We have had an enormous amount of folks talking about rabbits eating and crapping in lawns and landscapes. Wild rabbit’s start to breed around four months of age and the can have over 50 offspring in a year. The good news is that wild rabbits are prey animals with a life expectancy of about seven months. I have counted as many as eight rabbits in about 6,000 square feet of lawn around my house and they stay just outside of golf club range. Too many rabbits are a sure sign of not enough predators.
It is easier to list the plants that rabbits won’t eat: St. Augustine grass, most holly bushes, and that’s about it. Before you rent a falcon or pull up the Bermuda grass and plant St. Augustine there are several ways to run the rabbit off including repellant and predator scents, physical barriers (fences), decoy type devices and traps.
Most of the repellants smell like rotten eggs and work best in large areas like lawns. They are available in concentrates and ready to use. The most popular predator scent is fox urine, but coyote and bobcat also work. They are available as liquid and granulated, and work best in defined areas like flowerbeds. The good thing about predator scents, is they also work on rats, raccoons, etc. Fences are another option for flowerbeds and gardens.
Apparently, moving yard art that reflects sunlight (pinwheel type) also works, but I have never used any. Decoys include owls (the most effective) and snakes. They work well but you need to move them every week or so.
I consider traps (both leg and live) the last option, but they are an option. Before you go all “Grizzly Adams” on the wild life, have a plan on what to do with the animal once it is caught. City, state and federal laws might come into play regarding disposal or release of wildlife.
Rabbits seem to have a habit of using the same spot as a toilet. This will kill the lawn along with some bedding plants. Remove as much poop as you can (it works well in compost piles) and mix some powdered lime into the soil. This will help neutralize the acid that the rabbits are installing.
For more information on solving rabbit problems, please visit the Humane Society website here.
For just a little bunny funny, enjoy this video from us.