While many people consider rabbits or “bunnies” cute and don’t see them as a problem, the truth is rabbits can wreak havoc on gardens and other vegetation around your property. This animal with the long ears and the hopping way of getting around has adapted well to living around human beings.
The key problem with rabbits is their appetite for young, juicy plants. They tend to focus on garden plants and seedlings that are just beginning to get a good start. They will also nibble on the leaves and branches of small trees and shrubs. With this information it is easy to understand how rabbits can destroy the hard work that property owners and gardeners put in.
In the past people in rural areas considered rabbit hunting to be a regular part of the late fall and winter seasons. This helped keep rabbit populations under control, to a point. Of course, this type of rabbit control isn’t permitted in populated areas. If rabbits are a problem with your garden or landscaping you may have to try other methods of getting rid of rabbits.
According to many animal-control professionals the most effective way to get rid of rabbits (other than shooting them) is to trap them. First of all, however, it is important to find out if it is legal to eliminate rabbits with “kill” traps. This type of trap can seriously injure rabbits or kill them. Problem solved, right? Well, what about other small animals, including your pets and the neighbor’s pets?
Rather than use spring-loaded traps that do injure or kill the animal you may want to consider “live trapping” as the best method of eliminating rabbits. They don’t injure or kill the rabbit or any other animal that gets inside. If you bait the trap properly and it catches the rabbit you simply have to transport the animal to a location far from your home (rural areas are best). If you are going to use traps, make sure they are thoroughly washed and rinsed so they don’t have any odor from human beings or other animals that would scare the rabbits away.
It is interesting to note that you can use a chemical product designed to control fungus! If you put this on your plants the rabbits will leave them alone. As the instructions state, you just have to spray it on the plants you don’t want the rabbits to damage. It can be toxic to other animals and to humans so make sure you use it according to instructions.
Some landowners have had good luck getting rid of rabbits with fencing. If you have a garden and many ornamental plants that might be attractive to rabbits you might want to consider good-quality fencing to keep them away from your property altogether. You will have to install it properly, leaving no gaps or holes. It is also important to extend the fencing into the ground a short way to keep animals from burrowing under the fence. This method is affective but does require regular maintenance.