options because not every solution will work in every circumstance. Some rodent populations may be resistant to certain poisons. This has been clearly demonstrated by the increased resistance to warfarin, which has been used for killing mice and rats since 1948. With this in mind, the top mouse poisons consist of a range of options, including pellets, chunks, refillable bait stations, disposable bait stations, and various active ingredients.
The above mouse poison products are made up of fast-acting poisons that can kill in just 2 to 3 days and multiple-feeding poisons that take longer to work but are safer around pets and kids. Additional considerations for this list of the best mouse poisons included the quantity, packaging, and whether the poison or mice bait stations could be used outdoors. It should also be noted that pest control products with additional features, like a locking bait station door, stood out from competitors.
Our Top Picks
The following recommendations cover a variety of types to help you find one of the best mouse poison options to deal with an infestation.
With 18 pounds of mouse poison chunks, 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 dead rodents in 2 to 4 days. While the poison is designed to be less poisonous to nontarget animals, like pets, it is still a single-feeding poison, so you should keep the antidote, vitamin K1, on hand in case of accidents.
- Type: Chunks/blocks
- Main ingredient(s): Bromadiolone
- Working time: 2 to 4 days
- Versatile formula; works in dry and wet conditions for convenience
- Can be mounted to the ceiling or on the rafters
- Highly potent poison kills in a single feeding; no reapplication required
- Large 18-pound pack with a reliable and resealable all-weather container
- Single-feeding poison is dangerous to use around kids and pets
Get the Bell Contrac mouse poison at Amazon, Wildlife Control Supplies, or Solution Stores.
For a very affordable price, shoppers get four 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 4 to 5 days after a mouse has consumed a lethal amount of poison.
Place the poison inside or outside a 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 that 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.
- Type: Pellets
- Main ingredient(s): Diphacinone
- Working time: 4 to 5 days
- Works in dry and wet conditions; can be applied in both dry and rainy climates
- Poison kills in a single feeding; does not require any reapplication to be effective
- Attractive flavor draws in mice and other vermin for full pest protection
- May not be safe for pets; fish flavor attracts hungry dogs and cats
Get the Neogen mouse poison at Amazon, Tractor Supply Co., or QC Supply.
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 employ the poison as needed without exposing the remaining mouse poison so that it retains its potency and flavor while offering 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 it once they taste it. This multifeeding bait is an anticoagulant that causes internal bleeding and death. Once the rodent has consumed enough of the active ingredient, they will die within a few days. This poison can also be absorbed through the skin, so wear proper protection when setting the bait.
- Type: Pellets
- Main ingredient(s): Diphacinone
- Working time: Once consumed in high enough dose, 3 to 4 days
- Individually sealed packages keep any pets safe from unused poison
- Attractive flavor draws in mice and rats for full pest protection
- Low-dosage poison that is safer around kids and pets
- Resealable all-weather container provides safe storage in a garage, shed, or cupboard
- Poison can be absorbed through the skin during bait placement
- Multiple-feed poison takes several doses to kill mice and rice
Get the Motomco mouse poison at Tractor Supply Co.
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 for food. The chunks have holes through their centers that can be used to mount them on the ceiling or in 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 daily for several days to take effect, which helps keep predator pets, like cats, relatively safe from secondary poisoning. The active ingredient is the anticoagulant diphacinone, which kills rats and mice in just 4 to 7 days.
- Type: Chunks/blocks
- Main ingredient(s): Diphacinone
- Working time: 4 to 7 days
- Large bucket with 144 blocks, each 1 ounce; suitable for small to large infestations
- Effective formula; peanut-butter flavor attracts mice for multiple feedings
- Low-dosage poison that is safer around kids and pets
- Safer than comparable options; uses bright colors to deter kids and adults
- Multiple-feed poison may not be effective against large rats
Get the JT Eaton mouse poison at Amazon or The Home Depot.
While this pair of bait stations does not include the rat/mouse 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 Redtop 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 small rodents.
- Type: Refillable bait station
- Main ingredient(s): Bait dependent
- Working time: Bait dependent
- Versatile construction; works in both dry and wet conditions
- 2 entrances to encourage feeding; can take on multiple other rodents at a time
- Can be used with bait blocks, chunks, pellets, or liquid poison
- Reusable station has a lockable door to keep family members safe
- Does not come with bait; may need to be purchased separately
Get the Redtop bait station for mouse poison at Amazon.
