Eight different species of pack rats live throughout North America, though their common name is officially woodrats. Eastern, whitethroat, southern plains, bushytail, Mexican, desert, dusky-footed, and Stephens woodrats all hold distinct territories in the Nearctic region and have different appearances and diets based on their distribution. The rodents get the name pack rat from their tendency to collect items like jewelry, cooking utensils, cutlery, and can tabs. Additionally, they may be called trade rats because some species leave items behind, like pinecones, instead of just taking.
Pack Rat Removal
Since they carry diseases and are wild animals, pack rats should never be handled by untrained individuals. If there is a woodrat infestation, professionals should be called to deal with the problem. Critter Control technicians have the tools necessary to trap the rodents safely and humanely.
Control and Safety
Means of pack rat prevention are very similar to those of Norway and roof rats. Sanitation is paramount and buildings should be regularly vacuumed. Unnecessary clutter should be removed from attics and basements. Possible points of entry should be sealed by replacing a broken window and door screens, adding barriers to chimneys and vents, and caulking cracks in the foundation of buildings. Finally, keep vegetation in yards well-maintained so as to cut down on possible nesting places.
Are pack rats known to enter homes or yards?
The pack rat usually occupies densely wooded areas, which makes contact with humans rare. Nevertheless, as human expansion continues, pack rat encounters are on the rise. Furthermore, the pilfering habits of pack rats lead them into homes in search of colorful or shiny items, such as jewelry and eating utensils, which increases the possibility of entry.
Pack rats also take up residence in vehicles and farm equipment, where they build large nests and gnaw on electrical wires. Though infrequent home invaders, woodrats have been known to chew and shred upholstered furniture and mattresses to use as nesting materials once inside.
Do pack rats harm people or property?
Woodrats found near farms and gardens eat growing crops such as carrots, tomatoes, corn, rice, and potatoes. Pack rats are also known carriers of commensal or parasitic organisms, such as various nematodes, fleas, mites, ticks, botflies, and roundworms, which can cause problems for humans and pets. These additional pests carry numerous disease-causing bacteria.