Temporary housing for pack rat number 9 and 10 of the season. This is equal in number to only one other year in the past 15 years. Normally we catch 2-5 a year and relocate them a good distance down the road. Only two possible reasons for this amount of pack rats. One, that it is going to be a very cold winter and they are all seeking refuge around the house. Two, the more likely case is some perverted and sick person is catching them and then dropping them off at our house. That has been an evil tradition among rotten people who reside in the community for a number of years now. They do it because the pack rat is nasty smelly animal and they can do a ton of damage if given the chance. If they take a dislike to you they get even by using the pack rat as a form of vengenance. One year a neighbor who does not clear around their house which attracts them discharged over 17 at our house. That is what can be expected should they take a sudden dislike of you for any wild perceived reason. We know that because they bragged about it openly.
I have an aversion to killing them so I catch them in live traps and take them down the road where it is just woods and the habitat is more conducive to their long life. In 15 + years we have only had one incident where a pack rat got under the hood of the truck and ate all the vacuum hoses. It took a while but I finally figured out where replacement hoses went. Normally we keep the hood propped up on the vehicles and that has worked well. They prefer more confined areas and open hoods usually keep them from nesting on your engine. The one time I forgot to put the hood up was the time a pack rat built a nest on top of the motor and ate those hoses.
We have battled them over the years and the pack rat is actually a wood rat who likes to collect shiny objects. As you can see from the pack rat condo above they are cute little critters and very smart. They have built in GPS units so you need to take them a far distance so they won't find their way back. I have tried all sorts of techniques to capture them but they seem partial to peanut butter. They are highly intelligent and often allow themselves to be caught in live traps for the challenge of being released not far enough from where caught and being able to find their way back again. Most often when that is the case they arrive before I can hustle back home. They are adept at avoiding mine fields and moats. About the only way to eliminate them is catch them in a live trap and relocate them far enough away that they can't find their way back again even with their GPS technology.
Pack rats are so elusive that they can drive a grown human to absolute frustration which is why some perverted people catch them and then take them to other peoples homes. While it is not against the law it is a sick perverted act of vengeance that should be rewarded with tar and feathers if caught. So with over double the amount normally caught in the fall season we wonder where suddenly they are all coming from. In any event they like the game of 'race you home' when released and it takes a pretty sneaky person to thwart their homing instincts. Soon they will hibernate due to the snow and will have to wait until next year to play the pack rat game with them.