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How Do Rat Bait Blocks Work?

Rowan Burgess |

Rat bait blocks are one of several poison products designed to eliminate rat populations.

Rat bait blocks are made from wax laced with poison and with a sweet smell and food-grade ingredients that appeal to rodents. The other attraction for the rats is that they're gnawable; rats need to chew to wear down their teeth.

Use bait blocks inside a bait station or on their own inside or outside without a trap or housing. Read on and find out just how they work.

What Happens When a Rat Eats Bait Block?

Bait blocks contain Brodifacoum, a potent anticoagulant. 

Let's talk about humans for a moment. Humans are treated with anticoagulants if they have heart problems, and they remove clots from the blood. Anticoagulants also inhibit the blood's ability to clot and, in the case of a rat, lead to fatal internal bleeding. Essentially, the rodent bleeds to death.

Because rodents stop eating as soon as they feel ill, the poison must be fast-acting to be effective. Bait blocks fall into this category and also reduce the risk of secondary poisoning of non-target species.

How Effective Are Rat Bait Blocks?

If you want to get rid of rats, then it's essential to choose the right rodenticide product for your environment. So, why bait blocks as opposed to other rodenticides? Bait blocks are a good choice for rodent control for locations with livestock. They're highly effective for several reasons.

First, the anticoagulant poison, Brodifacoum they contain, works very quickly. These blocks are known as single-feed rodenticides. 

Previous anticoagulant-based baits often require a rat to consume multiple doses for the poison to work. They're less effective and raise humane concerns about how long the rat takes to die.

Plus, rats aren't foolish. If they're eating something and it makes them feel ill, then they stop. Consequently, slower-acting poisons are not always effective.

Bait blocks contain human food-grade ingredients that are irresistible to rats, plus they're shaped with multiple edges, providing a big incentive for the rat to gnaw; this is an instinct.

Likewise, bait blocks don't get spoiled in wet weather - good news for the UK. Poison-laced grain goes mushy in the rain even if you cover it, and it'll lose its scent. Wet conditions don't compromise bait blocks.

Bait blocks can slip into tight corners and are ideal for locations where a larger poison trap won't fit. Some blocks even have a hole in the centre to secure the block on rods, nails, or wire.

How Many Bait Blocks Does It Take To Kill a Rat?

One bait block is usually sufficient, but different factors can influence the poison's impact.

First, putting the blocks in the correct location is essential. Rats tend to stick to the same routes, so the first step is to find out where they are. If you're not on the rodent highway, the rats will miss the bait no matter how nice they smell.

Rats tend to range 100-150 feet from their nest. They have limited vision, so they follow lines like walls.

Also, removing all other tempting food sources and keeping the blocks in the same place is essential, as rats love familiarity.

Of course, you might need more blocks if you have a huge rat or rats!

Anticoagulant-based rodenticides like those in poison blocks accelerate decomposition and reduce the likelihood of a foul odour, which is essential if the rat has died in a location you can't access.

Disposing of rodent carcasses is vital if you can find them, as this helps reduce the risk of secondary poisoning to pets and other wildlife.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Bait Blocks Take To Kill Rats?

Once a rat has consumed some bait block, it will usually take two or three days to die, but it can sometimes take up to ten days.

If a rodent feels ill, it'll stop eating, which is why bait blocks are so effective, as their poison is fast-acting. 

Need Rodent Control Products? Shop Dalton Engineering!

Rodent control is essential on farms, especially those with livestock. Animal buildings offer a lovely, warm home for rats with a plentiful food supply. But rats are destructive to property and carry diseases dangerous to animals and humans, like Leptospirosis.

We’ve got you covered! Shop Dalton Engineering for all your rodent control products. We stock a comprehensive range of all the leading brands with different types of bait and poison to suit a variety of indoor and outdoor environments.