Pack Rats In Massachusetts: Know The Signs

August 1, 2022

norway rat in rope

In: Rodents

Rodents are mammals of the Order Rodentia that includes mice, rats, squirrels, and several other potentially bothersome creatures. Rodents have front teeth (incisors) that grow continually and motivate them to chew on things constantly. The habit of chewing is particularly a concern for property owners when these pests gnaw on wiring, cabling, and other materials within a home or business.

Rats are among the most common types of rodents that create problems for property owners. Rats will damage materials including insulation and drywall, contaminate food, and leave trails of excrement. Among the most common rat species include Norway rats, roof rats, and pack rats.

Pack rats (Neotoma spp.), also commonly referred to as woodrats or trade rats, exist in several species throughout North America. Pack rats are best known for busily gathering various objects and materials for constructing nests.

What do pack rats eat? Pack rats usually eat a vegetarian diet consisting of berries, nuts, seeds, bark, and many of the foods that humans consume.  Unlike some rodents that drink from sources of freshwater, pack rats obtain the water needed for survival from the foods they eat. Pack rats are generally nocturnal, which may limit their exposure to several predators, including foxes, snakes, owls, cats, etc.

Do you suspect that rats have entered your property? A Western Massachusetts pest control professional has the training needed and remains well-equipped with what gets rid of rats and how to keep pack rats away from your property.

Is This A Pack Rat?

Pack rats usually have soft fur that appears in shades of red, brown, or grey with a lighter colored underside and feet. Other characteristics of pack rats include large eyes, long whiskers, and they have a body length ranging from five to ten inches, and a long, hairy tail. Pack rats have excellent climbing and digging skills.

Rooting Pack Rats Out From Under My Home

Once pack rats establish a nest below a home or deck, they can be problematic. Among the most effective ways of ousting pack rats from below property is using snap traps; however, significant infestations should be treated by a pest control professional.

To prevent packrats from accessing spaces below your property, fill any small crevices with caulk or sealant. Fill uncovered vents or utility pass-throughs with durable mesh.

Seven Signs Of A Pack Rat Infestation

It is important to understand the various common signs of a possible pack rat infestation, such as:

  1. As nocturnal creatures, property owners might hear these pests scurrying about at night in attics or crawlspaces.
  2. Packrats actively build nests, and homeowners often notice missing or damaged objects or materials used for construction.
  3. Packrats also create durable barriers to shield the nest that usually consist of twigs and other somewhat durable materials.
  4. As with the majority of rodents, you might see (and smell) their droppings.
  5. Evidence of gnawing on wires, cables, and other materials.
  6. Female pack rats care for their offspring in the nest for approximately four weeks.
  7. Look for small trails of footprints on floors from packrat activity.

Early detection is critical for homeowners, as pack rats will reproduce quickly, and somewhat minor problems can quickly develop into full-blown infestations.

Complete Rat Removal Services For Western Massachusetts Residents

The experts with American Pest Solutions know how to get rid of pack rats and the best ways of preventing them from returning. Our seasoned team of professionals understands how pack rats and the other types of undesirable rodents behave and know the best strategies for ousting them quickly. Contact our office today to schedule an onsite property inspection. 

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