Bunnies Not So Cute Anymore

Hi All,
We recently moved to a new house in an area near Sacramento, CA where jackrabbits and bunnies are common. At first, we thought they were cute, hopping around our dirt yard and munching on the wild grass. We have just finished landscaping the yard at considerable expense, and the bunnies have already eaten dozens of the 1-gallon plants and groundcover, probably several hundred dollars worth in a few days. We've done a web search on the many "remedies" to keep rabbits away, including planting marigolds (they ate every bit of them). Pepper sprinkled on the plants doesn't phase them--the other day, a bunny knocked on the door and asked if we had any salt to go along with the pepper. Many of the so-called bunny-resistant plants aren't suitable in our climate. We don't have an outdoor dog or cat to chase them away.
Our latest idea is to install chicken wire at the perimeter fencing, which is the ornamental iron style with 4-inch spaces between bars. How high should the wire be? I was thinking around 12-18" high, with a few inches buried below dirt level. To jump the wire, they would have to jump between the bars of the fence. I don't want to put up anything too elaborate or conspicuous, since our homeowners association might frown upon it. Ideas?
Thanx, Keybored
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Key Bored wrote:

I made the mistake of not killing the cute lit'l bunny I saw in my yard early this spring. He wasn't hurting anything, so I left him alone. A month later, Bunny ate my garden. Eventually I managed to shoot him with my pellet gun. That's probably what you'll have to do too.
A pitchfork would work if you don't have a pellet gun, but it's not that easy to get close enough.
HOA's tend to frown on .22's, but if you use CB's they might not hear it.
Or maybe you can rent a little terrier dog or a 15 pound tomcat for a week or so...
Bob
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You can Havaheart trap them and transplant them to more upscale neighborhoods.
Or spray Hot Pepper Wax on the plants now and then. That doesn't prevent the first bite, of course. http://www.hotpepperwax.com /
--
Ron Hardin
snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com
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says...

put them in boiling water for a day, add a little canola or other oil as a "sticker" and a drop or two of detergent as a "spreader", it make a spray that keeps them away till it rains and you have to repeat it.
It works best if you start spraying as soon as the plants come up, so the first taste is bad. If you wait till they've eaten it and found it good, it takes a lot more spray to change their habits.
The second alternative is an air rifle. I thought my neighbors might object to my shooting the "cute little bunnies" but they cheer me on instead :-).
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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Could be worse:
http://channels.aimtoday.com/news/story.jsp?flok -RTO-reodd&idq=/ff/story/0002%2F20040814%2F1230200384.htm&sc=reodd
On Sun, 15 Aug 2004, Larry Blanchard wrote:

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There is a third alternative. Get a basset hound. French rabbit hunters! <G> I had one for years, and never had any bunnies in my garden. She didn't do much hunting, her scent was apparently enough to keep them away. I'm sure any dog would work, but bassets are so cute! My wonderful four legged daughter isn't with us anymore, so I'm sure I'll start having problems now :o(
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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snipped-for-privacy@thecia.net says...

miss her) and no rabbit problems at all.
BTW, she chased them but they'd escape through/under the fence. One day she chased an exceptionally stupid one and caught it. I never would have believed a dog could gloat, but she made it obvious for the next several days that she was doing exactly that :-).
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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Fencing is the only sure way. You're already losing money on plants..multiply that over a decade and fencing feels more economical.

Rabbits can easily hop over 12 " and between bars. If you get winter snow, it will lift them up higher, so you need taller fence wire.
For 20 years I've used 3ft high chicken wire, with the bottom 6 " turned at right angles and pegged down. This prevents burrowing and wriggling under. Remember, you will need to cover all gates and keep them shut; be careful to cover gaps between the gate and the post.
Shooting rabbits inside the garden is pointless btw..there are a zillion more out there.
Janet
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Janet Baraclough.. wrote:

I've had rabbits jump over 4' fences without any apparent effort.
I might suggest that you plant clover in your lawn somewhere away from the plants you want to protect. That in conjunction with a reasonable fence might help since the clover will be there (eventually) for the rabbit to eat, eliminating the temptation of negotiating the fence to get to the other plants. It takes a couple of months to establish clover, but if you get the right clover it's a perennial. Something like Dutch White clover fits into lawns fairly well without looking weedy.
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I had the same problem. I bought fox urine and put it in plastic containers for "predator pee." The scent scared the bunnies, and they were gone.
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I am getting ready to use this for nightly visits from skunks. It's fairly costly so it's encouraging to get some report that it works on small animals.
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