Pack rats are medium sized rodents, about eight inches in length with a tail slightly shorter than the head and body combined. They may be brown, gray, yellowish or buff, with a more lightly colored underside. Pack rats get their name from their habit of taking small, bright or shiny objects and hoarding them in their nests. They are mainly nocturnal creatures, but may also be active during the day. After establishing themselves in a building, pack rats will forage for food and small items such as coins, jewelry, bottle caps, and bits of foil. Some species are excellent climbers and nest in trees; others are ground nesters and will dig burrows in which to live. Pack rats are associated with a number of diseases that affect humans, including plague and lyme disease. For this reason, dead rats should never be handled using bare hands, and care should be taken to avoid their parasites, especially fleas and ticks. The best ways to prevent invasion of pack rats is to avoid providing harborage that might attract them, and to seal holes and cracks through which they might enter your home.
Tips for controlling and preventing pack rats from seeking food and shelter in your home:
Store firewood as far from the home as possible and store it off the ground.
Remove piles of debris, stones, bricks, etc. that may serve as harborage for rodents and enable them to access the building itself.
Seal any hole or crack larger than ��. Stuff large holes or cracks with steel wool or wire mesh before sealing with caulk or foam, otherwise rodents can chew through to enter.
Install thick weather stripping on the bottom of all doors to prevent rodents from entering. The garage door may prove difficult to seal completely, so the door from the garage to the house should be sealed tightly.