Name: Pack Rat (Neotoma albigula - White-throated wood rat)
Size: up to 15" and 8 oz.
Their nests, or middens, consists of piles of branches, plant material, trash, etc. The dens are then fortified with cactus, particularly cholla. They are known for collecting objects to place in their den. They like shiny objects and will be more than happy to take your watch or jewelry to their den. Mine seem to like taking dog droppings to their nest. Pack rats are also quite happy with eating your landscape plants getting their water from succulents and cacti. They must have shelter to survive and will die with exposure to heat, cold or direct sunlight.
The same pack rat midden may be used for centuries and have provided a valuable resource for paleobotanist and paleoentomologists and well as regular paleontologists, after all a man made piece stolen centuries ago could be in the nest.
I will reiterate the first post: They are VERY DESTRUCTIVE to your house and personal property. If your house is surrounded by natural desert they are an unavoidable inconvenience.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Living out in a natural desert area of Tucson, I am always battling pack rats. At a friends suggestion I will now start posting images of my captured pack rats. I live trap them and then release far away from my house. Although they are VERY destructive they are too cute for me to kill. I will only use live traps because poisons and snap traps kill other non-target animals and you also don't want a poisoned pack rat to crawl somewhere and die and then start stinking. I am considering killing them especially after having to completely rewire the hot tub and because of all the other damage they do.