The internet is rife with all sorts of do it yourself solutions, home remedies and crazy conspiracy theories.  Included in that list are ways of doing pest control at home with household items.  While some of these methods may have some basis in science, a lot of them are old wives tales.  So in this article we will put one of these to the test.  Will rats drink antifreeze? Any mammal, including mice and rats, will be attracted to antifreeze, consume it and die.  But antifreeze is extremely dangerous and should never be used as a pesticide.

The active ingredient in antifreeze is a chemical called ethylene glycol.  This chemical is very poisonous.  The problem with antifreeze is that it kills everything, while a rodenticide is dosed correctly to only kill mice, rats and small animals.  Modern antifreeze is also not meant for pesticide work, so chemical companies add embittering agents in order to keep animals from finding antifreeze edible.  This will work against any attempts to use antifreeze as a pesticide.  


The biggest problem that pesticides face when trying to be certified by the EPA for use as a pesticide is secondary poisoning.  Secondary poisoning is when a pesticide not only kills the intended pest, but somehow finds a way to kill or injure a non target animal.  For instance, if a rat drinks antifreeze, dies and then is consumed by a hawk, then the hawk will also be injured, or possibly die from antifreeze poisoning.  This can be a huge issue, because often the secondary animal that is effected by secondary poisoning is the family pet.  A dog or cat can find themselves in a terrible situation if poisoned by an improperly used pesticide.  

Not only can pesticides kill predators and carrion eating animals, but plants can be effected as well.  When a poisoned animal breaks down, the poison will enter the ecosystem through the ground.  This means that now plants and underground insects are subject to these chemicals.  Fruit bearing trees and blossoms can put birds and bees at risk.  And even if a poisoned animal is removed before it breaks down, spilt antifreeze is still a danger.  Your Broken Arrow pest control company has much better solutions.  


Over the years, pesticides have gotten safer and more effective.  Chemicals are now chemically more closely related to natural pesticides than ever before.  The more artificial a chemical, the more poisonous and difficult to control it is.  Today’s modern pesticides fall mostly into two groups.  These two groups are pyrethroids and neonicotinoids.  Pyrethroids are pesticides that are derived from pyrethrin, a naturally occurring pesticide found in chrysanthemums.  This substance protects these flowers from insects that would eat it and its leaves.  Neonicotinoids are also derived from a natural occurring pesticide known as nicotine.  Nicotine is found in tobacco plants and serves the same purpose.  

But no matter how natural a pesticide is, it can still be misused. Chemical manufacturers work very hard to make the safest products possible, but misuse is always a problem.  These manufacturers put a lot of time and money into making their label give the consumer the most effective and safest way of using their product.  These labels are not optional, they are mandatory.  It’s extremely important that if you choose to use over the counter pesticides, you abide by the label.  


Rodenticides, or pesticides for rodents, fall into two groups: anti coagulants, and non anti coagulants.  An anti coagulant inhibits the animals ability for their blood to clot.  There are single dose anti coagulants, and multiple dose.  Single dose anti coagulants are much more effective, but also much more dangerous.  These chemicals bind much more closely to the enzymes that cause blood clotting, and can be stored in the liver.  Multiple dose anti coagulants pass much more readily through the system and are much safer.  Most single dose anti coagulants are only sold to certified pest control technicians.  The best certified Tulsa pest control companies are available for you.  

Non anti coagulant rodenticides kill the animal by different means.  Many of these rodenticides attack at the cellar level.  Some, such as strychnine, attack the cells of the nervous system, causing them to be over exited.  This makes the animal have muscle spasms that cause the heart to stop, or the lungs to not function properly.  Other rodenticides, such as Cholecalciferol, cause the body to hold too much calcium.  This clogs the heart and kidneys, causing death.  Bromethalin stops the cells in the nervous system from creating energy, cutting the brain off from the rest of the body.  


An alternative to poisons are traps.  These can be very effective against mice and rats.  When using traps, it is important to use the correct trap for the correct pest.  A rat trap will require more weight to spring than a small mouse will apply.  You’ll find your bait stolen and a trap that has not been sprung in these cases. On the other side, if you use a mouse trap for a rat, there isn’t enough striking force to kill the rat.  So the trap will be sprung, and then the bait will be eaten after the fact.  A trained professional from your Tulsa exterminator can do this for you.  

Traps offer another problem, that is emptying them.  A poison will take a few days to work, and make the rodent very thirsty.  This will get them to go outside for water and they will die there.  Traps, on the other hand, kill a mouse or rat instantly.  This means that if you don’t take care of the pest soon after death, they will begin to decompose and smell.  This can be a major deterrent for some people.  


At the end of the day, the best possible way to get mice and rats out of your home or business. is to hire a professional.  TermMax Pest Control is the best Broken Arrow exterminator in the business.  Our technicians are trained in the habits and best practices of rodent removal.  We service the greater Tulsa area including Owasso, Claremore, Coweta, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Jenks, Pratville, Catoosa, Bixby, Turley and much more.  Call today for a free estimate.  We are here to help!

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