- Colour Brownish grey
- Size About 30 cm long, nose to tail
- Also known as Wood rats
- Description Have large eyes and long whiskers, with tails that are half the length of their body. Its underbelly is a lighter colour.
Why do I have pack rats?
Pack rats, also called wood rats, can survive anywhere there is shelter and food, from dry deserts, mountains, and plains to your home and yard.
They are excellent climbers and usually make nests in attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Outside, pack rats eat vegetation, seeds, nuts, and fruits. Once indoors, they add stored cereals and grains to their diet.
How worried should I be about pack rats?
Pack rats make massive multi-layer nests, which feature "middens", central sections consisting of branches, debris, and small stones held together by pack rat urine and feces. These middens often attract cockroaches and other pests.
These rats will also rip up mattresses and furniture, to use the soft padding to line their nests, and steal and store household items, especially trash and metallic objects, such as utensils, coins, keys, and jewellery.
Like all rats, pack rats can transmit many diseases, as well as contaminating food with their faeces, saliva, and urine and the parasites like mites and ticks that they carry with them.
Pack rats give birth to much smaller litters than other rats, producing only two or three offspring at a time, so in theory an infestation should be more manageable. However, they live much longer than other rats, with an average lifespan of about three years, so can stick around.
Take measures to try to prevent pack rats entering your home, but once inside, it's crucial to get the help of a professional pest control service, to set up traps, bait, and a sanitation program.
How can I prevent pack rats invading?
Check wiring for chew marks and gnawing, Check the walls for rubbing marks or holes, Look out for small, pellet-like droppings, Keep food preparation areas clean, Clean up spills and crumbs immediately, Remove food sources, including bird feeders, Clean and rotate dumpsters regularly, Make sure trash cans are covered tightly, Trim back vegetation from building exterior, Seal any cracks or holes with caulk or foam, Fix leaky soda or ice machines and HVAC units, Remove any standing water outside, Don't leave doors open for a long time, Install weather strips around doors and windows
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