Rabbits have been attacking my young fruit trees and flower bed. Despite having
fencing around the plants, they manage to get in and chew things up. Is there
any way to get rid of them, short of shooting (my suburb doesn't allow it).
dogs for other reasons, plus they can't be outside in all kinds of bad weather.
The most effective solution depends on where the rabbits come from and how
many there are.
1) If you can locate the burrows and there are not too many, poison,
ferrets+nets or physical collapse will do the trick. The exhaust from a
vehicle (+nets) is toxic in a confined space and does not leave baits about
that other herbivores may eat. Some quite interesting critters may emerge
into your nets during this procedure, are there dangerous snakes in your area?
2) If you cannot access the burrows but the numbers are limited then poison,
trapping etc on your place has a chance of reducing the numbers to a
3) If the numbers are large then better fencing is the only practical solution
unless you, your neighbours and the County all declare war on bunnies at once.
If in plague numbers fencing is the only thing.
Solutions #1 and #2 will have to be repeated every few years as they will
breed up and make new burrows unless suppressed regularly.
Be patient and get as close as reasonably possible. Make
sure you have good aim (use a rest) and shot placement. They
are quite muscular, tough critter, but it should do the job.
Don't expect it to be silent either. They (high-power spring
over air) make more noise than you would think. Oh, and
enjoy your new gardening tool :)
1) A repellent that contains the ingredient BITREX will stop rabbits and deer
from chewing on plants. This can only be used on ornamental plants or trees
and shrubs that are not in fruit. (And don't get it on your hands. It isn't
but is EXTREMELY bitter.) The stinky repellents are not as effective if the
varmints have already made a habit of feeding on your plants but will work
fairly well if used diligently after installing bedding plants or from the time
seedlings or perennials sprout out.
2) Rabbits can belive-trapped using cut up apples as bait. Having caught at
least one rabbit makes the trap more effective. Be sure the trap is on a hair
trigger as bunnies are rather light-footed. (No pun intended there!) Also
be sure the trap is cleaned of any manufacturing oils (if new).
3) Improve your fencing where you can. 1" hex netting ("chicken wire")
applied to the bottom of a fence with larger openings up to a height of
12" will stop most rabbits. Reinforce the bottom of the fence by burying
a short distance of hex net or running patio blocks along the outside edge
(makes a nice mowing strip).
4) Wrap the trunks of young fruit trees to protect them not only from rabbits
and voles but also from sunscald. Or box them in with hardware cloth.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
I grow the hottest peppers I can get. I dry them and grind them and put
the dust where I don't want rabbits and deer to eat. I have been doing
this for about 4 years and it seems to work.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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