Rabbits are furry, cute and lovable, but when they invade your garden or yard, it’s all-out war. The worst is when you’ve spent an entire season tending the garden, and suddenly, rabbit holes start popping up everywhere.
Then in the summer, right when you’re ready to pick your harvest, you wake up to half eaten vegetables.
We’re going to tell you how to get rid of rabbits – the nice way, and the deadly way.
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Rabbits are like any animal: they want food, water and shelter. And when you find them in your flower garden, they’re just looking for a free meal. If you take precautions to make your house less attractive to these furry pests, you may be able to eliminate or curb your problem.
1. Start With Yard Work
Yard work is essential if you have any hope of not attracting rabbits. That tall grass you haven’t mowed in weeks is the perfect hiding spot for a rabbit – or a rabbit family. But, it’s not just grass that will keep these rabbits coming back.
You need to take action now, and start by:
- Mowing any and all grass
- Remove or trim tall or overgrown brush
- Remove piles of leaves
- Remove dead trees and branches in the yard
- Trim low shrubs to eliminate potential hiding spots
If you’re able to do all of this, you’re on the right track to removing all potential rabbits from your yard.
2. Fencing and Advanced Landscaping
Wild rabbits can be relentless, and proper rabbit control is essential to rid yourself of rabbits. You need to first find any potential burrowing spots for rabbits. Where do rabbits like to burrow?
- Near porches
- Under stairs
- Near structures
If you have a shed, you’ll often find rabbit holes nearby because the rabbit will like to burrow near a structure.
Rabbits are also attracted to willow, maple and oak trees, which they’ll snack on when other food sources aren’t available. If you have a water source, such as a pond or stream, this will also attract rabbits because they need water to live.
So, what can you do to get rid of rabbits?
A costly necessity is to fence off any and all spots that the rabbit is attracted to naturally. Fences that are dug deep into the soil work best. If the fence isn’t deep enough in the ground, there is a chance that the rabbit will dig underneath the fence.
I know what you’re thinking: fencing is expensive.
And it is, which is why I recommend fencing in known areas first. Remember searching for rabbit holes earlier? This will allow you to seal the holes to make it even harder for your rabbit problem to persist. First, make sure that the hole is empty, and seal the hole with wood or dirt.
You can fence in repeat burrowing areas, too, instead of an entire yard.
If you’re using chicken wire (it’s often the cheapest option), you can properly seal off an area by:
- Creating a 4 – 5-inch slope away from the fence post
- Laying the chicken wire in the slope and stretching it one foot away
- Burying the chicken wire with soil
You’ll want to attach the other end of the chicken wire to the post to provide ample support for it. This works to make it harder for rabbit holes to be made. The rabbit must dig a hole one foot from each post and dig deep enough to get under the buried chicken wire and then under the fence.
If you follow the tip above, you’ll effectively remove the ease of borrowing from the rabbit.
A lot of homeowners will do this around their gardens or flower beds to protect them from rabbits. Tree shelters can offer this same protection to a tree, and this method uses a mesh fencing.
You also have the option of placing a stone fence around the garden or areas where rabbits are coming in. This is a more work-intensive option, but it is an option that works well. You’ll want to bury stones into the soil, too, in an effort to stop rabbits from burrowing under the stone and popping up in the garden.
How to Get Rid of Rabbits Without Killing Them
Now, maybe fencing isn’t something you can afford or want to do –it’s understandable. There are ways to stop rabbits from eating plants and ruining your yard with dozens of unsightly holes. The best rabbit deterrent will do the work.
1.Blood Meal Fertilizer
Blood meal sounds like a vampire’s best friend, but this is an organic fertilizer that is meant for your garden. This is the actual dried blood of animals, and when it’s dried, it turns into a form of powder. This is placed in a garden for a few reasons:
- It raises nitrogen levels in the soil
- It raises acid levels in the soil
Note: If you add too much blood meal to the soil, you risk burning or killing the surrounding plants. Always follow the directions with the utmost caution to prevent this from happening.
What’s also neat is that other animals aren’t a fan of the smell of blood. If they smell blood, they’ll often avoid the area. This will work on moles, rabbit and deer, among many other animals.
Commercial products can be used to get rid of rabbits. Found in a soil form or in small crystals, you can sprinkle this product around your yard to ward off rabbits. For the most part, this will be a repellent that also smells like blood or rotting meat.
Sprays are available, too, and they’ll often be sprayed on the plants that you want to protect from being eaten.
Motion sensor sprinklers are a natural and friendly way to keep rabbits at bay. These products will sprinkle water onto the rabbit when motion is detected, causing it to skitter away in the process. Another added benefit is that you’ll be watering your garden or lawn, too.
3.Use the Best Rabbit Repellent Plants
When you want to use a natural rabbit repellent, look no further than plants that you can safely place around the yard – and there are many. There are dozens of plants that rabbits don’t like, and you may even have some sitting in the shed in winter that are just waiting to be planted when the season allows.
A few of the plants that rabbits can’t stand include:
- Butterfly bush
- Tulip tree
- Russian sage
- Creeping phlox
And remember, these are just some of the many flowers, plants, produce and herbs that you can plant to keep your rabbit problem under control. Just remember that some plants can be invasive, such as mint which will overgrow anything in its path if allowed.
How to Kill Rabbits, or Get Rid of Them Proactively
Maybe there is no other option for you and you must rid yourself of rabbits now. You have the option of physically removing the rabbits, too. This can come in many different forms:
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1.Hunting: If you’re a hunter, you can shoot the rabbit and eat it. This is a deadly option, but it is one that will put an end to your problem.
2.Poison: There are poisons available, but I want to caution against using them if you have animals. Since the poison can harm dogs and cats, it’s often not a good option for pet owners. Other wild animals can get sick or die, too, if they take the bait. Another concern is the poison entering the soil, which is never good if you’re growing your own food.
3.Traps: Humane traps do exist that will help you catch your pesky rabbit and relocate it somewhere else. Keep in mind that you must relocate the rabbit far away from your home so that they don’t just walk right on back.
4. Professional removal/control service: If you want to know how to get rid of rabbits the professional way, you’ll need to call a pest control company. These professionals will know the best way to get rid of rabbits. And if you have a lot of rabbits frolicking in your yard, this is the best option.
5. Dogs and cats: they can be used to some extent to kill the rabbits, too.
Rabbits will be scared away by certain species of dogs, or they may even be hunted and killed by a species that’s a natural predator.
Trapping and hunting laws vary from state to state. Before you decide to shoot or trap that rabbit of yours, make sure that you’re doing so in accordance to local laws. If you’re not sure of local laws, call your local fishing and hunting authority for more information.
If you see one rabbit in your yard, monitor the situation and see if the rabbit returns. There are times when rabbis will enter a yard for a snack, and then they’ll scurry off and move on to their next adventure.
But when the same rabbit won’t go away or you see multiple rabbits in your yard, it’s time to take the right steps to get rid of them.