In 2013 the EPA banned the residential use of the active ingredient in most rat and mouse poisons, an anticoagulant chemical called brodifacoum, and all of its close relatives. The ban was put in place to prevent the unintentional death of household pets, as well as wildlife and even the sickness of some children as the pellets they use are very palatable. The ban restricted the poison's use through the use of commercial pest-controllers, as well as its use only in conjunction with bait stations, making the ingestion of the poison by non target species (and children) less likely.
Unfortunately, the manufacturers of the poison refused to comply with these restrictions, and switched the active ingredient to bromethalin, which is currently found in 100% of all rat and rodent poisons found in stores locally (by my independent survey).
The problem is that this new poison is not only more toxic- it is a neurotoxin that is fatal with only a small ingested dose - but it is irreversible, and quick-acting.
The previous anticoagulant rodenticides were relatively slow acting- there was time between ingestion and onset of symptoms, which gave veterinarians and pet owners time to test for and counter-act the poison. It was also treatable if caught early- there is an affordable and highly effective antidote to the poison. The new poison- bromethalin, acts within hours and there is no specific treatment. If an animal becomes sick from the poison, all we can do is offer supportive care and hope that the dose was not enough to cause death.
I am very upset by this change in the poison industry. I think that it is irresponsible and even downright criminal to switch poisons out of no other cause than greed- it would "cost to much" for these manufactures to comply with the new regulations. Instead, they put a poison on the market that is multitudes more dangerous to pets and wildlife than ever before.
I encourage everyone who needs rodent control to boycott any poison with bromethalin as the active ingredient. Your pet's life - or another's - may depend on it.