How to Get Rid of Rabbits
Summary: Learn how to get rid of rabbits using any number of methods ranging from traps to repellents.
Not long after rabbits were introduced to Australia they reproduced so quickly that almost all efforts to control their population failed. Eventually, a virus was developed that killed off many rabbits, but it was only a temporary solution. Most of the rabbits developed immunity to the virus. Unfortunately, there was no virus developed in the U.S. to help keep rabbit populations in check.
Rabbits are found in woods, meadows, and grassy areas. They are more prevalent in the United States compared to other nations because our country has a temperate climate. These cute, furry animals can become nuisance pests when they tear up lawns or gardens.
Female rabbits dig warrens in the ground, which are underground tunnel systems. Burrows are the rooms where young rabbits are raised. Rabbits of all ages sleep in these rooms.
Wild rabbits typically live about seven to eight years. Once you discover rabbits in your yard you can assume they will be keeping you company for a long time to come unless you change the rules. If you have problems with rabbits tearing up your yard you might want to learn some tips to keep them away. I have compiled some information that will save you from replanting anything a rabbit could destroy. You may have to try a few of these tricks collectively to really discourage the rabbits.
The best offense is a good defense. Try to keep your yard unattractive to rabbits. A great way to do this is to mow your lawn regularly and get rid of any plant debris that has accumulated. Tall grass and piles of leaves are good places for rabbits to hide.
You might want to consider placing a Havahart Live Trap, (also known as a catch-and release trap) in your yard. Place a carrot or other vegetable in the trap. The rabbit will wander into the trap and will not be able to get out. You can then set Peter Rabbit free in a park or other grassy knoll of your choice, but you need to know the State laws about releasing wild animals or face a potentially costly fine. Your state Department of Natural Resources can give you all the rules.
Another humane trick is to set up fencing around your garden. Chicken wire works best and plastic fencing is efficient, too. Make sure it is high enough that the rabbits can't hop right over it. You should also bury the fencing deep to deter them from digging it up. Three feet above the ground and ten inches into the ground ought to sufficiently protect your garden.
This tip might seem a little unusual, but it can work wonders. Scatter some dried blood meal throughout your garden. Dried blood meal is basically uncooked meat that is shriveled up. The smell is so unpleasant to the rabbits' olfactory senses that they will not go near your precious produce. You can find dried blood meal at any garden store.
If you think your garden is the only place that rabbits will go to town, think again. They can also destroy your trees and shrubs. Fortunately, hardware cloth may be a great deterrent. Wrap the cloth around the base of bushes and trees that are susceptible to damage. This material is annoying to rabbits, and they probably will not put in the effort of gnawing through it.
Time for a side note about hardware cloth. It is not cloth, at all. It is galvanized wire screen that comes in rolls. No one in those giant hardware stores ever knows what hardware cloth is, so just ask the store employee where the chicken wire is kept. The hardware cloth is always next to the chicken wire. It usually is sold in two different gauges or thicknesses. Get the heavier gauge. You'll need a pair of tin snips to cut it and gloves to handle it.
Try dispersing rabbit repellent throughout your yard. We like the Rabbit Scram Professional product. You will need to reapply the repellent after rainfall or snowfall, though. If it doesn't seem to be working, you might want to buy the more expensive fox urine. Fox urine can be found in sporting goods stores.
Other ingredients that work great as repellents include lavender, garlic, and catnip. You can also scatter monkshood and foxglove, two types of poisonous herbs, around your yard. But don't try this trick if you have pets or kids, for obvious reasons.
Installing an electric fence will definitely scare the rabbits. A little electric jolt will teach your rabbit a thing or two about messing around in your yard. Don't install this fence if you or your neighbors have small children because it could curl their hair in a very unnatural way, if you get my meaning.
Now, go out there and send Thumper packing, and for heavens sake, don't let word get out to Bambi and her friends.