Rabbits, rabbits and more rabbits. Cute and cuddly as they may seem, rabbits are the bane of many a vegetable gardener’s existence. Even if you do not grow veggies, rabbits can be unwelcome settlers in your lawn and backyard.
The population of rabbits in the wild is kept in check by natural predators such as hawks, foxes, coyotes and even feral cats. The absence of these natural predators in the suburbs and the cities will normally result in a larger rabbit population that often inhabit lawns, gardens and backyards.
What Are Rabbits Doing In My Yard?
If rabbits only munched on carrots as they do in cartoons, then these critters wouldn’t be much of a problem. But when rabbits happen to come across your property, they will also eat other things which are often found in your garden. Food is the primary reason these critters invade your yard and if you have a lot of what they eat, they will make themselves right at home on your property.
What Rabbits Like To Eat
If you have a vegetable garden, rabbits will no doubt go after the beets, peas and beans which you may be growing. They will eat the leaves, dig for the roots and leave your vegetable garden looking like a mess. And yes, they will also munch on the bark of trees while they are at it.Even if you don’t grow vegetables, your yard will not be spared if there are clovers and plantain weeds growing around your lawn. In fact, rabbits prefer clovers and plantain weeds as they are soft and succulent.
What Rabbits Are Not Likely To Eat
Now, a starving rabbit will almost anything that is green and leafy.
However, a rabbit that is not famished will tend to avoid certain veggies, which are peppers, potatoes, corn, cucumbers and squash. If you have planted any of those you will notice that rabbits tend to stay away from them, most specially from peppers. Rabbits possess a very sensitive sense of smell, and perhaps that is the reason why they are not too fond of things that have a strong scent. Keep that important tid bit of information in mind as it may help you in devising ways of making rabbits stay away from your lawn and garden.
So, How Do I Keep Rabbits Off My Backyard Or Lawn?
There are several ways of getting rid or rabbits from your property. Let’s start with physical barriers such as fences. A fence more than 2 feet in height is good enough to keep rabbits out, and a much higher one is even better for keeping other critters out too. Rabbits can dig under a fence so bury at least 6 inches of chicken wire underneath the fence. You may line your entire yard with a fence or, if that is not feasible, build or purchase individual fences for your plants or vegetable patches.
Keeping dogs in your backyard is also very effective. Rabbits are extremely skittish and barking dogs will make them scamper away.
The use of commercial organic animal repellents, like Shake-Away Rabbit Repellent, is another very effective method of dealing with rabbits. As stated earlier, rabbits have a very keen sense of smell, and the concentrated scent of animal urine (specifically that of predators like coyote’s urine) will be the scent equivalent of a “stay away, danger!” sign. You may opt for more common ingredients found in the kitchen like pepper and spices wrapped in cloth bags and tied around trees and plants, but you will need to replace those much more often.
Unlike other critters, rabbits are not that hard to deal with and can be easily discouraged from making a home out of your backyard. However, rabbits can multiply very quickly and, if left unchecked, they can cause much damage to the plants and vegetables in your lawn. Therefore, deal with any rabbit problems as early as possible.