Rabbit Control: How to Identify, Prevent and Get Rid of Rabbits

Rabbits can be cute as pets and delicious as meats. However, they can also be pesky pests, and hence, they can be a nuisance in the garden. They will feed on a wide array of plants. This can lead to cosmetic damages and inhibition of their healthy growth. With their voracious appetites, they can eat a long list of plants, which makes them a significant concern. If you want to have peace of mind, you should know how to get rid of rabbits in the most effective manner that is possible.

A lot of you may already be familiar with how a rabbit looks like. Rabbits are small mammals with a furry body, fluffy tail, and strong legs. The latter is the one that allows them to hop at high speed. They also have two pairs of large front teeth, one at the bottom and one at the top. The size of rabbit can vary, although most of them will have a length of 10 to 30 inches. Some can be as small as a cat, while there are others that can be as big as a baby. Its weight is normally 1.3 to 2.3 kilograms.

Rabbits

Rabbits are Small Mammals with a Furry Body, Fluffy Tail, and Strong Legs

Rabbit’s Habitat

Rabbits can have a wide range of habitat. As a domesticated pet, many of you would probably know that they live indoors. Other than this, they can also survive in the wild. To be specific, they live in the woods, moorlands, grasslands, forests, and prairies, among others. They can easily adapt to different conditions of the external environment, which is why they can also live in different climates. They can be seen all over the world, with the exception being in Antarctica. They are most common in North America, which is home to more than 50% of the currently known species of this animal.

Identifying Rabbit’s Damage

Plants Affected

In cartoons, rabbits are always seen munching carrots. In reality, they can feed on a wide array of plants, making them a significant concern amongst gardeners, as well as commercial growers. Plants are amongst their most common food sources. Woody plants, annuals, perennials, berries, and vegetables are their hosts. To be specific, some of the most common plants that they eat include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, celery, cauliflower, cucumber, pumpkin, radish, rocket, spinach, watercress, sweet pea, snapdragon, petunia, zinnia, and daylily, among others.

Symptoms

Below are some of the most common signs that will give you an idea of the presence of rabbits:

  • One of the most common symptoms is the appearance of cuts on the lower end of the bark of a tree. You will see teeth markings from the rabbit, which is an indication that it has been chewing such. More often than not, such marking will appear about 18 inches from the soil.
  • Also, pay attention to the droppings or excretions from the rabbit. They are usually pea-sized pellets.
  • The leaves and stems will also show clean cut damage. This is as against the damage from the traditional garden pests, which will make the edges of leaves ragged. In the case of rabbits, the damage will be clean cut.

Results of Infestation

The infestation of rabbits can be apparent throughout the year. In spring, they are more common in young vegetation. In the winter, on the other hand, they are common in shrubs and trees. They can gnaw on the barks of the trees and will greatly damage the appearance of their plants, leaving obvious signs of voracious feeding. Because of the digging of the holes, they can also make the lawn unattractive.

Rabbit Damage

Rabbits Damage on Crabapple Shoots

How to Get Rid of Rabbits

Natural and Organic Solutions

Thinking of the best ways to deal with rabbits? Below are some of the safe and effective solutions that are promising in terms of their outcomes:

  • Habitat modification is one of the first things that you should do. Make the garden unattractive for rabbits so that they won’t be able to survive. Remove brush piles and weed patches. If they do not have a suitable place to live in the garden, chances are, they will stay away.
  • When it comes to exclusion techniques, fencing can be a great solution. By building a fence in the garden, it will prevent entry of rabbits from outside your house. Make sure that the fence is high so that rabbits will not be able to climb over. Also, it should also be buried at least six inches on the ground, making it difficult to knock down.
  • There are also frightening devices that you can purchase and install in the garden. Some of the best examples of the latter include scarecrows and snake effigies, among others. However, this may offer only short-term protection as rabbits can eventually get used to their presence.
  • The use of humane traps will also be a good solution. You can buy traps or build one on your own. To make it effective, make sure that there is food that will lure the rabbit in the trap. Be sure to release the rabbit in an area that is far from your home. Otherwise, it will be a problem again.
  • It will also help to be wiser about your choice of what to plant. If possible, grow varieties of plants that are not attractive to rabbits. While there are chances that rabbits will still eat them, the infestation will not be as serious as what would be the case with their most common hosts. Some of the plants that they do not like include lavenders, daffodils, and lilac bush, among others.
  • There are also several alternatives to common pesticides. You do not need to use toxic chemicals in making rabbits stay out of your place. Garlic and hot peppers are some of the most effective. You can spray them on the plants in the garden. Because of the pungent smell, rabbits are sure to stay away.

Chemical Solutions

As usual, when resorting to the use of products that contain chemicals, it is important to read the label and pay attention to the precautions from the manufacturer. Also, be sure to follow the instructions on proper application. Among others, one of the most popular is Magic Circle Rabbit Repellent, which contains tetramethylthiuram disulfide. The latter is commonly applied in dormant shrubs. Another popular option is Deer-Away, which contains chemicals that mimic the smell of rotten eggs, which is basically the thing that scares the rabbits.

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