A “pack rat” kind of person is a person who holds onto everything and never throws things away. The real pack rats are similar to humans, but they actually steal what people have in their homes and use what ever it is to help them build their nest. Anything from cactus, branches, toys, garbage or what ever else a pack rat can get its claws on becomes material for the nest.
Like thieves, pack rats like shiny objects. If a rat was on its way to the nest with a material and saw something shiny, the rat would drop the original object to get the shiny object and would come back for what the original object at a later time. Generally, people discover they have pack rats by the bite marks the rats leave when tearing away household possessions. Some small objects that the rat can carry completely disappear. Imagine all the random stuff a pack rat uses to build its nest!
When a pack rat builds a nest outside it’s a completely different story. Most of the items they use to make the nest come from the wilderness, including items such as animal feces. Also, many times the nest will be built with in or close to cacti. Not only do the rats use cacti for food and protection but they also use it as a home front. Here’s a perfect example of what it would look like if you have a desert landscape.
The unfortunate part about having a nest on or near your home is that the nest can become home to other animals. Kissing bugs, also known as Mexican bed bugs, can habitate the pack rat nest. The kissing bug is harmful because its bite is seriously dangerous and painful; some people say it is worse than being bitten by a scorpion. Although the kissing bug is known for shacking up in the pack rats nest, more insects are sure to follow like mice, spiders, ticks, snakes, fleas or lice. These pack rat nests are definitely a home owner’s worst nightmare, especially if they are inside the home. Not only is their nest a nasty place to live, but the pack rat spreads diseases. Read more about the diseases pack rats carry on our blog posting.
Picture from www.creativecommons.org