When someone says the term pack rat, people likely think of a friend or relative who has trouble letting go of old souvenirs and clothes. Most people likely do not realize the recent population explosion of the rodent known as the pack rat! In fact, Truly Nolen website research shows “How to get rid of pack rats” was the eighth-most visited page for the company’s website in 2015 and 2016, and was the third most visited overall for any insect or rodent.
Pack rats, also referred to as woodrats or trade rats, are typically gray rat-sized mammals with large ears, large dark eyes and a relatively long tail. Although absent from most of the New England area, eight species of pack rats are widely distributed through much of the rest of North America. They are usually found entering homes in the winter to have their offspring, which means this is the exact time of year to be mindful.
In houses, pack rats are active at night, searching for food and nest material. Pack rats are known for their characteristic searching of materials to bring back to their nests creating an ever-expanding collection. As the name “pack rat” implies, they have a tendency to pack away small objects such as jewelry, utensils, can tabs, and other items.
A peculiar characteristic is that if they find something they want, they will drop what they are currently carrying and “trade” it for the new item. They are particularly fond of shiny objects. They can also be quite vocal and boisterous.
Pack rats can cause extensive damage to your property. Not only do pack rats damage and destroy landscaping, they can also chew through wiring, spoil food, and leave behind fecal pellets. They may also shred upholstered furniture and mattresses for lining nests.
In terms of getting rid of pack rats, there are three standard things people can do. The most effective rat control begins with prevention by disposing of trash properly and maintaining sanitary conditions in a home. When pack rats become a problem in and around structures, making sure any openings in the structure foundation and pipes should be sealed as well as checking for openings in attic vents.
The majority of pack rat populations in structures can be controlled by using traps. Pack rats show little fear of new objects in their environment.
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Above content provided by Truly Nolen.