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Monday, April 28, 2014

Cool Nest - Hose Reel

Hose Reel

Looks innocent enough.  Just a typical hose reel until you look inside.

The rat is living underneath and has carefully stuffed hundred of mesquite beans inside.

These enclosed hose reels have become very popular with homeowners and pack rats.  Here is another with a rat nest inside:

Cool Nest - In a Couch

In a Couch

A nice comfortable sofa under a covered patio. The pack rats sure thought so and in short order destroyed the couch. The customer noticed some rat droppings by the sofa, but had no idea what was going on underneath. 

What makes this nest extra cool are the number of oranges the rats cut of a near by tree and carefully rolled and stored under the sofa. A pack rat itself is not much bigger than an orange. Lesson - never put upholstered furniture outside.

Cool Nest - High Voltage Panel

 High Voltage Panel

High voltage power breaker switch box for the main spa building at Canyon Ranch Resort. 

The chewed wire in the picture if as thick as your thumb and carries 480V. This was a fire waiting to happen. 

We trapped the rat, had the power shut down and cleaned out about 50lbs for cactus, sticks and pack rat poop. We then screened a small gap that was letting the rats inside. 

Cool Nest - BBQ


In the mood to grill? Surprise, pack rats love grills! This was a brand new grill. The customer had a cover over the grill. They noticed some pack rat droppings under the grill and some chewing on the cover. They were afraid to open it. I removed the cover, opened the grill and this is what was inside. Even though the grill could be cleaned, the customer requested we take it away - never used, except as a nice pack rat house.

Below are a few more nests in grills for your enjoyment.

Cool Nest - Coke Machine

Coke Machine

Diet Coke anyone? 

This Coke machine had stopped working and pack rats were to blame. After catching the rat, we laid the machine on its side for better access. 

What is most impressive about this nest is the amount of material the rat had stuffed into the small mechanical area of the machine.

 Coke machines are rare, but we see this problem frequently with refrigerators kept outside.

Cool Nest - In Table Drawers

In Table Drawers

What makes this nest cool is not that the rat built a nest in a drawer.

It is the thin tall legs of the table it had to climb. Then the rat had to navigate upside down and chew a larger gap to get into the drawer. Amazing pack rats!

Cool Nest - Under a Ramp

Under a Ramp

Pack rat home under a ramp(top removed) to a shed. A great example of the sleeping nest - cozy and well insulated.

Where did the pack rat get all of the soft cotton fiber to build the sleeping nest?  Here is what is left of a near by mop. . .

Cool Nest - Under a Trash Can Lid

 Under a Trash Can Lid
Two trash can lids nestled together. Lift first lid and see second lid with some chewing and debris. Lift second lid and there is momma rat (2 babies underneath).
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Cool Nest - Inside a Barrel Cactus

Inside a Barrel Cactus

This nest was actually inside a barrel cactus. The cactus was laying on its' side. The rat dug a tunnel underneath and then burrowed into the cactus and made a cozy home - impressive!

I have seen rats burrow into the sides of desert spoons and palm trees also. These types of nests are not typical and harder to spot than the traditional pack rat nest.