The desert state of Arizona is home to a number of retired Americans, snakes, and many types of cacti. It is also home to a furry little menace we call the pack rat.
This pest is accredited, and rightly so, for the destruction of countless pieces of furniture, telephone wires, and the area where normally food is stored.
Residents of Arizona control this pest by giving it poisonous goodies; hence effectively killing the critters but more often than not this action leads to consequences which affect the natural order.
Are Pack Rats Different From Other Rats?
Pack rats are also known as wood rats, because their habitat is Juniper forests and brush lands. They can be found anywhere from deserts and forests to rocky mountainsides. There are about 22 species of wood rats in the world, seven of which can be found in the North American deserts.
Their fur is grey or reddish brown in color, and they have white feet and belly. They have large ears, and a hairy tail like unlike the roof rats. Including their tail, wood rats can grow up to 8 to 20 inches in length.
Desert wood rats are nocturnal creatures, like all rats. Their diet is vegetarian and consists of spiny cactus, tree bark, berries, pinyon nuts, yucca pods, and seeds.
The life expectancy in a single rat is higher in domesticated areas as compared to the wild. Some desert female pack rats have been known to produce up to five litters of young per year.
What Are They Capable Of?
Pack rats are not any different from other rats. They produce a lot of urine and droppings, and they chew just about anything. Unfortunately for home-owners, that includes wiring, the insides of the air-condition unit, cables, and the contents of your attic and garage.
How to Avoid Pack Rats
- Don’t keep junk or clutter lying in the yard
- Don’t leave pillows and cushions outside
- Don’t leave your grill open.
And don’t ever use or leave poisoned rat bait lying around the house. Chances are the bait will attract other rats, so then you’ll have to contend with more of them than before as a food source.
In addition, natural predators of these rats become victims of secondhand poisoning, which is causing an alarming depletion of such creatures.
Is There Any Alternative Way Of Controlling These Pests?
Yes, there is. You can either buy effective rat traps, which are available in the market to do the job yourself, or hire a pest control agency to clean up the mess. Many pest control agencies exterminate those using methods other than poison, with guaranteed results.