As a symptom of urbanization, DC is home to large rat and mice populations. There are many ways that people choose to deal with these pest species, including rodenticide. Unfortunately, rodenticide is inhumane and extremely dangerous, especially for wildlife.
Rodenticide causes a slow and painful death. Once ingested, it can take up to ten days for the victim to die. Rodenticide works by affecting the blood’s ability to clot. This leads to internal bleeding. Over time, the rodent becomes weaker and weaker, making it more susceptible to predators. If a predator, such as a hawk or a fox, ingests prey that has consumed rodenticide, the predator becomes poisoned as well and eventually dies. Rodenticide bait is not only enticing to rodent pests; it can also attract songbirds, squirrels, and other wildlife that think they’re just eating a tasty treat. Every year, City Wildlife admits several patients that have been unintentionally sickened by rodenticide.
Please refrain from using rodenticide; you could save many innocent lives!
To learn about humane options to remove rats and mice, please visit the Humane Society of the United States website at https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/what-do-about-wild-rats and https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/what-do-about-wild-mice.
As always, if you find a sick wild animal, please contact City Wildlife at 202-882-1000.