Is It Okay to Poison Raccoons?

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Do you know that there isn't actually a registered, legal poison for raccoons? You already knew that though, didn't you? That's why you'd planned to use rat poison to get rid of your new and unwanted friend? The average brown rat — the one you are most likely to encounter in or around your home — weighs up to 200-250 g, although that is on the larger end of the scale. Black rats — the kind that often hang out around shipping yards — they're a little bigger, maybe up to 350 g.

Raccoons are considerably bigger and heavier than rats, males tipping the scales at about 9 or 10 kg, females only a fraction lighter and smaller. Raccoons are somewhere in the region of thirty times the size and weight that raccoons are, which means that you would need to use somewhere in the region of THIRTY times the recommended amount of rat poison to kill them … in theory.

How safe do you think that is, ladies and gentlemen?
That's right; it's not safe at all!

Having just the recommended dosage of rat poison around has proved to be incredibly dangerous, with over ten thousand children accidentally poisoned with rodenticides each year in America. Kids under six are the biggest victims, more likely than their adult counterparts to put brightly-colored objects in their mouths, which rat poison just so happens to be. It's dyed brightly colored so that the dye then changes the color of rat poop. When the rat poop has an orange tinge to it and your dye has a bright orange color to it, you know the two are linked — the rat is eating your poison.

Kids aren't the only ones affected by rodenticides either. You might plan for your poison cocktail to kill just the raccoon that has been giving you grief, but there's a much higher chance that you'll kill other animals instead. Rat poison is specifically designed to be great-tasting for rodents — mice and rats. Having rat poison in your own could actually attract a rodent infestation, rather than getting rid of a raccoon one. That rat infestation will then attract other infestations too - maggots, flies, that kind of thing. Rats and mice also attract snakes, opossums, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, etc.

We have another fun fact for you. In fact, we have two:
1 - Rat poison doesn't work to kill rats. They're immune to the stuff, but because other animals are then eating rats that have high concentrations of poison within them, thousands of other animals are dying as a result. This is happening across the world, including the USA and Europe. The UK has definitely noticed a problem.
2 - Rat poison doesn't kill ANYTHING quickly, so it certainly won't kill your raccoon quickly.

You are probably going to make the raccoon very sick. Very, very sick. It won't die, at least, not at first. It might die in the end, but the process could take days, weeks, months, maybe even years? It will be slow and agonizing. There's nothing humane about that. What's worse? You have absolutely zero control over what happens next. The raccoon might run off into the sunset and die somewhere, or it might curl up in your chimney and die, sending a shocking smell to all of the rooms in your humble abode.

There's a lesson to be learned here — using poison to kill ANY wild animal is bad, including rodents, but to use a rodenticide product against raccoons would be barbaric, and it wouldn't solve your problem.

For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does raccoon removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of raccoons - my main raccoon removal info guide.
Example raccoon trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Raccoon job blog - learn from great examples of raccoon jobs I've done.
Raccoons in the attic - what to do to solve the problem.

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