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2015: Strong El Niño Leads to The Year of the Pack Rat

When someone says the term pack rat, people likely think of a friend or relative who has trouble letting go of old souvenirs and clothes. Most people likely do not realize 2015 was the year of the rodent known as the pack rat! In fact, Truly Nolen website research shows “How to get rid of pack rats” was the eighth-most visited page for the company’s website in 2015 and the most visited one overall for any insect or rodent.

Pack rats, also referred to as woodrats or trade rats, are typically gray rat-sized mammals with large ears, large dark eyes and a relatively long tail. Although absent from most of the New England area, eight species of pack rats are widely distributed through much of the rest of North America. They are usually found entering homes in the winter to have their offspring, which means this is the exact time of year to be mindful.

“With El Niño on track to be one of the three strongest ever over the last 70 years according to NOAA, it should come as no surprise that pack rats became more common this year in terms of our service calls as well as people wanting to find information about them online,” said Scott Nolen, Truly Nolen Pest Control CEO/President.

In houses, pack rats are active at night, searching for food and nest material. Pack rats are known for their characteristic searching of materials to bring back to their nests creating an ever-expanding collection. As the name “pack rat” implies, they have a tendency to pack away small objects such as jewelry, utensils, can tabs, and other items.

 A peculiar characteristic is that if they find something they want, they will drop what they are currently carrying and “trade” it for the new item. They are particularly fond of shiny objects. They can also be quite vocal and boisterous.

Pack rats can cause extensive damage to your property. Not only do pack rats damage and destroy landscaping, they can also chew through wiring, spoil food, and leave behind fecal pellets. They may also shred upholstered furniture and mattresses for lining nests.

In terms of getting rid of pack rats, there are three standard things people can do. “The most effective rat control begins with prevention by disposing of trash properly and maintaining sanitary conditions in a home,” said Nolen. “When pack rats become a problem in and around structures, making sure any openings in the structure foundation and pipes should be sealed as well as checking for openings in attic vents.”

The majority of pack rat populations in structures can be controlled by using traps. “Pack rats show little fear of new objects in their environment,” said Nolen.

For more information about pack rats, visit our pest identifier page at http://www.trulynolen.com/pest-identifier/, or to take care of your pack rat problem, call one of our local branches to schedule an inspection.

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

History of the Model T

keep your pets pest free this season

Behold it is I, the one and only “Tin Lizzie”, the single most influential automobile in history. It was the year 1908 and Mr. Henry Ford and his automobile company had given birth to me and, if I do say so myself, I was quite the creation.

You see to the common working class American, an automobile was an unheard of luxury. Cars were still very scarce and expensive, thus making their adoptability limited, however I was able to change this the minute I rolled off the assembly line. Not only was I affordable to the average working class American, but I was reliable and easy to maintain. Mr. Ford developed the most crucial parts of my body out of a lightweight steel alloy known as Vanadium, which was important at the time because in 1908 there were only about 18,000 miles of paved roads in the U.S.!

Other Fun Facts:

  • The selling price of the Model T dropped from $800 in 1908 to under $300 by 1925.
  • Ford still hadn’t developed a logo, Henry Ford’s signature (pictured below) was placed on the front of the car.
  • At first a choice of colors were available, but from 1913-1925 the car was mass-produced in only black.
  • The engine generated 20 horsepower and propelled the car to a top speed of 40–45 miles per hour.
  • The Ford Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century in the 1999 “Car of the Century” competition and still makes top ten list of most sold cars (ranked 8th) as of 2012.

Henry Ford Signature