Mouse baits can pose a hazard to humans

Edible baits such as chemical products to control rodents can pose a risk to human health. For this reason, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has published a leaflet on the safe use of mouse baits. “Mouse baits can be particularly dangerous, if they get into the hands of children”, says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. “Chemical means of rodent control should therefore always be a last choice. Before using such baits, non-chemical alternatives should be explored, for example traps.” The BfR leaflet offers health protection advice for consumers.

If used improperly, mouse baits can be poisonous and / or harmful to humans. It is therefore important to avoid any unnecessary contact with the bait and to keep the product away from children and from domestic and wild animals. Nor must the bait come into contact with food, beverages or feed. If the bait is swallowed accidentally, an emergency physician must be called and the label or packaging of the bait must be shown to the doctor. The BfR emphasises that in order to avoid any health risks, the instructions on the bait must be read carefully before the product is used for the first time.

All persons who use the building where the mouse bait is used must be informed that bait has been placed there and be made aware about its risk potential and precautions to be taken. Spilled bait or mice that are found dead must not be touched with the naked hand. Instead, they should be put in a bag and disposed of as household rubbish. To ensure that children, domestic and wild animals are not put at risk, the poison must not be placed openly. Instead, it must be put into bait stations in the immediate vicinity of buildings. 

Bait is neither intended for prevention nor to determine the extent of infestation. Instead, to prevent mouse infestation, potential food sources such as food, feed, compost or rubbish must be stored in such a way that mice cannot get to it. Potential hiding places such as rubbish and bushes should also be eliminated around the building, and access to the house such as gaps, holes or cat doors should be closed off.

The leaflet “Safe Use of Mouse Bait” can be downloaded at content not available . The leaflet is in German.

About the BfR

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.


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