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Rodenticides are a broad class of pesticides designed to kill small mammals such as rats and mice. Some rodenticides are anticoagulants and work by inhibiting blood-clotting; these are often used to control rat populations. One of the first anticoagulant rodenticides was warfarin, which is related to plant-derived coumadin (from spoiled sweet clover). In
the 1950s rats developed resistance to warfarin, which prompted scientists to develop more potent anticoagulants, which are termed second-generation anticoagulants. Other rodenticides include fluoroacetic acid and zinc phosphide (which are both very toxic), and thiourea-based compounds.

One of the problems of rodenticides is that they may also harm wildlife that mistake pesticide-containing baits or pellets for food. Wildlife, such as wolves or birds of prey, may also be harmed by eating rodents or other animals that have been poisoned. The primary alternative to using chemical rodenticides is trapping.

Next: Biological Properties of Molluscicides

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