Ah rabbits, the fluffy little critters are always a welcome sight in your local park or the fields around town. But what about when they get into your garden?
Rabbits, although a nice sight to see around the home, can be mischievous pests, causing havoc wherever they lay their fluffy little tails.
Although you may think them harmless, farmers and gardeners will tell you that rabbits are their mortal enemies, particularly where they run freely around the veggie patch.
In this article, we are going to cover what rabbits do to your garden and some methods we can employ to temper the little vandals.
What’s the Issue with Rabbits?
Well, to answer that question, it entirely depends on who you are and what you are trying to achieve. Rabbits are known to be particularly bothersome critters for those who own farms for a couple of different reasons.
The first being that they love to dig up fields and borders. If a farmer or rancher has fitted his nice new fencing along a boundary, there is nothing the rabbits love to do more than burrow into the embankments alongside the fencing.
Rabbits particularly enjoy digging around the fence posts themselves, causing the fencing to become loose, eventually tumbling down and dragging the other fencing with it completely.
This can then lead to an issue of livestock control. If the fencing is down in a particular area, livestock will inevitably escape, which is a real pain for the landowner who has to then go and find them.
On the topic of livestock, rabbits will often dig down into the ground to find the roots of some plants, or dig in an attempt to find another burrow. This leaves shallow holes in the ground which will often find an unwary animal stumbling into.
Although this may seem like a minor issue to most, the animal who falls into the hole may become lame as a result, particularly in the case of horses, sheep, and cattle, essentially costing the landowner to lose money on vet fees or in livestock sale. After all, who wants to buy a lame horse?
All these issues from a little rabbit? Oh yes, that’s not to mention the horrendous amount of damage they do to new crops which are in the growing phase.
Rabbits decimate crops and other plants, so if you have resident rabbits in your garden, say goodbye to your veggie patch if you are thinking of keeping them. There is nothing a rabbit loves more than to chow down on your meticulously grown vegetables.
Once you have rabbits on your land, it is damned near impossible to get rid of them unless you employ a strict management method to control them. Given the opportunity, rabbits will breed, well, like rabbits, causing untold devastation to your land and greenery.
Signs to Watch Out for
If you are unfortunate enough to be faced with rabbit issues, here are some common signs for you to look out for:
- Nibbled veggies
- Dig holes in your plant beds
- Rabbit droppings
- Stripped bark off trees
If you are seeing some of these signs but are wondering why you haven’t seen the rabbits, this may be due to the time of day that you are out in the garden.
Although rabbits can be seen during the day, they conduct themselves mainly early in the morning, late at night, or throughout the night.
If you are wanting to catch the culprits in the act, try grabbing yourself a torch and shining it across your garden at night. The rabbit’s eyes will reflect the light at you and you will be able to see the bunny burglars in action.
Methods of Treatment
So you have found out that you have an issue with rabbits, what happens now? Well, firstly we will dispel the myth about mothballs repelling rabbits.
In short, no you can’t use mothballs to repel rabbits for a couple of very important reasons.
The first being that mothballs are designed to repel exactly what they say on the tin, moths. Not only this they are also designed for repelling and killing other fabric munching nasties such as carpet beetles.
As a result, the mothballs are filled with a highly toxic concentration of pesticides such as paradichlorobenzene and naphthalene which are very poisonous to us and other animals. It’s also highly damaging to the environment.
Avoid using mothballs as they are ineffective against rabbits and you run the risk of leaving damaging pesticides in your garden.
Now that we have that unpleasantness out of the way, we will now explore some of the ways you can get rid of rabbits, leaving your garden hole-free and without damaged crops.
Cover Up Your Trees
By covering up your trees using mesh or fencing, you can deter the rabbits from getting close to the sensitive bark around the base of your trees.
Using decoys is a very highly effective way of deterring rabbits. By using simple decoys in the shape of owls, foxes, or other predator species, you can scare the rabbits away from your garden.
These decoy owls from Redeo are just the ticket for deterring the pesky creatures as it uses solar power to charge the senor and lights.
There are application-ready mixes available on the market for every kind of pest problem, rabbits are not the exception. Once used, the repellant drives rabbits away from your flower beds, leaving you with untouched veggies and undug beds.
The Liquid Fence repellent is a fantastic alternative for those who want an environmentally safe option to use on rabbits.
Rabbits can be a real pain for us if not properly managed, they can populate on an unprecedented scale, causing widespread destruction of crops, and the destruction of land. This can lead to further issues such as injuries for your animals.
Don’t wait for the problem to get out of hand as they will not go away on their own. You must take action as soon as you see signs of a rabbit infestation on your property to see the best results.