Pack rats, officially known as woodrats, are common rodents found in Phoenix, Tucson, and throughout Southern Arizona. They are known for their hoarding behavior and are considered a nuisance and destructive by property owners. In this article, we will discuss the basic identification of pack rats, the health and safety risks associated with them, why they infest homes, how they get in, and other useful information to help you avoid pack rat problems.
Pack rat identification
Pack rats are typically gray or brown in color and have large ears and eyes. From the tip of the nose to the end of the tail, they typically measure 12-16 inches long and can weigh up to one pound. One of the most distinctive features of pack rats is their long, bushy tails that are often darker than their bodies. They are called pack rats because of their tendency to collect and hoard various objects such as twigs, leaves, and small rocks.
Health & safety risks associated with pack rats
Pack rats can carry a variety of diseases and parasites that can be harmful to humans, including hantavirus, tularemia, and plague. They can also bring other pests into Arizona homes, such as fleas and ticks, that can transmit diseases to both humans and pets. In addition, their droppings can contaminate food and water sources, leading to illness.
Like other types of rodents, pack rats can also cause damage to homes and buildings by chewing through electrical wires and insulation, which can create a fire hazard. They can also damage ductwork, furniture, and other household items with their constant chewing and hoarding behavior.
Why pack rats infest homes
Pack rats are attracted to homes for several reasons. One of the main reasons is the availability of food and water sources including, but not limited to, pet food bowls and leaky faucets. Additionally, pack rats are attracted to cluttered and unkempt yards that provide ample hiding places and materials for their nests.
How pack rats get inside
Pack rats slip into homes through small cracks and openings along the exterior, including gaps in the foundation and around windows and doors. They are also skilled climbers and can climb up trees and enter through the roof and through attic vents.
How to prevent pack rats and other rodents from infesting
In order to avoid damage and health risks associated with pack rats and mice, we recommend the following rodent prevention tips:
- Keep your yard clean and clutter-free
- Store firewood and other materials off the ground and away from the home
- Seal all openings and gaps in your home's foundation, windows, and doors
- Trim trees and shrubs away from the home to eliminate climbing opportunities
- Cover attic vents and other openings with screening, steel wool, or other material/products designed to withstand these pests
Contact Northwest Exterminating for help getting rid of packs
Since pack rats are a common problem for homeowners in Southern Arizona – ones that carry diseases and parasites, cause damage to your home, and steal your peace of mind- Northwest Exterminating offers effective rodent control services that resolve rat problems, no matter how severe.
In fact, our smart home pest control services in the Phoenix and Tucson metros that include digital rodent monitoring and non-toxic pest control solutions.
In addition to our year-round home pest control services, we offer Desert Guard, a rodent and pest exclusion plan designed specifically for Arizona’s unique desert environment. This service is designed to stop rodents and other desert-loving pests before they become a problem
For more information about our rodent control services that include trapping, harborage removal, exclusion, and other highly effective solutions, please reach out today!
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