Pack Rat Control
As if rodent activity was not already bad enough, pack rat thieves’ key features make their presence even more irritating. Packrats are similar to many other rats regarding behavior, except they are infamous for stealing shiny objects. A packrat always collects shiny things like jewelry, coins, or bottle caps. Once they find something worth keeping, they return to their nests and add them to their collection. If one came across a packrat nest, one would see a hoarded miscellaneous item collection. Their thievery aside, pack rats have known disease spreaders and still can cause damage to the internals of homes. These rodents are extremely difficult to find, which makes pack rat control a challenge. As a result, they tend to live isolated lives building their nests and adding to their collection of found items in solidarity.
What Are Pack Rats?
Pack rats also referred to as “wood rats” or “trade rats,” are small rodents throughout North America. There are twenty-five different subspecies of pack rats that stem from the genus Neotoma.
Packrats are not significant; they are about 10.5 to 18 inches long and weigh anywhere from 10-20 ounces. They come in various colors spanning from grayish to cinnamon brown and even sometimes orange. Their tails are generally shorter than their bodies but are bushy like a squirrel.
Where to Find Them?
Finding pack rats is quite a challenge as they prefer areas that are low in traffic and activity. They will build their nests and live in isolation in places like attics or basements. They are also known for taking up residency in unoccupied sheds, cabins, or just hidden in wooded areas.
The Dangers of Pack Rats
Though they may not seem like they are an immediate safety threat, having pack rats around the home can become troublesome. Like many other rodents, pack rats will tear apart wires, insulation, and gnaw on siding and other wooded areas.
Pack rats carry and transmit diseases harmful to human health, like Lyme disease, plague, or hantavirus. These diseases transmit through their urine and feces, which they leave anywhere they walk. The other issue with pack rats is the nests they create. These nests consist of sticks, leaves, and other miscellaneous items held together by their crystallized urine and feces. The concerning issue pack rat’s nests pose the ability to attract other pests. OMNIS provides excellent wood rat control to prevent them from coming back, once removed.
Snakes, coyotes, cockroaches, and other bugs will swarm to the area. Some of these pests are not immediate threats, but any increase in activity will create future problems.
Controlling Pack Rats
Pack rat control can pose a difficult challenge even for experts at times. They are masters in the art of evasiveness. The majority of their activity occurs at night, where they can reduce the chances of predators catching them.
Like most other rodents, a solid baiting and trapping program will be the best route possible for stopping an infestation. Fortunately, packrats do not typically have quick breeding cycles and only produce 2-3 babies per litter. These low numbers make infestations less of a worry and lessen the likelihood of trapping current pack rat residents.
The following tips will help reduce packrat and other rodent activity around the home.
- Fill in gaps/holes that exceed ¼ inches
- Use metal garbage cans
- Do not leave out any excess food
- Reduce harborage areas like piles of wood or stones
- Use good weather stripping around doors