3 Strategies for Humanely Keeping Rabbits Away

Rabbit in Yard

Rabbit Cause Destruction to Lawns and Gardens

One might imagine that rabbits could not possibly do much damage given their small size and generally harmless appearance, but the truth is that they can do serious harm to almost every plant in a garden. Furthermore, rabbits can do their damage year-round; in the warm seasons, they will eat your vegetables and ornamental shrubs and then when the winter rolls around, they will move onto woody plants and tree-bark. They are capable of killing large trees by eating portions of bark from their trunks. So what is a homeowner to do? There are several commonly used solutions for getting rid of rabbits.

1. Fencing

Keeping them out of your yard with a fence. A small-mesh chicken wire fence that is two feet high or taller will do the trick. It will need to have no gaps that smaller rabbits can get through. Of course, the value of this particular solution will depend on how large a garden you have to defend, as a larger garden will require more fencing and may make installation tedious. Another factor is that such a fence may not be appealing to the eye and may ruin your enjoyment of your garden. If this is the case, one of the other solutions may be more helpful.

2. Traps

Trapping the rabbits may be another effective method of protecting your yard. To do this, you will need to rent or purchase a live trap that you can use to capture the animal without hurting it. You will have to place the trap in an area where you have observed rabbit damage, bait it and then wait. If the trap fails to catch any rabbits in a few days, move it to another location and wait some more. Depending on the laws in your state, you may be required to check the trap every day to see if a rabbit was caught or not. If an animal is caught, you will have to remove it from the trap and release it somewhere far from your garden. Trapping is safe for the animal and does not pose a harm to the environment, but its effectiveness is limited, as once one rabbit is removed, others will often show up to take its place. There is also the fact that handling the animal will be a necessary part of the process; not everyone will want to do that.

3. Repellents

All Natural Rabbit Repellent

All Natural Rabbit Repellent

Using a rabbit repellent is another effective method that can help you to get rid of rabbits in your yard. The most effective repellents act on the rabbit’s finely tuned sense of smell and its alertness to danger. In the wild, these animals avoid becoming prey by detecting the scent of their natural predators (like the fox) and evading them.

Shake Away Rabbit Repellent is made with fox urine and may be used to make rabbits wary of entering your yard. Lightly sprinkle Shake Away in the  areas you want to protect to convince local rabbits that a fox has made its den on your property. Another option is to place Shake Away in pieces cut from old nylon stockings. Make the stocking segments into balls that can be tossed into areas of your yard that are difficult to reach. The rabbits will naturally be inclined to avoid your yard no matter what treats you have growing in your garden.

All of the methods noted above are safe and will likely pose no harm to anyone in your household or to your pets. The differences are mainly in the areas of time, effort and money. Shake Away can be applied easily and will not require the purchase or rental of any special equipment like sprayers or traps. By stimulating the fear instinct, Shake Away makes use of a well-known principle of animal behavior to discourage rabbits from entering your property.

http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1996/7-12-1996/rabscuttle.html
http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/yard/2001/090801.html
http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/uh095.pdf

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