Woodrat Nest.

These nests are pyramidal, about 3 feet tall, all over in the woods around here. Woodrats are kinda nice critters, compared to disgusting Norwegian city rats. They’re like big mice, live communally, are craftily smart at getting bait off traps without springing the trigger. The ones around here are dusky-footed woodrats, often called “pack rats,” have bigger ears and eyes than city rats.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

7 Responses to Woodrat Nest.

  1. I have a terrible time with woodrats in my garden. They can come in overnight and harvest my plants by mowing them down and leaving them in place to dry. If I want to have any good left I have to cage my containers on the cabin deck and make sure I pull my float garden out away from any connection to shore or the decks to keep them off. They are the worst in spring and fall. Summer must provide them with enough food in the forest. If they set up a nest in my shed on shore the stink is terrible and keeping them out is near impossible. – Margy

  2. Margy
    Poison works, those little black boxes with tiny entrance and a block of poison that looks like a small soap bar.
    I do not have any pets that eat dead/dying rats. I do not have children that might mess with it. My neighbors are 200 yards away.
    My garden was totally decimated, also rats carry rat lungworm around here, in cooperation with slugs.
    The local branch of state health department will not even mention poison, tho we have residents and tourists dying of rat lungworm. Likewise they will not mention poison for slugs, some of which is not harmful to people/dogs/cats.
    It was not an easy decision for me, but I have no regrets.

  3. 1. Read your little note about traps.
    Suggestion: PAM is good for getting rid of your smell, just spray, much easier than washing the trap.

    2. So no creature should die with poison?
    How about slugs that carry rat lung parasite that gets in your brain?
    There is no nice kind way to kill "any creature".
    Do you have cats? Do they kill mice and rats? Do they do it suddenly with no torment?
    Yet that is the reason many people have cats, to kill mice and rats by slowly torturing them.

  4. And BTW, I farm avocados and macadamia nuts and bananas.
    These are the favorite foods of roof (tree) rats. They get their share, no problem. And they play boce ball on the metal roof at night with the mac nuts, no problem.
    But if/when they get into my shop or my house or destroy my garden, then they have a serious problem.

  5. Yes, I believe no animal should be poisoned. They die an agonized death with internal bleeding. Also, the dead poisoned rats get eaten by other animals, like owls, and so the poison spreads. And yes, a rat trap with a spring is way kinder than poison. Whap! it's over.

  6. Lloyd – We do a catch and release program until the population dwindles. Use a Havahart trap and then take the critters out in the tin boat to Goat Island. I've read online they can find their way home for about five miles or so. We figure a quarter mile swim to an island will also keep them away. They are supposed to be territorial, with only one a group of female family members together. Seems like if we relocate one a new one takes its place in a few days. I've learned to cover my containers on the cabin deck early and pulling the floating garden out before dark helps too. – Margy

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