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Reasons To Be Poison Free

  • Reduce Harm

  • Poisons cause inhumane deaths and pose significant risks to people, pets, and wildlife.

  • Restore Ecosystems

  • Poisons disrupt vital ecosystem functions by degrading habitats and disturbing food webs

  • Save Money

  • Preventative measures that make poisons unnecessary eliminate the costs of perpetual reliance on them.


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How to RID rats and clean up your rodent problem with 

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The Truth About Rat Poison


Despite the claims of the pest control industry,

there is no such thing as a “safe” rat poison. Dozens of scientific studies have found rat poisons in a wide variety of wildlife, including foxes, bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, and every species of hawk and owl. Rat poison also kills pet dogs and cats as well as scavengers like raccoons, skunks and opossums read more



The use of anticoagulant rodenticide poison to control rodents in your yard, neighborhood and community can result in exposing your pets and local wildlife to this deadly poison. Regardless of who distributes the poison -- homeowners, professionals, or your HOA -- your pets and local wildlife are at risk of exposure.

Death from anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning takes longer than you might think. Rodents that consume anticoagulant poisons do not die immediately. The poison is designed to block the vitamin K cycle which is important in clotting the body’s blood, often resulting in a slow death. It can take up to 10 days for the rodent to die by internal bleeding, if it is not eaten by another animal first. Rodents filled with toxic anticoagulant rodenticide poisons continue to move around in the environment and as they start to feel the effects of the poison they begin to move slower and become easy targets for your cat, dog and our native predators such as bobcats, hawks, owls, coyotes etc. Research has shown that anticoagulant poison moves up the food chain and eating a poisoned animal can lead to secondary poisoning of dogs, cats and many wild animals.

How are pets and wildlife getting poisoned?

Unintentional Poisoning

Non-target species are poisoned through primary, secondary and tertiary poisoning.

Primary Poisoning of non-target animals may occur when a bird eats the pellets broadcasted on the landscape or pellets that fall out of the bait box. Domestic dogs have been poisoned when they eat bait from boxes or get into unsecured packaging in their homes.

Secondary Poisoning of non-target species occurs when predatory animals eat poisoned animals, therefore ingesting the poisons secondarily. For example, a bobcat eats a poisoned gopher, exposing the bobcat to the poison, creating a secondary exposure to the poison. Your cat could be at risk too. If your cat ventures outside it will likely catch or try to catch a small mammal, if that mouse, rat, squirrel or rabbit has eating poison your cat is at risk of secondary poisoning.

Tertiary Poisoning of non-target species occurs when a predatory animal eats another predatory animal that has been secondarily poisoned. For example, a mountain lion eats a coyote with secondary poisoning that ate a poisoned squirrel.

Anticoagulants move through the food chain.

Research discovers rodent poisons move up the food chain.

Wildlife affected in our local Southern California neighborhoods:

Scientific research on local wildlife in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area and surrounding fragmented habitats has detected startling evidence on how many of our native carnivores are exposed to anticoagulant rodenticide poisons. This research has shown that secondary poisoning from anticoagulant rodenticides is a wide spread problem throughout our local landscape. Testing results from the 3 carnivore species (bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions) monitored in this study found that most of the animals in the study were exposed to anticoagulant rodenticides.

Results from tested bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions, and exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides during NPS study-

Bobcats - 92% of bobcats exposed to anticoagulant poisons.

Coyotes - 83% of coyotes were exposed to anticoagulants and it was the 2nd leading cause of death during study.

Mountain Lions - 94% of mountain lions were exposed to anticoagulant poisons, including a 3 month old kitten.


In 2019, California Wildlife Center treated 44 animals suffering from rodenticide poisoning, a 600% increase over the previous year. These animals consisted of rodents, birds of prey, and large predators such as coyotes and bobcats.

Of these animals, only 17 percent survived to return to the wild.

Rodenticide poison is commonly seen in black plastic boxes placed by pest-control companies. The toxin is an anticoagulant that prevents blood from clotting. Victims bleed to death either externally or internally. The poison is not immediate and may take many days to kill the impacted animal. During that time, the poisoned rat, mouse, or even squirrel, may wander some distance from the poison. The animal may become prey to a hawk, owl, coyote, or bobcat. The toxins in the rodent then transfer to their predator, causing that animal to now suffer the effects.

California Wildlife Center has treated hawks with a red blood cell count of less than ten percent because they are bleeding out through a small scratch on their toe. CWC has also cared for coyotes and bobcats affected by mange, a parasitic mite that affects

the skin and leads to skin infection, hair loss, and eventually debilitation and death. Rodenticides appear to be causing heightened severity of disease caused by this parasite by impeding the immune system.

How can you help?

Do not use rodenticide poison. Use exclusion techniques to remove mice or rats from your home. This involves humanely

removing the rodents and sealing up their access points. If you hire a pest control company, make sure they use exclusion rather than poisons.

If you find an animal you think may be suffering from rodenticide poisoning, contact your local licensed wildlife rehabilitator

(CWC 310-458-9453) immediately.

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