Pack Rats
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.


Eight different species of pack rats live throughout North America, though their common name is officially woodrats. Each species holds a distinct territory and have different appearances and diets based on their distribution. Given the rodents tendency to collect items, like jewelry, cooking utensils, cutlery, can tabs, etc., it is easy to see where they get their names. Additionally, they may also be called trade rats, some species have in fact been know to leave items behind, like pinecones, after taking items.


  • Between 15-18 inches in length
  • Brown to gray in color
  • Hairy tails
  • Fine fur coats
  • Large ears


Pack rats, in their various species, can be found anywhere, all accross the United States. Common habitats include semi-arid brushland, mountain ranges, low valleys, plains, shallow caves, and forests. Pack rats construct homes out of anything they can, sometimes even shredded plant material in the ground, trees, and rocky outcroppings.

Pack Rat Problems


While they don't typically enter human dwellings, pack rats sometimes move into infrequently used structures, such as cabins and specialty vehicles. The rodents don't usually nest in yards, either, as their diets are diverse and peculiar. Private property rarely offers them the means of survival they're used to out in the wild. As such, human and woodrat interaction is only sparingly reported.


Though their contact with humans is very limited, these rodents are capable of destruction. Some species are pests of the agricultural industry because they debark citrus and other fruit trees. They are also carriers of disease, most notably plague, and vectors for fleas, ticks, roundworms, and botflies. Pack rats often shred furniture and destroy other items in search of nest materials and gnaw on electrical wires when they take up residence in scarcely-used vehicles.

Pack Rat Control

Control and Safety

Sanitation is paramount in preventing entry, and buildings should be regularly vacuumed and cleaned. Unnecessary clutter should be removed from attics, basements, and storage areas. Possible points of entry should be sealed by replacing broken window and door screens, adding barriers to chimneys and vents, and calking cracks in the foundation of buildings. Keeping vegetation in yards well-maintained so as to cut down on possible nesting places is also a good practice.

Trapping and Removal

Due to the fact that these wild animals so often carry diseases, pack rats should never be handled by untrained individuals. If there is a rat infestation, professionals should be called to deal with the problem immediately. Critter Control technicians have the tools necessary to trap the rodents safely and in the most humane manner.

We can help you get rid of pack rat problems.  Call today: 1.800.274.8837.


Critter Control of Reno Wildlife Control Service Area

Carnelian Bay, Carson City, Crystal Bay, Dayton, Fallen Leaf Lake, Fernley, Gardnerville, Genoa, Glen Brook, Incline Village, Kings Beach, Kingsbury, Meeks Bay, Meyers, Minden, Reno, South Lake Tahoe, Sparks, Stateline, Tahoe City, Tahoe Vista, Tahoma, Truckee, Virginia City, Zepher Cove, Carson City County, Douglas County, El Dorado County, Lyon County, Nevada County, Placer County, Storey County, Washoe County