Pack rats are small-to-medium sized pests of about 12 inches with large eyes and long whiskers, with their tails accounting for about half of their total length. They are also known as woodrats, and they have a brown/grey pelt with a light underbelly. Pack rats are known to steal a variety of items including coins and keys, and then storing them in their nests. They are also responsible for a host of other problems, such as property damage, disease spread, and even attracting other pests into the home.
Signs that you have an infestation
You will usually find pack rats in seasonal homes or buildings such as sheds or barns. The signs that you have an infestation include gnaw marks on various surfaces, small pellet-like droppings, and of course nests. Like with all rodent infestations, you may also notice grease marks across walls and floors, due to the oily substance in the rats’ fur. You may also notice trails through your yard as the pack rats travel around.
Preventing pack rat infestations
Pack rats will find their way into the home using holes as small as half an inch. They are also excellent climbers and will easily find a way into a structure through the roof or attic, so you will have to seal any crack you find on the exterior of the home in order to be 100% covered.
Make sure that you are on the lookout for the infestation signs mentioned above in order to see if you’ve been successful in pest proofing your home. Other prevention tips include removing any food source that might attract a pack rat. Keep food stored in hermetically sealed containers, and make sure that you clean spillages right away and that you clean and rotate your dumpsters regularly. You can also remove any standing water from your property and weather strip your doors and windows to be extra safe.
Habitats and diet
Pack rats are not particularly picky when it comes to habitats. They can be found in climates as diverse as plains, mountains and dry deserts. Basically, if they can find shelter and a food source, they are able to survive in that environment.
In terms of diet, pack rats will prefer to eat nuts, seeds, cereal, fruits and other vegetation. When indoors, they will go after stored grains and cereals, but they may also leave the building in search for outdoor food sources.
Pack rats will breed in the spring, and they will have about three litters per year with a one month gestation period. Newborns are weaned after about four weeks, and it will take about a year for a pack rat to reach maturity. Their total lifespan is around three years.
Do you have a pack rat infestation?
If you have noticed any of the signs of an infestation, or if you’ve seen pack rats on your property, it’s best to take care of the issue as soon as possible. Contact us today to set up an appointment with a pest control specialist.