The Tomcat Mouse Killer disposable bait station comes in a pack of two so that you have double the coverage in your home. The mouse bait stations are prefilled with 4 ounces of block or chunk bait that include 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 12 mice. The bait stations are child- and dog-resistant to keep a family safe, and their see-through windows allow you to see when it is time to replace the station or refill the bait. Just make sure all the food is packaged and moved away from the bait, or the pests may choose available food over this bait station.
- Type: Disposable bait station (chunks/blocks)
- Main ingredient(s): Bromethalin
- Working time: 2 to 3 days
- Versatile construction can be applied in dry and wet conditions
- Prefilled stations are ready to use right out of the package
- Potent poison kills small to large infestations in just 2 to 3 days
- Child- and dog-resistant packaging is safe to use inside or outside the house
- Bait is not as tempting as any nearby food
Get the Tomcat mouse poison at Amazon (2-pack) or The Home Depot.
Poisons of any kind, even those that are labeled nontoxic, can potentially have harmful effects if ingested by adults, kids, or pets—and the best way to ensure a family’s safety is to stop them from being able to reach the poison at all. The D-Con refillable mouse bait station comes with either 6, 12, or 20 bait refills and a tamper-resistant casing that prevents children and pets from accessing the poison.
The compact trap is weather-resistant so that 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 3 to 5 days.
- Type: Refillable bait station with chunks/blocks
- Main ingredient(s): Cholecalciferol
- Working time: 3 to 5 days
- Versatile construction; works in both dry and wet conditions
- Refillable station comes with either 6, 12, or 20 refill baits
- Mice die in the nest with this no-contact solution
- Child- and dog-resistant packaging is safe to use indoors and outdoors
- Dead mice trapped in the wall can smell for several days
Get the D-Con mouse poison at Amazon, The Home Depot (6- and 12-pack only) or Valu Home Centers.
Or, DIY Your Own Mouse Poison
Making a version of what users seek is thrifty, (can be) natural, and low waste. Not to mention, it’s very Bob Vila! Though making mouse poison may seem like a daunting task, it can actually be an easy feat. One of the simplest ways to do it is to add one part flour or sugar and one part baking soda and leave it out where rodents frequently scurry. Not only is this option effective for killing mice, it is also safe for use around children and pets.
Alternatives to Mouse Poison
Preventing mice and rats from entering a home or causing problems can be done without the use of poisons. For those who prefer a natural and nonlethal approach to rodent control, filling in cracks and holes around a home regularly can prevent mice and rodents from entering. For yard or outdoor infestations, you can rely on humane traps like the Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap, which catches the mouse instead of killing it. Finally, you can also rely on more tried-and-true methods like adopting a cat to do the mouse hunting.
Other common mouse poisons include Neogen Havoc Rodenticide and Tomcat Liquid Concentrate. However, they do not meet our sustainability guidelines and are not recommended in our top picks due to their use of ingredients like Bitrex, which emits a powerful chemical smell. As some users may know, Bitrex can be nauseating to humans and pets, and chemical smells emitted from some liquid concentrates can be overwhelming and harmful.
What to Consider When Choosing Mouse Poison
Try not to buy before knowing what to look for in a mouse poison. Consider these important product factors and how they apply to the mouse problem to find the best mouse poison for a rodent-free home.
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 these mouse poison baits 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 a home, keeping the poison 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 of refillable bait stations than a large supply of disposable bait stations.
- Disposable bait stations come prefilled with poison for one-time infestation control. Because they’re tamperproof, 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 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 a 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 an 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 multipack 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 1 to 3 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 is 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 a mouse, causing the mouse to bleed internally for between 6 and 7 days until it succumbs to the bleeding and dies. These poisons are very likely to cause death or severe injury if the affected mouse is eaten by another animal, including 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 pest control products, so you should always refer to the manufacturer’s directions for the 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 1 to 3 days.
- Anticoagulants take between 6 and 7 days to kill a 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 are 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.
Safety should be a primary concern whenever you employ poison or any other dangerous pest solution, 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 mouse poison, though refillable bait stations can be quickly opened since 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.
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 a 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 1 week later, 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.
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