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Rabbits live almost everywhere and are generally relatively harmless.
However, if the rabbit population has grown too large, rabbits are digging holes under sheds or other buildings to find shelter, or are eating out of your yard, you may need to take action to get rid of them.
While it may not be possible to eliminate a rabbit population from your property, there are things you can do to reduce their numbers.
This piece will teach you how to get rid of rabbits with both natural and physical methods.
Why Would You Keep Rabbits Away?
Anyone who cultivates the land sees the rabbit as more than just a cute threat to the carrot patch. This long-eared animal has a voracious appetite for all kinds of fresh vegetation: woody plants, perennials, annuals, vegetables and berries.
A menu of rabbits’ favourite food is so ridiculously long that it’s easier to list the few plants they don’t like.
Rabbits also have extremely high reproductive potential and keeping them around can quickly add up to a total infestation in the garden.
They can produce up to three litters of six babies a year in the north and up to six litters of three babies a year in the south.
The first litter appears in March in the north, elsewhere all year round.
The gestation period is 29 days. That’s only about eight days longer than it takes for a hen’s egg to hatch!
Rabbits eat flowers and vegetables in spring and summer. In autumn and winter, they damage and kill valuable trees.
You can identify their presence by observing oblique clean cuts on young stems. The distinctive round droppings in the immediate area are also a good sign of their presence.
Rabbit damage can be distinguished from deer damage in two ways. The first possibility is the amount of damage.
Rabbits can only reach as high as they can stand. The damage is usually less than 3 feet high while deer can reach a height of up to 6 feet.
Second, deer tear off plants, so the edges of the branches are not cleanly cut as a rabbit bite would. Rabbits eat a variety of flowers.
Most often, the tulip is damaged; They especially like the first buds that appear in early spring.
The proverbial carrot is certainly not the only vegetable rabbits eat. Only a few crops like corn, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, and some peppers appear to be immune to rabbit problems.
The more annoying and much more serious issue is the damage rabbits cause to woody plants by gnawing through bark or cutting branches, stems and shoots.
During winter in the northern states, when the ground is covered with snow for long periods, rabbits often damage expensive native landscape plants, orchards, woodland plantations, and park trees and shrubs.
Some young plants are cut at snow level, and large trees and shrubs can be fully girded or a delicate bridging plug around the damage will save the plant. The taste of a rabbit can vary significantly depending on region and season.
In general, rabbits seem to prefer plants from the rose family. Apple trees, black and red raspberries and blackberries are the most commonly damaged woody food plants, although cherry, plum and walnut trees are also damaged.
Among the ornamental and shade trees, ash, basswood, red maple, sugar maple, honey locust, ironwood, red and white oak, and willow are most affected.
Japanese barberry, dogwood and some woody members of the pea family are among the damaged bushes.
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How To Identify Rabbits In Your Garden
Out of the nine North American cottontail species, the eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) is the most common and troublesome. From Boston to Boulder to southern Mexico, this city rabbit is rarely found in the woods.
It prefers rows of overgrown fences, field edges, piles of bush and, you guessed it, landscaped backyards instead. Its penchant for flowers, vegetables, bark and onions often results in damaged crops and trimmed landscape grass.
Although their nicknames are adorable (including rabbit, hare, and cottontail) and you’ll probably want to befriend them once you see their cute ears, the eastern cottontail can be a pesky pest.
It is grey or brown with a short tail and large ears.
One can weigh 2 to 4 pounds, be 15 to 19 inches long and live 12 to 15 months. Its call is almost silent, but it lets out a scream when threatened.
The tail resembles a cotton ball and it has long pointed ears. For an eastern cottontail, safety is a pile of brush, leaves, or another animal’s abandoned burrow.
Unlike their European cousins, these rabbits don’t dig burrows or intricate burrows but are content with what they find.
Rabbits rarely leave their quarters in broad daylight, preferring to leave their quarters in the early morning or late afternoon.
Like most animals, they are sensitive to changes in day length as spring approaches. For rabbits, the longest days signal the start of two things: breeding season and spring eating.
How To Get Rid Of Rabbits Naturally
You can find natural rabbit repellents in your home. For example, sprinkling sulfur or talcum powder on your plants can keep rabbits at bay.
There are also several home remedies for rabbits that you can mix and spray on your plants. Bunny experts say rabbits have plant preferences based on taste, nutritional value, presence of venom or spines, and availability.
Your food tastes can also vary by region and season, so not all plants are right for rabbits. Be smart and take care of plants that rabbits don’t find very appetizing.
Rabbits tend to avoid some of the same plants that deer and Japanese beetles ignore. If you’re looking to control all of these pests, find out the deer-resistant plants and the best and worst plants for Japanese beetles to find out which plants might work best.
Choose plants like forsythia, lilac bush, zinnia, daffodil, lavender and snapdragon for rabbits. This could help reduce the rabbit population.
