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The compounds used as rodenticides are tremendously varied in their chemical structure and mechanism of action. With a few exceptions, these agents are generally poisonous to all animals, including man, and a great deal of study has been directed to their toxicity in animals other than rodents. However, the development of new compounds as Norbormide and certain antifertility drugs which are highly selective in their action may justify the hope that the ideal rodenticide free of secondary toxic hazards will soon be available. Until this happy announcement is made, a review of the pharmacology of the older compounds is in order to enable us to understand the limitations on their effectiveness and hazard. The tremendous chemical variety of the compounds precludes any obvious systematic grouping of the compounds for discussion so that I have arbitrarily divided them into Inorganic, Organic, and Fumigants. The discussion of each one is limited to the primary pharmacological mechanism of the toxic action and will only briefly mention interesting but non-essential side effects.