Santa Fe Scoop


I wanted to share this information with everyone in case it might be helpful to someone.


We live on ten glorious acres down Highway 14. Nature here is at its best.


However, we had been having a problem with packrats digging holes right by our front door and also causing damage to our vehicles by chewing through important wires and hoses.


I am not one to go and KILL to make MY life easier. I love living with nature and acknowledge the fact that we are in THEIR space by living out here in the prairie.


I bought a Have-a-Heart trap in the appropriate size for a packrat, baited it with yummy peanut butter and waited....the rats are too smart! I have a motion activated infrared camera that I set up at night to see what was happening with the trap and I caught the rat running around the trap looking at the peanut butter but never actually going in....


That was Plan A. I did not have a Plan B.....putting out any kind of poison was something I would NEVER dream of doing. Poisoning a rat or a mouse or any other critter starts a vicious cycle because it kills anything and everything that may then eat the dead rodents, like the magnificent hawks I see out here every day. 


Then, about 3 weeks ago, as I was cleaning out the poops and pee-pee clumps in my litter boxes, a thought struck me! I took the plastic bag full of kitty presents and went outside...I went to every deep pack rat hole and made a deposit of kitty pees and poops, pushing it as deep down in the hole as I could get...I thought, if I lived in there, I wouldn't like that smell and I might move on....and if I was a rat and smelled CAT, I would CERTAINLY not want to live there!

I started doing this 3 weeks first, the rats would re-dig the holes but I kept making fresh deposits every time they did.....and for the last TWO WEEKS, there's been NO NEW ACTIVITY!


I am so thrilled!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope it stays that way. What a great way to use those kitty deposits!


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Comment by Claudia Inoue on March 17, 2013 at 7:08am

Julie, I feel for you with the cat problem. Not only getting your garden dug up but also the fact that cats kill precious birds :(

Comment by Julie L on March 16, 2013 at 10:24pm

Great idea!  So on the flip side, what is the trick to keep roaming CATS out of a person's yard and using my garden as a kitty litter box?  I guess if I have a pack rat problem I have the remedy though.  :-)

Comment by Claudia Inoue on March 16, 2013 at 2:59pm

Hi Eva! No, I didn't try to cover it...never thought about it though I have caught my share of ferals cats and always covered the trap then! Thanks for reminding me :)

Comment by Eva Paloheimo on March 16, 2013 at 2:45pm

Claudia, glad the kitty poops are helping:)  However, did you try covering the trap while putting it out with the peanut butter?  I know that's the best way to catch feral cats.  Just an idea....

Comment by Claudia Inoue on March 16, 2013 at 10:51am

Should I mention the brandnew pair of sandals I left on my front porch last fall, one of which disappeared one night, mysteriously, without a trace...I found it 3 weeks ago under a bush by a packrat hole...

Comment by Claudia Inoue on March 16, 2013 at 8:52am

Here some short clips made with the infrared camera, it was new to me at the time so I had it set to come on for only 10 seconds when it detected movement...

Comment by Claudia Inoue on March 16, 2013 at 8:51am
Comment by Claudia Inoue on March 16, 2013 at 8:51am

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