Poisoned rats die slowly.
As they stagger about in a poison-filled haze, they become easy prey for a predator, who thinks they’ve hit the jack-pot with a slow-moving discombobulated meal. But then the predator (a coyote, a hawk, an owl or another rat/mouse-eater) ingests the poison from their delicious meal, and they die. That’s the food chain. If the food nourishes one way moving up the food chain, then poison will follow the same trail.
How does this promote the rat population?
While rats are constantly breeding (5x/year) with big liters (14), the larger predators may mate only once or twice per year with smaller numbers of off-spring. Therefore, if one of these natural predators dies from eating a poisoned meal, that is now removing a predator that would typically eat at least 1-2 rats per day: removing the natural population control. Also, the predator death greatly impacts their own specie’s population due to their lower rates of reproduction, so it takes longer for them to get their population back up. The rats thus have plenty of time for increasing their population.
As outlined by the Wildlife Care of SoCal, formerly the Wildlife Care of Ventura County, which has an excellent brochure on these problems that the use rat poison causes, it’s much better to let the natural food chain and its built-in checks and balances keep the rat population in line. And I do say “in line” rather than eradicated, because the predator animals will still need something to eat.
Similar to the reason for not throwing apple cores out the car window from a previous post – information and some good ol’ reflection helps bring awareness to how our habits impact the world at large all around us. This awareness allows us to change our habits, thus empowering us to make a difference.
Choosing not to use rat poison is a practice in the yogic principle of ahimsa, or non-violence.
It is also a practice of Brahmacharya, which means “non-excess” or “being constantly aware of the universe,” as this information allows me to see, right now, how my actions are a part of a bigger picture, impacting those around me, big and small.
This constant education allows me to adapt and grow as new information presents itself.