pack rat

Arizona

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Arizona pack rat infestations

People with too much stuff aren’t the only pack rats. Arizona is home to a large number of these desert-dwelling rodents. Unfortunately, our communities are becoming more attractive to the pack rat population than their native desert habitats. Find out how proper pest control practices can keep these nuisances off your property.

The pack rat is common in the Arizona desert areas. Arizona pack rats are different in appearance than other types of rats. Pack rats have long tails that are covered in fur, white feet, and a white underbelly. The Arizona pack rat may also be larger than other types of rats, growing up to eight inches in length.

If you have a rodent problem, Western Exterminator knows how to solve it. Contact us today at 800-937-8398 or get in touch with us online.

Pack rat habits and habitat

Pack rats differ greatly from many species of wildlife in that they often live alone. A single pack rat can give birth every six to eight weeks to litters of two to six rats, however, and the offspring can multiply six to eight weeks after that. With this short cycle, an infestation can occur very quickly. Pack rats are nest builders that generally choose high cliffs, caves, or tree branches when in the wild. In the home, pack rats will usually choose attics or other high areas. When building a nest, pack rats will use any available debris or materials.

Heading to the suburbs

These rats are part of the desert ecosystem but often migrate to neighboring communities. Life is hard in the desert for these small animals, as they’re on the menu for bobcats, owls, and other larger predators. The suburbs offer access to fleshier cacti and better nesting opportunities.

Vocalization and noise

Pack rats can be very vocal and noisy, especially when building a nest. This noise is often what alerts owners to the possibility of an infestation. The excessive noise can be an annoyance for homeowners.

Pack rat infestation dangers

Pack rats may carry parasites and disease, which can be dangerous for pets and people. Pack rat urine and feces can also cause disease. Pack rat nests are often covered in urine and feces, making it dangerous to remove nests without the help of a professional. Pack rat nests may also harbor spiders, scorpions, fleas, ticks, and kissing bugs.

Pack rat home damage

This type of rat may not bite, emit venom, or look as threatening as many other rodents. However, the damage a pack rat can do to your property makes it a serious hazard. Since pack rats often get into attics and other enclosed areas of the home, extensive damage to wiring and insulation is common. Although they make nests outside, they go indoors mainly to chew.

Pack rats may also damage items stored in nesting areas and use materials for nests. Anything stored in areas where pack rats have nested runs the risks of being contaminated with pack rat feces or urine.

Become pack rat-resistant

Make your home less attractive to these annoying rodents. 

Clear seed pods and other debris from your lawn, and get rid of boxes and other clutter. The pack rat hates sunlight, so nests are usually found in dark, hidden spaces or beneath cacti. Their nests usually consist of leaves, seed pods, and other decaying natural materials. If you find a nest, sweep it away, seal it off, or expose it to light. Try these other tips as well:

  • Screen your attic
  • Place lighting around your property
  • Store patio furniture cushions at night
  • Ensure that your grill lid is tightly closed

Controlling pack rat infestations

Using poison or baits to control pack rat infestations in Arizona is discouraged, as pack rats are natural prey for many species of wildlife. The poison used to kill the pack rat will kill predators that feed on pack rats, which can unintentionally cause a larger pack rat infestation in the area and kill endangered species. Live trapping by a licensed professional is recommended for pack rat infestations.

Live trapping for pack rats

Live trapping is generally considered to be the most effective and humane way to control pack rat infestations. Traps are set in the area of pack rat nests within the home, and exterminators check the traps periodically to remove and release the rats. This system will continue until all rats have been successfully removed.

Pack rat elimination follow up

After the pack rat infestation has been eliminated, it is important to take steps to prevent further infestations. All possible entry points into the home should be sealed off. This may include roof intersects, air intake vents, and bird screens. Pack rat nests should also be removed by professionals and the area should be sanitized and cleaned well.

Get rid of pack rats with Western Exterminator

In addition to finding nests, you may notice that your patio furniture pillows have been chewed. Other signs of an infestation include rat pellets and the sound of scurrying feet above you. If you think you have a pack rat living on your property, don’t try to poison it. This DIY method is unsafe and ineffective on many levels.

Pack rats can do a lot of damage to your home and belongings. Instead of going it alone, call in the professionals at Western Exterminator. We provide pest control treatments that get results without endangering people and other animals in Arizona communities.

Western Exterminator rodent experts can control rodents and help you know how to keep them from coming back. If you think you’ve got rodents at your home or business, contact us today.