This is not a guaranteed solution as hungry rabbits will eat almost anything, but filling your yard with these plants can make your yard less palatable than another. Here are more plants that rabbits don’t like :
Plants That Rabbits Dislike
Besides carrots, rabbits love flowers, berries, and most vegetables and shrubs. Although rabbits are not picky eaters, they are less likely to chew on certain plants.
Pungent plants like onions, garlic, and red peppers create a perimeter that keeps rabbits away from tastier options in your yard.
For flower beds, natural ways to repel rabbits include planting alyssum, sage, and calendula. These are the categories of plants that rabbits dislike and will mostly avoid:
- Azalea (Rhododendron sp.)
- Boxwood (Buxus sp.)
- Bush cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)
- Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii)
- Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster sp.)
- Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
- Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
- Rhododendron (Rhododendron sp.)
- Tatarian dogwood (Cornus alba)
- Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
- Adam’s needle (Yucca filamentosa)
- Creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera)
- Foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia)
- Lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina)
- Meadow rue (Thalictrum rochebrunianum)
- Peony (Paeonia hybrids)
- Perennial salvia ‘East Friesland’ (Salvia x superba)
- Primrose (Primula x polyantha)
- Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
- Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Sedum)
- Speedwell (Veronica sp.)
- Spring cinquefoil (Potentilla verna)
- Stokes’ aster (Stokesia laevis)
- Four o’clock flower (Mirabilis jalapa)
- Geranium, zonal and bedding
(Pelargonium x hortorum)
- Mexican ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum)
- Spider Flower (Cleome hassleriana)
- Vinca (Catharanthus roseus)
- Wax begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)
- Daffodil (Narcissus sp.)
- Hyacinth (Hyacinth orientalis)
- Persian onion (Allium giganteum)
- Summer squash
Store-Bought Rabbit-Removal Remedies
These are methods on how to get rid of rabbits using materials that deter them. You can buy these in stores and nurseries near you.
Your local nursery or home and garden store has repellents to encourage rabbits to get around. And if you’re pulling your hair out over all the bunnies in your yard, it’s time to call a pest control expert in your area for professional help.
The best way to keep rabbits out of your yard and prevent them from harming you is to use physical prevention methods such as these.
2. Irish Spring Soap Shavings
Mammals like rabbits and deer find the stench of Irish Spring soap loathsome, so it works as a perfect deterrent.
And because the soap is rainproof, you don’t have to worry about it turning to suds as soon as it gets wet.
Proven Methods To Get Rid Of Rabbits
Although we’ve mostly been talking about eastern cottontail rabbits, remember these tips should work for any type of rabbit. who loves to chew on your plants!
The most effective way to keep rabbits away is to enclose the yard or garden in chicken wire. Install a fence 4 feet high and bury it at least 6 inches deep.
Fold the top portion of the fence away from the garden like a security fence so they can’t climb or jump over it.
First, focus on preventing rabbits from entering your yard.
2. Individual Crop Protection
Use ¼- to ½-inch chicken wire to form cylinders around new trees, shrubs, or vines. Dig the fence 6 inches deep to prevent rabbits from digging under.
Leave a few inches of clearance around the plant and if the fence is weak add bracing to prevent rabbits from poking through and nibbling on the netting.
3. Habitat Modification
If you have found evidence of rabbit nesting, remove it, and modify or block off the area to keep them from coming back in.
Proactively reduce nesting options by removing low shrubbery branches that provide harbourage for rabbits.
Eliminate tall, dense vegetation and wood and debris piles. Control vegetation along fence rows.
Seal spaces beneath buildings. If a rabbit has no place to live or hide nearby, hopefully, it won’t stay and eat.
Rabbits will also breed a lot more if they have a good habitat available, all the more reason not to have vacancies.
Live trapping of rabbits is an option, but it is usually not recommended that you do this yourself because it can be challenging to deal with the trapped animal.
Because rabbits are considered agricultural pests in many states, and because they can carry disease, there are often laws that regulate where and how you can release wild rabbits.
Send Rabbits An Eviction Notice
Regardless of what remedy you choose, the best way to keep rabbits away is to demo their homes. Rabbits dig burrows and always stay relatively close to the hole.
Want to know how to get rid of rabbits effectively? Look for abandoned caves, piles of leaves and bushes or cosy spots and places under the trees.
Clean them as best you can to prevent rabbits from nesting and breeding because without a place to birth, you are less likely to have adult bunnies
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Coffee Grounds Keep Rabbits Away?
Yes. Scatter them on the soil and gently work in to deter rabbits.
Do Eggshells Deter Rabbits?
Rabbits don’t like the smell of eggshells, so yes.
What Groundcover Do Rabbits Hate?
English Ivy and Spurge.
Rabbits are voracious eaters and leave behind a lot of damage. Check your plant’s leaves and stems for damage.
This clean-cutting damage often occurs near the ground, as rabbits tend to eat the lush green shoots of tulips and other plants. They love to eat flowers, clover, peas, lettuce, beans and more.
This guide on how to get rid of rabbits will help you keep them away from your garden plants.