How to Get Rid of a Wood Rat's Nest

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Wood rats tend to live outdoors and build stick nests.
Wood rats tend to live outdoors and build stick nests. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Wood rats are more commonly known as pack rats, for their tendency to take small metallic objects and hide them in their nests. Often difficult to spot, wood rats are nocturnal creatures that build large nests out of sticks, twigs and sometimes manure. Unlike the common Norway rat, wood rats prefer to eat wild foods outdoors and usually their twig homes are located outside. Wood rats will sometimes build nests inside cabins, garages or even parked cars, resulting in damage to mattresses, furniture or wiring. Large populations have been known to harm agricultural crops or damage trees and may carry rodent diseases. Therefore, removal of wood rat nests is preferable in areas occupied by humans.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber Gloves
  • Chlorine Bleach
  • Bucket
  • Mop and disposable rags

Ventilate any enclosed building that you suspect may harbor a rat's nest. Open windows and doors for 30 minutes to allow for cross ventilation before attempting rodent clean-up. Do not use a vacuum or fan in the area, as these may blow and spread viruses and bacteria.

Mix 1 1/2 cup bleach with 1 gallon of water in a large bucket. Clean the area around any suspected rat nests with this bleach solution, utilizing a disposable mop. Wood rats tend to leave behind black streaks known as scent trails. It is important to disinfect and clean these trails as they attract more rats.

Put on rubber gloves and pick up any rat nests carefully utilizing a disposable rag or paper towels. Place the nest and paper towels into a plastic bag and seal. Put the sealed plastic bag into another bag, shut tightly and dispose of in a trash receptacle.

Clean the area where the nest was located with bleach solution, using disposable rags or a mop. Seek out any rat entry points in the building and seal these to prevent further infestation.

Locate any obvious wood rat nests outdoors if they are harming your crops or trees. Use a large stick to dismantle the nest. Disturbing the wood rat nest, sends the rodents running for cover, thus leaving them exposed to natural predation by birds, dogs and cats.

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