Animals or rodents in the attic or kitchen? Rodent droppings in your home? Those scurrying and scampering critter sounds in the attic may well be pack rats. Call your local Critter Control office today at 800 CRITTER for effective pack rat removal and exclusion services. Description Woodrats, commonly called pack rats or trade rats, are found throughout the United States, Mexico, and some parts of Canada. Unlike other species of rats that have scaly tails, pack rats have furry tails. Nocturnal by nature, the pests get their common name from their habit of collecting nonfood items and storing them in a larder near their nests. Appearance Pack rats grow between 15 and 18 inches long and weigh around 7 to 12 ounces. They vary in color, sometimes due to seasonal changes. Dark on top and lighter on the underside, their pelts are gray and can become brown as they age. Juveniles usually have buff or light tan colored fur. Pack rat ears tend to be larger than those of other rat species. Habitat Solitary animals, pack rats behave differently from other species of rats because they typically stay away from human activity. They build their nests in woodlands, grasslands, and even coastal areas. The highly adaptable rodents inhabit mountainous areas, swamps and marshlands, and even abandoned buildings. They can live in extreme climates and are found in deserts as well as colder, more frigid environments. Entry Are pack rats known to enter homes or yards? The pack rat usually occupies densely wooded areas, which makes contact with humans rare. Nevertheless, as human expansion continues, pack rat encounters are on the rise. Furthermore, the pilfering habits of pack rats leads them into homes in search of colorful or shiny items, such as jewelry and eating utensils, which increases the possibility of entry. Pack rats also take up residence in vehicles and farm equipment, where they build large nests and gnaw on electrical wires. Though infrequent home invaders, woodrats have been known to chew and shred upholstered furniture and mattresses to use as nesting materials once inside. Damage Do pack rats harm people or property? Woodrats found near farms and gardens eat growing crops such as carrots, tomatoes, corn, rice, and potatoes. Pack rats are also known carriers of commensal or parasitic organisms, such as various nematodes, fleas, mites, ticks, botflies, and roundworms, which can cause problems for humans and pets. These additional pests carry numerous disease-causing bacteria. Control and Safety Exclusion methods, such as sealing entry points to buildings along the foundation, roof tops, walls, and chimneys, typically prove effective in controlling populations of pack rats. Woodrats are listed as vulnerable on some endangered species lists, but their status usually varies from state to state. Trapping and Removal Pack rats reproduce more slowly and have fewer young than other species of rats. Coupled with the animal's solitary nature, this makes large infestations rare. However, any pack rat problems that occur can be easily taken care of by wildlife control specialists. The trained professionals at Critter Control have the tools and certifications necessary to provide humane and effective pack rat removal services. We can help you get rid of pack rat problems. Call today: 1.800.274.8837.