Packrats are actually named Woodrats. They are commonly called Packrats because they collect all kinds of objects and types of material to put in or build their nests. They are especially fond of small, bright, shiny objects.
Primarily nocturnal and vegetarian, desert they survive on a diet of spiny cactus, yucca pods, bark, berries, pinyon nuts, seeds and any available green vegetation. They are one of the few animals that can navigate with impunity between cactus spines to feed on the juicy pads. They rely on succulent plants for their water, since they do not have the refined metabolic and water conservation capabilities of Pocket Mice and Kangaroo Rats.
If you’ve never seen one, packrats are pale buff, gray or reddish brown, usually with white undersides and feet. They have relatively large ears and normally, hairy tails. They can be from 8 to 20 inches long, including their 3- to 9-inch tail.
Here’s the big surprise—desert female packrats can deliver up to five litters each year, delivering up to five newborn baby packrats per litter. The young may open their eyes at 10-12 days and are usually weaned between 14 and 42 days. Most become sexually mature after 60 days.
With this rapid reproductive cycle, your property could quickly become infested. If you’ve spotted packrats on your property, call University Termite and Pest Control to have one of our experts take care of your packrat problems.