Fall is a time of dispersal for many of our local wildlife neighbors. So it came as no surprise when we started catching bushy-tailed woodrats (commonly known as packrats) in our live traps that we had set in the cook tent. We knew we were getting visitors checking out the kitchen. While we weren’t sure of the identity of some of them (though we have a better idea now – more about that in another post), others were leaving very definite “calling cards”. Now, first let me make it clear that the packrat is adorable. I don’t mean in a “mousy” sort of way, I mean in a “big eyes and round ears and fluffy tail” sort of way. They register high on the cuteness scale. And, as one guest was surprised to learn, “packrat” is not just a made up name for people who collect things – it came from this furry critter, who will pack away anything they can get their adorable little mitts on. But they have one overriding attribute that makes them an obnoxious tenant (aside from the fact that they make nests under the stove, run off with any item you didn’t nail down, chew holes in towels and potholders, and leave brown “pellets” everywhere). They stink. I don’t mean a mild, slight mousy odor. I mean an acrid, sharp, and lingering odor that permeates anything associated with them. That smell is absolutely and unequivocally not something you can live with. So, as good neighbors do, we assisted our packrat family in relocating.
Helping a Bushy-tailed Woodrat (packrat) move out. September 26, 2009