Pack Rats

What are pack rats?

Pack rats, sometimes referred to as wood rats, aren’t just a single species of rat. It’s a term used to describe all of the rodents that fall in the genus Neotoma. Every pack rat type looks similar, bearing long tails, big black eyes, and ears that seem too large for their heads. All pack rats are significantly larger than mice and slightly larger than Norway Rats.

a pack rat in a kitchen in vail colorado

Are pack rats dangerous?

Pack rats, like all rodents, aren’t a vicious threat to humans. They’re not going to attack you in your sleep or charge at you if they see you. They’re definitely more afraid of you than you are of them, at least for most people! Pack rats do carry a number of diseases that can be spread to pets and people if they’re exposed to the toxins. Additionally, the living conditions of pack rats can cause mold, bacteria, and fungi to grow that may cause serious respiratory issues in humans and pet. Thirdly, most rodents provide a home to flea and tick populations. Fleas and ticks bring with them a whole new layer of danger. The last thing you need in your home is a combination platter of pests!

Why do I have a pack rat problem?

You have a pack rat problem because you exist. No, really. Pack rats are opportunistic and are crafty rodents that will find a weak spot in your foundation or walls to make a home in your attic or basement. Pack rats get their name due to their ability to build nests out of almost anything. If your home, garage, or shed wasn’t there, pack rats would do a bit more work and live under rocks, in caves, or at the base of trees. Your property just makes it easier for them. They will grab loose twigs, sticks, and shiny objects around your home and cram them into a confined space for extra warmth, comfort, and protection. In most scenarios, people fighting with pack rat infestations haven’t actually done anything wrong.

Where will I find pack rats?

Pack rat nests will most commonly be found in your attic, as it is high, dry, warm, and out of site. If your attic isn’t readily available, or it’s already home to other critters, pack rats will often resort to your basement area. In some cases, pack rats actually take up living quarters in the base of a rarely used shed or in the foundation of a home.

How do I get rid of pack rats?

Trapping is the most effective way to remove pack rats on your own. The professionals from RAM Pest Control can come and identify the most likely areas of residence and give you effective residential pest control or commercial pest control solutions. Ask about our wildlife control and exclusion services, as well!

How can I prevent pack rats in the future?

Pack rats are unlike most of the pests and wildlife you may deal with in the state of Colorado. Prevention can be tricky because they’re so opportunistic and intelligent. Here are a few steps you can take to deter them:

  • Keep traps fresh and check them regularly.

  • Don’t provide easy access to leftover food.

  • Use metal garbage cans for outdoor use.

  • Seal off any foundation problems.

For professional pest control solutions for your Aspen and Vail area property, reach out to us at RAM to request your rodent control and prevention plan!


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