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Old 05-21-2013, 02:28 PM   #1
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Pack Rats

We are semi-permanent near Phoenix. Have a serious pack rat issue. We don't want to use poison for usual reasons - humane reasons, other wildlife, stinking dead bodies. I tried peppermint oil, Fresh Cab (I have a great photo of beautiful cotton ball nest next to Fresh Cab, but don't know how to post it here). Have live trapped two and relocated them. Will keep doing that but it's too slow. Leaving little lights on around the area in the coach helped, but that's too much of a bandaide approach.

Is it at all possible to plug all the openings? I'm ready to try the electronic repellents. And I read on some thread here, that I can no longer find, about something to paint under the carriage? Any other suggestions? Moving not an option right now. I'm thinking lights on timers around the outside and also inside. ????
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:27 PM   #2
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Hard to plug all openings to keep mice out, but packrats are a lot bigger so I would have thought their entry holes would be more obvious.
They are persistent though. We had a pair build a grass nest on top of the engine while they travelled with us for a couple of weeks. Every long stop on the road side they used to run down and collect more grass. Finally managed to slow them down enough to catch them inside the engine bay - by spraying them with ether-based aerostart.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:43 PM   #3
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You didn't describe where you are finding the pack rats but we had a problem with rodents in our engine compartment and on top of our batteries when we are at several of our desert locations we stay. We also witnessed a neighbor at one RV park have rodents eat quite a bit of the wiring in his rig and that scared us.

We tried some of the audible electronic repellants but none really worked well. We did use one the seemed pretty effective (click, you can get them at about $30 at Walmart and Amazon) but was extremely noisy and the sound bothered our neighbors more than it bothered us.

Now we use the blinking light of the Rid-A-Rat (click) which are quite pricey but seem to work well. We use one in the engine compartment and one in the battery compartment and have had no signs of droppings or any rodent evidence anywhere in the rig since using these. They are designed for use in Arizona and mostly sold there. There are other strobing-light repellants out there too but most are designed for house and attic use.

Pack rats especially like dark places to build nests and to chew wires and insulation so these lights are very irritating to them and I think they avoid our rig entirely and go on to the next one they can find a nice dark place to hang out.

If they are in other places than your engine or battery compartment, then maybe this won't work as you may need to use a number of them to be effective.

-harry
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frazierdee View Post
We are semi-permanent near Phoenix. Have a serious pack rat issue. We don't want to use poison for usual reasons - humane reasons, other wildlife, stinking dead bodies. ????
No poison???
One word DCON!....(they are RATS after all)!
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:08 PM   #5
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They hate moth balls! I fabricated a small (2"x2"x4") box out of hardware cloth and wrap moth balls in a paper towel. Place it in the engine compartment or where ever they are getting in.

They can and do cause serious damage to electrical wiring. Not to mention the stink!

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Old 05-21-2013, 11:17 PM   #6
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We put rope lights all the way around the motorhome and plug them in at nights, seems to work really well.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:12 AM   #7
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I so love all the interactions here. He/she tries so hard to get a nest under one of the kitchen counter draws. Every day I check it, and vacuum all the work out, sprinkle peppermint oil, move the Fresh Cab packet around. Tonight I am setting up lights in the living room., one in the drawer, one behind the couch - I am thinking it might come in thru a slide opening. And a third light by the drivers seat. More peppermint oil around, and a live trap outside.( I think I said we have caught two). I know these critters are everywhere - and we live right in the middle of their land. As to poison - yes they are rats after all, but we also have ground squirrels within a few feet of our door, a road runner that visits regularly, coyotes and javelinas that come within yards and sometimes feet, and the bobcat strolling thru occasionally. DH says we live in the Serengeti. I admit we have made a few calls to exterminators - the last effort. I am looking into
Spray foam for some openings? Maybe something temporary to put around the slide ? And I really like the rope light idea. Would love to have a cat but too dangerous for it here. I know the rodents can do big damage, so really am taking it seriously. Plus it's just so ICKY. Thanks - keep the ideas coming.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:32 AM   #8
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Pack rats

Can you say CAT? Pick up a rescue cat and they'll fix the pack rat problem.
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:06 PM   #9
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We live in the desert. When we first moved here we had a fifth wheel and pack rats invaded it. After spending hours cleaning and repairing I bought a couple of solar security lights. Now with the MH, I have one large light under the engine compartment and another under the genset area....been a year and no pack rats. I do set a live trap out once in a while just to test and they stay away from the lights.
Neighbors here leave their hoods of vehicles open if they are parked more than a day or two.
I bypassed the motion detectors on the lights so they come when its dark and off in daylight.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:19 PM   #10
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Many residents at The SKP Ranch RV Park in Lakewood, New Mexico use rope lights on the ground under their RVs to repel pack rats. Some said that was the only thing they had to do to keep them out, but the lights must be on all night every night. I spent 10 nights there and did not find the lights bothersome at all. They're not even bright enough to disturb star gazing.

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Old 05-23-2013, 10:49 PM   #11
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I bought a string of rope lights - need to buy more I guess, to get a full round. I also put moth balls around the perimeter and in the engine area. . Last night we got another in the live trap. No 3. Plus one drown in the pool - that was yucky. And today a mobile tech came and said our leaky water is most likely due to the PR gang chewing the pipes. He said they were entering thru the hose holes in the tank bay. So I stuffed them with old material as he suggested (will check it daily). My daughter said she was told to stuff steel wool in her pipe holes (that sounds weird) to keep mice out. So that's next on my list. Sure would be nice if rope lights would work completely. What a pretty solution as well. The battle goes on. . But we are gaining! I'm sure if it.

Question - I read somewhere here the year they started using soy based wire covers - can't remember but it was after 2000. Does anyone else agree? Our MH is 2000 - ?? Or is it simply that the rodents will eat any and all?
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:54 PM   #12
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Instead of steel wool, use copper wool. Copper wool will not rust nor deteriorate as fast as steel wool. Cooper wool also hurts their teeth more when they start to chew on it than steel wool so they will go away without trying to get in, so I'm told.

-harry
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:00 AM   #13
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Thanks . Where would I get copper wool? Steel wool I know - is copper just another kind if cleaning pad ?
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:05 AM   #14
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Thanks . Where would I get copper wool? Steel wool I know - is copper just another kind if cleaning pad ?
Yes, it's actually similar to a copper cleaning pad. However, I've seen similar copper mesh at sold at hardware stores. I bought several rolls of it online at a pest supply place once.

Here's some similar stuff at Amazon: click

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