Below is the result of what pack rats do when you are sleeping at night. They destroy without reason. They got into my flower box last night and chewed off my flower plants and then chewed the hose on the BBQ grill. I had taped it up before but they found a place that didn't have tape. Click on the photo's to enlarge them.
These little buggers are sneaky, slick and will remove the hoses and cable coverings under your hood in a single night. I know it is pack rat and not ground squirrels because of the distinct smell they leave behind in the form of feces and urine. It is one of those smells you never forget. I will set some live traps tonight and try to catch them but if they don't want to be relocated I will use snap traps which completely ruins their night. It is starting to get cold at night and they are building nests now.
Their true name is the wood rat but they tend to horde anything they can find. They like shiny objects but do not limit their haul to just shiny things. They can climb better than a mountain climber, hide like a sniper, and seem to have more senses than sense. Sometimes you can follow your nose to their home habitat but normally all you need for proof they are around is to use your nose and look for the feces and brown smelly urine.
The pack rat experts say if you pile your firewood at least 70 yards from your house they won't venture that far to do damage to wiring and inflict destruction around your house. I don't think anyone has taught the pack rats that statistic yet and when I started to catch them in live traps and walk them down the road to relocate them they would race me home. Not only are they sneaky and dirty but they have a sense of direction that would put any GPS unit to shame. So we are now in what I call pack rat season, or that period of time we start to play games where they set the rules and have all the odds on their side. I will relocate the ones I can lure into the traps but the rest will be telling stories this winter around all the things they have stolen from us and laugh about the stupid human that can't capture them. Let the games begin!!!!!