- RABBIT PROBLEMS AROUND THE HOME
- HOW TO KEEP RABBITS OUT OF THE YARD
- APPLY PREDATOR URINE ALONG PROPERTY BORDERS
- BEST BAD TASTING REPELLENT FOR LAWN AND GARDEN
- SOUND REPELLER TO REPEL RABBITS
- HOW TO TRAP NUISANCE RABBIT
- CONTACT US
Rabbits have been adored and loved by people for centuries. They are found throughout the world and have a place in children’s books, TV and toys. The Easter Bunny is probably the most famous of all and Bugs Bunny may be a close second. Could an animal which is so widely loved ever cause a problem? Have no doubt about it; rabbits can become a destructive pest around the home.
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RABBIT PROBLEMS AROUND THE HOME
The cottontail and snowshoe or varying hare are distributed throughout the United States. In general, they are able to live in rural as well as urban environments. They reproduce quickly and will fill the landscape with as many rabbits that are able to survive. As their numbers increase, so do predatory animal populations. Fox, cats, dogs, people and coyote are just some of the animals that like to eat rabbit. In the wild, these predatory animals are able to help keep rabbit populations in check.
Rabbit problems arise when no predators exist. In addition to the native rabbit species, there has been a recent explosion of rabbits which have been released by people who were not prepared for the reproduction capabilities of their pets. These domestic rabbits are being released in the wild on a regular basis. Pet owners are not willing to let their one or two rabbits become 10 or 20 so litters are released in the wild. Unfortunately, the “wild” areas are many times all too close to residential landscape and gardens.
Domestic rabbits which are released to fend for themselves are not prepared or designed to “live off the land”. They much prefer processed food and when unable to find any will quickly feed in gardens and flower beds. Rabbits are nocturnal and will feed on just about any plant they are able to reach. Succulent pansies, just about any garden vegetable or fruit and several ground cover species of shrub are all targets for hungry grazing rabbits. Since they strike at night, rabbits may go unnoticed for weeks. Eventually, the gardener may notice plants are simply disappearing or dying.
RABBITS DAMAGE LAWNS AND TREES ^
Once in the yard, foraging rabbits will eat grass, flowers and even the bark off trees. A sure sign you have an active rabbit is when you find droppings which are round and small – much like a “cocoa puff” – in the area where you find damage.
Other sure signs rabbits are the guilty animal is the damage they do. Rabbits will eat randomly. Instead of ingesting the entire plant, they may only chew the flower or half the plant before moving to the next. This behavior tends to maximize the damage they do and can be frustrating to the gardener. DEER will browse the entire plant down to the dirt and even yank it out of the ground if possible. And though deer can eat more at one sitting, they may only target 1-2 plants and move on where a rabbit might nibble on 5-8 causing a lot more damage overall.
There are limited approaches to controlling local rabbit populations. Although they may appear cute when they first appear in your yard, rest assured they are looking for something to eat. Once eating patterns are established, it can be difficult to change. Traditional approaches including wire fences, scarecrow like dolls or predatory animals will not work. Domestic rabbits which have been released in the wild are used to such devices and are not afraid of them. More importantly, these rabbits are large. The average adult is the size of a large cat. Because they are so big, cats will shy away from killing them. And because they are living in true metro and city environments, it is not likely that other predators will be able to help in controlling populations. This means you will have to take action if you want to stop them from destroying your plants and landscape.
HOW TO KEEP RABBITS OUT OF THE YARD ^
Rabbit damage in the yard can be minimized by using a repellent. The best repellent will depend on what you’re trying to protect.
APPLY PREDATOR URINE ALONG PROPERTY BORDERS ^
Setting out predator urine along property borders can keep rabbits from moving into a yard. If you have random rogue rabbits coming onto your property and would like to keep them away so they don’t distract a pet or start to nest, place out COYOTE URINE where they might enter. This repellent will naturally repel several small animals since coyote will feed on just about anything they can find. Rats, mice, squirrel, chipmunks and rabbits all seem to be afraid of coyote and when they smell the coyote urine, they are led to believe an active coyote is in the area. It is best to use some in several areas effectively establishing a round zone or barrier through which rabbits will not be able to enter.
Use 1-2 oz per 10-20 feet. Placements can be made directly to the ground focusing on main routes of entry. Plan on renewing the urine every 30-60 days.
To get longer lasting results when using urine, install GRANULE/LIQUID GUARDS. These hold liquids and will both shield and protect the urine from both the rain and sun.
Install Guards along pathways, in flower beds and other areas where rabbits are active. You should still sprinkle some of the material on the ground initially where the rabbits are most active but once they are gone you can use the Guards exclusively. This will let you get the longest residual from urine enabling it to last 60-90 days instead of just one month.
Each guard can hold 1.5-2 oz and should be spaced out every 10-20 feet. Drive them into the ground deep enough to be secure but not so deep that you cover up all the holds below the holding tank. This will allow the odor to slowly release.
