The Dangers of Anticoagulant Rodenticides

The Dangers of Anticoagulant Rodenticides

Anticoagulant pest control is still widely used today. The EPA has reported that the number of exposure incidents in young children is unacceptably high, given measures for reducing exposure are widely available. The EPA also performed an extensive risk assessment, concluding that each active ingredient in traditional rodenticides poses significant risks to wildlife in the form of primary and secondary exposure.
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About Commonly Used Rodenticides


Most rodenticides used today are anticoagulant compounds that cause death from excessive bleeding. Death typically occurs between 4 days up to 2 weeks after the rodent feeds on the bait. Developed before 1970, first-generation anticoagulants, chlorophacinone, diphacinone, and warfarin, have increased toxicity when feedings occur successively over a period of feedings. In the early 1970s, second-generation anticoagulants were cultivated to control rodents with resistance to first-generation anticoagulants. 

Second-generation anticoagulants like brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, and difethialone are able to kill after one feeding instead of several consecutive feedings. The time of death for first and second-generation anticoagulants is over a similar period. Second-generation anticoagulants also tend to remain in the tissues longer than first-generation. For this reason, second-generation anticoagulants pose a greater risk to non-target wildlife that feed on animals that have consumed the bait. 

Because of the high risk of secondary poisoning associated with second-generation anticoagulants, they are no longer registered for products geared towards consumers and are only for commercial pest control. Just because the consumer is no longer allowed to distribute the product themselves does not mean that these products are not ending up in or near residential areas, parks, businesses, buildings, etc.  

Non-anticoagulant rodenticides (bromethalin, cholecalciferol and zinc phosphide) do not contain anticoagulants but are still considered highly toxic in their own way. Bromethalin causes acute respiratory distress, cholecalciferol causes excessive calcium in the blood and body tissues, and zinc phosphide causes the liberation of phosphine gas in the stomach. 



In 2007, the EPA included a requirement to classify all bait products containing active anticoagulant ingredients as restricted use, meaning that only certified pesticide applicators or people under direct supervision can use these products. The EPA ruled that “these three rodenticides [brodifacoum, bromadiolone, and difenacoum] pose particularly significant risks to non-target wildlife...” (Erickson 11). 

The EPA has observed that the American Association of Poison Control Centers receives reports of approximately 12,000 to 15,000 rodenticide exposures to children less than six years of age. The agency has reported that the number of exposure incidents is unacceptably high given measures for reducing exposure is widely available. 

The EPA also performed an extensive risk assessment, concluding that each active ingredient in traditional rodenticides poses significant risks to wildlife in the form of primary and secondary exposure. 


The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) provides regulation of pesticide distribution, sale, and use on a federal level. All pesticides in the United States (distributed or sold) must obtain an EPA license. For a pesticide to qualify a registration under FIFRA, it must be able to show that when using the pesticide, it will not cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment. FIFRA defines unreasonable adverse effects as:

  • Unreasonable risk to man or the environment (accounting for economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits)
  • Dietary risks from residues from a use of pesticide 

Within the FIFRA act, the EPA has determined that some pesticides are “minimum risk”, meaning that they pose little to no risk to humans or the environment. This exemption, also known as FIFRA 25(b), means that those “minimum risk” pesticides are exempt from the FIFRA registration requirement.  

Using rodenticides containing anticoagulants or other harmful components is hazardous to your health, pets, and non-target wildlife. The impact that it has on the environment far outweighs its benefits, in fact, second-generation anticoagulants came about because rodents had developed a tolerance to first-generation components. The EPA believes that exposures to these second-generation anticoagulants occur wherever those rodenticides are being placed and used.

Significance of Rodents

Rodents such as rats and mice are some of the most significant and resilient pests. They follow wherever there are human populations and seek our food and shelter, multiplying at rapid rates in order to increase population and survival. They can carry diseases, cause damage to crops, damage buildings, contaminate stored food, and cost great financial losses. 

Rats and mice can cause extreme damage in residential settings too. Entering through walls and cracks, they can chew through pipes and wires, which can cause leaks and fires. Other rodents, such as voles, can damage trees, shrubs, vegetables, flowers, and other crops. Contamination from rodents also causes financial loss. Urine, droppings, hair, and germs can contaminate more material than is consumed. Rodenticides aren’t avoidable and need to be used to reduce the damage caused by rodents. Using harmful rodenticides that put people and other animals at risk isn’t your only option. 

EcoClear Products

Noticing a lack of effective rodenticide products that were also safe for people, pets, and wildlife was how EcoClear Products was born. Our line of safe and effective rodenticides is the only of its kind on the market. Our patented products are FIFRA 25(b) and pose no risk to humans or the environment. Our rodenticides target rats, mice, moles, and voles with zero risk of non-target wildlife poisoning. With zero conventional poisons, our products are specially formulated to work for the desired rodent, leaving people, pets, and wildlife safe from the risk of secondary poisoning. 

RatX® and MouseX® 

When used as directed, RatX® and MouseX® are effective for indoor and outdoor rat and mouse control. They are safe to use around people, pets, wildlife, and livestock. You can place these products around landscaping, near livestock or poultry housing, or under buildings or garden structures.

Unlike traditional rodenticides, which work over one or multiple feedings, leaving it difficult to find and dispose of the rodents, RatX® and MouseX® work from the inside out to exterminate rats and mice, then dries them out after death to reduce odor by as much as 90%.

Formulated using naturally derived ingredients, the active ingredients in the pellets coat the rat or mouse’s stomach lining, blocking all messages from the stomach to the brain. This causes rats and mice to stop wanting water, leading to eventual dehydration and death instead of the traditional alternative of bleeding internally for 4 days to 2 weeks.

This product causes zero risk of secondary poisoning, even if consumed by non-target wildlife, pets, or livestock. 

VoleX® and MoleX®

Similar to MouseX® and RatX®, both MoleX® and VoleX® are formulated using naturally derived ingredients, safe to be used around people, pets, and wildlife. Both products are classified as EPA minimum risk pesticides, and our patented mechanical kill system requires no conventional poisons. 



High risk is still associated with traditional rodenticides that use conventional poisons to target rodents. Even with use limited to commercial, restrictions require distributors to be licensed or trained to use and place the product. Leniency in the agricultural industry for these regulations means that first-generation and second-generation anticoagulants are still used regularly.

Unlike traditional products, EcoClear Products offers solutions for consumers and commercial professionals without the risks associated with common rodenticides. Rodent control cannot be eliminated completely, but making the switch to an effective and eco-friendly company is crucial to the health and safety of people, pets, wildlife, livestock, and the environment. 

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