Question of the week:
Q: I have a cholla that looks like it is dying. There is debris and a build-up of dirt around it on the bottom.
What is causing it?
A: The mounding and debris build-up is caused by a pack rat. Pack rats can cause extensive damage to your property. Not only do pack rats damage and destroy landscaping, they can also chew through wiring.
You may want to get rid of them using a standard rat snap trap. For trap bait, use nuts, meats or bacon. As far as the cholla, if you want to keep it and there are signs of life, remove any debris from around it and smooth out the dirt mounds - or you may want to just remove it.