Anyone who knows me, knows that my dogs, Jack & Sabine, are more than just pets. A few months ago I was having a problem with mice. I live in a historic building and from time to time critters make their way inside. The problem was getting overwhelming so I contacted Terminix Pest Control in Rock Island, Illinois. Of course, my first concern was that any pest control was safe for my dogs.
I was reassured by the initial salesman that the mouse bait they used was not a poison, but a desiccant which was described to me as “non-toxic”. I was told that the bait trap was designed so that dogs could not open it and even if by some rare circumstance they got it open, the bait inside was “non-toxic”.
The bait traps had been in my house for 3 months with no problem. The dogs had never tried to access them where they were placed under furniture and in a closet. On Wednesday September 9th, 2020, I arrived home after being gone for 1 hour. I immediately saw the chewed up bait trap when I entered the house. And when I picked it up, it was empty. I panicked and frantically looked around for the bait blocks but they were nowhere to be found. Either one or both of my dogs had eaten them!
The first thing I did was call my local Terminix sales rep and asked him to send me the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on the bait. He assured me that the bait was “non-toxic” and that the dogs would be fine even if they had ingested it. He told me that “other dogs had eaten the bait with no problem, and it was a desiccant and not a poison.” I asked him several times about the contents of the bait block and he repeatedly told me that “it was a desiccant, not a poison and was non-toxic”. I told him I was going to take my dogs to the vet and he expressed his viewpoint that it was not necessary and said to me, “they’ll be fine.”
Jack & Sabine seemed fine, not distressed, but just to be safe I took them to my local vet. They were not fine. I showed my vet the MSDS and she immediately took Jack & Sabine into the back. When she returned 10 minutes later she explained to me that the active ingredient in the bait block was an anticoagulant called Bromadiolone. It wasn’t the worst poison they could have ingested but it was definitely dangerous and toxic.
Jack & Sabine had been poisoned by a product that Terminix had assured me was safe, non-toxic, and not a poison.
At the vet they were given emergency treatment for poisoning which entailed intravenous medication to force vomiting and empty their stomachs, fluids, and ingested charcoal to absorb any poison left in their system. The green dye in the bait was evident when both Jack & Sabine vomited. They had each eaten a block of bait.
Jack & Sabine will survive, but medical intervention was immediately necessary. The aftercare will last another 30 days. Each dog will need 4 pills per day of Vitamin K. This is to build up their clotting factor. After a month blood tests will be preformed to make sure their clotting factor is back to normal.
This is what I learned from my vet. Bromadiolone is a TOXIC anticoagulant that takes 3 days to break down an animal’s system. That means that it would take 3 days for your pet to appear unwell and for signs of internal and external bleeding to appear. Treatment at that time is more difficult to manage. I am so grateful to the staff at my vet’s office for saving Jack & Sabine. I cannot imagine life without them or to lose them in such a senseless way.
I am beyond furious with Terminix for lying to me about their product. I would have never had those bait traps in my house if I had known it was poison. The number of times I was reassured that the bait was a desiccant and not poison is frightening. I shudder to think how many people across American use Terminix and are given a false sense of security thinking that the bait in the mouse stations is safe.
Please share this page so that I can get the word out to other pet owners about the risk of poisoning from Terminix mouse bait stations.