Introduction to the Incarcerated Pack Rats of Lazy C

Living in a natural desert environment in Tucson, pack rats are part of life.  As long as they stay out of my garage and roof I let them be as they are part of the ecosystem. However, occasionally they need to go when they become destructive or make a mess. I live trap and would never use poisons or snap traps because they are in discriminant and can accidentally kill other wanted animals. You also don't want a poisoned rat entering your house then rotting. I capture the pack rats, take their mugshot, them release down the road into the desert, where they can make a new home. I add the mugshot plaque to the photo and post here.

Pack Rat Facts

Name: pack rat (Neotoma albigula - white-throated wood rat)

Size: up to 15" and 8 oz.

Their nests, or middens, consists of piles of branches, plant material, trash, etc. The dens are then fortified with cactus, particularly cholla. They are known for collecting objects to place in their den. They like shiny objects and will be more than happy to take your watch or jewelry to their den. Mine seem to like taking dog droppings to their nest. Pack rats are also quite happy with eating your landscape plants getting their water from succulents and cacti. They must have shelter to survive and will die with exposure to heat, cold or direct sunlight. The same pack rat midden may be used for centuries and have provided a valuable resource for paleobotanist and paleoentomologists and well as regular paleontologists, after all a man made piece stolen centuries ago could be in the nest. They can be VERY DESTRUCTIVE to your house and personal property. If your house is surrounded by natural desert they are an unavoidable inconvenience.

26May2008 Mugshots

The inaugural mugshots. These two look like twins with both missing a patch of hair from the top of their noses.

27May2008 Mugshot

30May2008 Mugshot

31May2008 Mugshot

This one looks much darker with some darker hairs on top.

9Jun2008 Mugshot

This pack rat has an enlarged scabbed over swelling on its nec. It looks like th ehome for a bot fly larvae, but the larvae is not sticking out.

10Jun2008 Mugshot

This pack rat also has a lump that may have taken out its right eye, likely another bot fly larva.

16Jun2008 Mugshot

While transferring to a bucket, the pack rat got away, ran into the laundry room where my dog Fringe helped me recapture it. Fringe would grab it i nher mouth a couple of times but kept letting it go. Finally I was able to get a bucket over it. The rat was relocated missing its tail sheath that was pulled off during recapture.

21Jun2008 Mugshot

I captured this pack rat but my dog Cazie took the cage into the dog yard and presumably let it get away having found no evidence she caught and crunched the rat.

19Aug2008 Mugshot

Pack Rat Nests

These are pack rat nests on my property, They are away from the house. The nest between two young saguaros is near where my driveway forks from the common driveway I share with my neighbor. The other nest is in between and over a pile of rocks.

23Mar2009 Mugshot

The 2009 prison season starts with two in one night.

25Mar2009 Mugshot

This was a big male.


I have found that using Cheetos or popcorn as bait in the live trap is the most effective. Crackers are less successful.

2Sep2009 Mugshot

This fellow was wreaking havoc in my garage. He was elusive to catch and was taunting me. I once heard him say "and I shall taunt you a second time you silly English kniggit". Before I caught him he chewed the rubber seal at the bottom of the garage door and started to chew the seal to the house door.He also chewed the wire going to the garage door safety sensor so I have to repair that before the door will work again. He was caught using a delightful presentation of smooth peanut butter on a club cracker.

3Sep2009 Mugshot

Another male pack rat.

6Sep2009 Mugshot

Another male. I'd rather be getting rid of baby producing females.

8Sep2009 Mugshot

A small male.

9Sep2009 Mugshot: A very special 9-9-9 one.

The next time I could have a pack rat with the same digit for day month and year will be 1Jan2101 for 1-1-1.

11Sept2009 Mugshot

I almost took this pack rat to work with me. On the way to work I forgot to stop to let him out in the desert and didn't realize it until I was  on the highway. This one was dropped off of the road to Mission San Xavier Del Bac.

15Sep2010 & 16Sep2010 Mugshots

The first two prisoners of 2010.

17Sep2010 Mugshots

18Sep2010 Mugshots

Double trouble night.

19Sep2010 Mugshots

Last night I caught two pack rats. This morning Cazie and Fringe worked together to get one of the rats out of the cage and crunched it. Cazie is the bad influence. Fringe has never tried to bother them in the cage but Cazie has carried a cage with pack rat off before to secretly crunch it or let it escape. I hung the remaining pack rat in cage from the porch. Fringe and Cazie are trying to figure out how to get it down.

20Sept2010 Mugshot

21Sep2010 Mugshot

8May2011 Mugshot

First pack rat prisoner of 2011. A young male.

Captured pack rats since the opening of Lazy C Prison

          2008: 17 rats

          2009: 10 rats

          2010: 9 rats

          2010: 1 so far

11May2011 Mugshot

12May2011 Mugshot

13May2011 Mugshot

29May2011 Mugshot

30May2011 Mugshot

This pack rat has a bot fly (Cuterebra sp.) larva on its chest between its front legs. See the tubular lump (warble) with a circular black scab breathing hole (warbl epore).

31May2011 Mugshot

19Jun2011 Mugshot

20Jun2011 Mugshot

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