If you desire a more discreet look, install CAPSULE GUARDS. These are small 1/2 oz capsules that hold urine and are then pushed into the ground. Space them out every 2-4 feet and plan on refilling them every 60-90 days.
Our kit comes with 12 guards and an eye dropper for easy fill up. One pack is enough to cover up to 50 linear feet.
BEST BAD TASTING REPELLENT FOR LAWN AND GARDEN ^
If rabbits are already entering the yard and feeding on grass or plants, use a bad tasting agent to stop the behavior. This approach is designed to put in place a “blanket” of bad taste over the vegetation the rabbits are targeting. A good option for this is NBS.
Made with essential oils, NBS mixed 3 oz to a gallon of water can cover up to 500 sq/ft. Generally speaking, where ever its sprayed, the rabbits will avoid. Use it on grass, shrubs and any area of the yard you find them resting.
NBS uses nothing but plant oils but because its so “concentrated”, animals suspect something is “not right” with the treated vegetation. Instinctively they will avoid it because the oils you’re applying will be higher than normal. This is a “warning” to them the plant is not healthy.
However, this treatment doesn’t kill anything so it poses no hazard to people, animals, plants, etc.
Plan on treating once a month when they’re active. A mixed gallon will cover up to 500 sq/ft and you get 5 gallons per pint.
SOUND REPELLER TO REPEL RABBITS
If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, install our SOUND REPELLER. This device releases “ultra” sound by default but can also send out an audible sound. This unit can be configured to turn on only at night, only at day or anytime. For rabbits, we recommend night time only.
This unit can be powered by 4 “c” cell batteries and when powered this way, you can rely on the motion detector setting to turn on the unit when rabbits enter the protected zone. The range of the detector is about 30-40 feet and the device should be set up off the ground about 1 foot. The sound will be effective up to 75-100 feet so one unit can protect up to 5,000 sq/ft of turf. Position units to point out over the turf or garden area needing protection and understand the units are “directional”. This means they are only effective in the direction they face and not behind them.
Our units come with a remote control key so you can turn the unit on and off as needed. And the sound will not hurt pets or people so they can be safely deployed around the yard and garden where people are active.
They also come with an AC power supply and if possible, powering them on all the time is the “best” setting. This will get the sound over a large area with no relief for intruding animals. They will avoid the sound at all costs so if you can keep the unit running continuously, you’ll get instant results and force the animals to forage elsewhere.
For continuous running, set the Operating Time to “Night” and Ultrasonic to “constant”. The Motion Sensor Sensitivity is “N/A” since it will be always on and the Sonic Volume should be turned all the down (to the left) since you will be relying on the ultra sound only. Set the Frequency (yellow knob) almost all the way to the left.
If you decide to power the unit with batteries, set the Operating Time to “night”, Ultrasonic to “Motion Sensor”, the Motion Sensor Sensitivity to “30” and the Sonic Volume to “40-60” if possible. The audible sound is quite loud and when the unit goes off, the extra sound will generally help your cause. And after 2 weeks, you can reduce this setting if you need to turn it down due to close proximity of neighbors. The Frequency (yellow knob) should be set almost all the way to the left.
Sound repellers are very effective and will last for many years providing a permanent solution to the problem. Wire them into the landscape for a more uniform look and since they only cost $.25-.50 a month to run via the included power supply, a fairly inexpensive fix.
For easy installation, MOUNTING BLOCKS are handy. They can accept 1 or 2 repellers (picture to the right) and have a 1/2″ hole on their bottom so they will easily fit over a 1/2″ piece of rebar or any other wood or plastic stake. Ultra Sound Repellers will work fine by themselves as long as you have a good place to set them up. But we highly recommend getting the Units with Mounting Blocks in the kits we offer. Mounting Blocks allow you to place units anywhere and they will save time too.
We also feature several accessories for our sound repeller including POWER CORD EXTENDERS (33 FEET AND 66 FEET), CIGARETTE LIGHTER POWER ADAPTER, ALLIGATOR CLIP POWER CORD and AC POWER SUPPLY REPLACEMENTS.
HOW TO TRAP NUISANCE RABBIT ^
A more permanent solution is to remove the invading animal. This can be done with either a live trap or a kill trap. Live trapping rabbit can be tricky but with the right trap and right lure, foraging animals can be tricked and caught. Kill traps are more efficient when you have established points of entry or trails in use.
BEST RABBIT LIVE TRAP ^
The best rabbit trap size is one that is much larger than the target animal. This will provide plenty of room for the rabbit to enter. Our LT111230 measures 11″ wide by 12″ tall by 30″ long and is efficient for rabbits. To get fast results, line the bottom of the trap with pine straw or grass so the rabbit will not notice the cage under their paws.
Trap sets should be made right at the point where they’re feeding. This could be in a garden, on the lawn or around a specific bush. In some cases covering the trap with sticks and brush will help. This is especially so if the activity is alongside ground cover.
Our trap comes standard with a front door only but the rear door model has a sliding removable rear door. This allows for easy sets and quick animal releases as well as access to the trip pan for trap maintenance if needed.