The pack rat is a small and mighty rodent that can cause a lot of problems for home owners. Pack rats are about 8-20 inches long including the tail and have large ears. Their fur is a brownish gray color all over the body with white fur covering their under belly and feet. They have bushy hair on their tails. The pack rat is nocturnal, but there have been times people have seen them running around in the day time.
They frequent desert areas because of the climate, making the Southwest one popular place for them to reside. They enjoy the desert as well as the forest and can live as far north as Canada in elevations from below sea level up to 8000 feet. Along with having many places to live, the pack rat also has a few different names. Although the rodent is most often referred to as a pack rat, it can also be called trade rat. It belongs to the wood rat rodent family.
A pack rat often uses the Cholla or Beavertail cactus as its home in the desert. The rats pick cacti because they can live inside and be protected from most predators. The pack rat will build a nest inside the cacti, however sometimes the rat will choose to live at the base of the cactus and will make a nest there. The cactus can also offer shade and total coverage depending on the shape and size which is another benefit to the rat.
Even if the rat makes its home outside, there are still potential problems that can occur. For example, the pack rat can have up to five babies in a litter and can reproduce every few months. Pack rats are the carriers of many diseases, making a multitude of them very dangerous. Hiring a professional exterminator right away can help prevent more rats from damaging your house.
The pack rat nest is not your typical nest that a bird would make. It is more similar to a beavers damn. A pack rats nest can be up to four feet long at times and can become dense and heavy. If there are no cacti around, a pack rat will make its nest anywhere on the ground. Pack rats and their nests prove to be very problematic if detected near one’s home. Read on blog about all the problems and damage that can occur from pack rats.
With all the potential problems that these rats can create it is best to call your local pest control company that can handle the proper removal of the rodents. Of course there are home remedies, but getting rid of pack rats can be tricky. Although home remedies for removing pack rats are not recommended for home owners, there are some easy preventative measures you can take around the house to try an avoid initial infestation of pack rats. Some tips for pack rat prevention are posted on our blog.
Picture from www.creativecommons.org