what do pack rats eat

What Do Pack Rats Eat?

Written by: Gemmali Dizor

Have you ever come across a pack rat, you might have been curious about what they ate. These rodents can be found worldwide, including in North America. They’re known for their tendency to collect and hoard items which can cause problems in homes and other structures. So what exactly do pack rats eat? In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at their diet and give some tips on how best to prevent damage caused by them.

What is a Pack Rat?

Before we delve into the specifics of what pack rats eat, let’s first discuss who these creatures are. Pack rats are rodents found mainly in North America and they’re also known as woodrats or trade rats. On average they measure around 12 inches long with an 8-inch bushy tail. Pack rats have an interesting behavior of collecting and hoarding items like small pebbles or bits of metal as well as household objects. Furthermore, pack rats tend to be nocturnal creatures – being most active at night.

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Pack Rat Diet

Pack rats are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Their diet varies depending on where they live and what’s available to them. In general, pack rats consume a variety of foods like seeds, fruits, nuts, insects, and small animals.

Plant Matter

Pack rats have an affinity for plant matter. They will eat a wide range of vegetation, such as grasses, leaves, and bark – with a particular fondness for cacti leaves. In fact, pack rats are one of the few animals capable of eating cacti without getting hurt by their spines.

Fruits and Nuts

Pack rats enjoy snacking on fruits and nuts. This includes berries, apples, peaches as well as nuts like acorns or mesquite beans. They will eat all types of products to satisfy their hunger.

Insects and Small Animals

Pack rats not only consume plant matter, but they also take in insects and small animals such as beetles, grasshoppers, small lizards, and mice. In some cases, they’ve even been known to consume bird’s eggs!

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Preventing Pack Rats from Eating Your Property

Pack rats are fascinating creatures, but they can cause extensive harm to homes and other structures. Their tendency towards collecting and hoarding items leads to clutter and potential fire hazards; furthermore, pack rats have been known to chew through electrical wires and damage insulation.

To prevent pack rats from wreaking havoc on your property, there are a few steps you can take:

  • Maintain your property free of clutter to deter pack rats. Pack rats are attracted to clutter and will use it as a breeding ground.
  • Seal any openings in your home or other structures where pack rats could sneak in; seal any cracks or holes in walls or foundation to keep out pests.
  • Keep food stored in airtight containers to avoid pack rats’ attraction. Be sure to store any food items in airtight containers for extra safety.
  • Use traps or deterrents. There are various traps and deterrents available that can help keep pack rats away from your property. Popular options include live traps, ultrasonic deterrents, and predator urine.


Pack rats are fascinating creatures known for their peculiar behavior of collecting and hoarding items. Omnivores eat both plant and animal matter alike–plant matter, fruits, and nuts as well as insects and small animals. While pack rats can be fascinating creatures to observe in the wild, they have the potential to cause significant property damage such as damage to homes or other structures if left unchecked. To reduce this risk of damage caused by pack rats, keep your property tidy by clearing away clutter, sealing any openings in your house, storing food in airtight containers, and using traps/deterrents if needed.

It is imperative to contact a pest control expert if you suspect there may be a pack rat infestation in your home or property. They can identify the source of the issue and offer effective solutions to eliminate it permanently.

In conclusion, pack rats are fascinating creatures with an intriguing diets and unique behaviors. By understanding what pack rats eat, you can prevent them from damaging your property. By following the tips outlined above and seeking professional assistance if needed, you can live peacefully alongside these rodents while appreciating their fascinating behavior from a distance.

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