Dealing with Packrats

| 7/29/2016 4:35:00 PM

Tags: rodent control, pack rats, trapping rats, Bruce McElmurray, Colorado,

Common pack rat or wood rat.

Packrats Can Disable a Vehicle

Even though we live remotely in the mountains with bear, coyote, mountain lion, deer, elk, and bobcats, the lowly little packrat may be the most dangerous critter we face. Packrats, or also called woodrats, are numerous in our area with good habitat and, hence, we have to deal with them about this time each year.

The packrat seeks out nesting areas to raise its young and be safe throughout the winter during hibernation. They especially seem to like closed areas, like under the hood of vehicles. We, therefore, prop the hood up so it is somewhat open.

In the 20 years we have lived here, only once did I neglect to prop the hood up, and when I remembered the next morning and went to look under the hood, sure enough, there was a packrat nest under the hood with vacuum hoses chewed up and part of the nest. Most often, they will chew up wiring or the wiring harness which can be very costly to have repaired.

Using Live Traps

I prefer to trap them alive in a live trap similar to the one in the photo. We also have field mice and voles that can go into the live trap, eat all the bait and then slip out through the crack in the trap door. That makes catching rats more difficult and takes longer.

I do not like killing animals — even destructive ones like the packrat. Occasionally, I will have to utilize a snap trap when the packrat is skilled in raiding the live trap and keeps escaping successfully.

8/4/2016 2:32:30 PM

Those are excellent suggestions. I'm looking forward to trying the multi colored thread. Thank you for sharing that technique...

8/3/2016 5:26:10 PM

We live in the mountains of Colorado and like you, have deer, coyotes, bob cats, mountain lions, bears, badgers, and packrats. I've spent just over $1000 over the past three years on truck repairs thanks to those critters. One thing I wanted to note here is that peanut butter works well on mice, I've had packrats that ignored it several times over. One thing a packrat won't turn down though is a clump of threads. I've caught several since I've started using this strategy. I use multicolored threads just jumbled together and a packrat just can't seem to resist it. I just started this last fall, and have a success rate of 100%. Also, I use the flashing light under the hood of my truck and the packrats left.

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