With Easter just a few weeks away, you’ve probably noticed bunnies both on store shelves and in your yard. They’ve been a symbol of spring for centuries, and while they are adorable, the damage they cause to our gardens is not. If you’re tired of seeing your flowers, trees, and ornamental plants destroyed by these furry menaces, there are things you can do to keep them away. From rabbit repellent to natural methods, here are the best practices for rabbit prevention.
Signs Of Rabbits In Your Yard
Before we discuss how to repel rabbits, here are a few signs of rabbit activity.
Bite Or Gnawing Marks
Rabbits love vegetables and younger plants. They especially like the following plants:
- Plants in the rose family
- Apple trees
So if you happen to have any of the above in your yard, be aware they make attract rabbits. Usually, rabbits won’t eat the bark of trees, like maple, until it’s the middle of winter and they have nothing else to eat. However, they won’t have a problem switching from berries to bark if they get hungry enough.
This is a polite way of saying “rabbit poop.” Rabbit poop looks like hard compacted pellets – like raisins but rounder. If you see these pellets in your garden, you’ve got rabbits.
Tufts Of Fur
Rabbits shed their thicker winter coats in the spring, so if you see tufts of fur caught on the edges of fence lines, plants, or branches, it’s often an indicator of rabbit activity.
Rabbit Control Methods
Put Up Fences
Chicken wire and hardware cloth both work very well at keeping rabbits out. If you’re not familiar, hardware cloth is a wire mesh that looks like a window screen, but the square holes are larger. You can fence in an entire area, like a vegetable patch, or surround a specific tree or young plant that needs protection. Make sure the wire is about two feet high. While rabbits can’t climb, they can jump. You can also fence in your yard, but you may need to dig down a foot or so and install a solid barrier if you choose this option. Otherwise, the rabbits can squeeze beneath the fence.
Use Smells Rabbits Hate
There are many plants and things that you can put down to keep rabbits away. And as it happens, many of these natural rabbit repellents also repel Japanese beetles, which, if you didn’t know, are the bugs that produce the white grubs that eat turfgrass. So by repelling rabbits, you may kill two birds with one stone and repel some grubs as well!
These plants repel rabbits and are easy to find at your local nursery:
- Japanese Maples
You can also put down these organic compounds:
- Onion powder
- Powdered red pepper
- Dried blood
Dried blood is usually made from the blood of cows that would normally go unused during the slaughtering process. This compound is dried and is sold at nurseries and hardware stores. In addition to repelling rabbits, it’s also a great natural fertilizer. So you can nurture your plants as you protect them!
Noises And Lights
Rabbits are indeed skittish creatures. They have a right to be. They are the target of practically every predator in North America. They may run away from loud noise or sudden light at first, but they will learn that this is something to be ignored. Consequently, it’s a waste of time to rely on noisemakers or leave patio lights on in hopes of scaring them off.
You may have seen figurines of owls, snakes, hawks, or foxes placed strategically in yards with the hope of keeping rabbits away. Like the noises and bright lights, rabbits will catch on to the fact that these are not real animals. Don’t waste your money on these dupes.
As we discuss in the next section, it’s illegal to poison rabbits in this state. Many people falsely believe that since rabbits are a type of rodent, they can use mouse or rat poison to kill them off. This is not the case. And in fact, not only would you break the law, you likely won’t affect the rabbits. You’re more likely to harm neighborhood pets.
This may seem like the humane option, but unfortunately, that leaves you responsible for dealing with the animal. Rabbits may carry diseases, so it’s not recommended that you trap rabbits yourself. And since rabbits are considered an agricultural pest, it’s not advisable to catch-and-release because doing so may move the problem from your yard to someone else’s. And as for killing rabbits, it is illegal to do so in Rhode Island. It’s really best to leave rabbit control to the professionals.
Get Professional Rabbit Control From 4everGreen Turf Management
For over 50 years, the experts at 4everGreen Turf Management have provided professional deer and rabbit repellent to Rhode Island, Connecticut, and southern Massachusetts. We’ll rid your property of these pesky critters, and keep your turf nourished through our lawn care services. We use an eco-friendly product that lasts even through summer rain. It does not emit an offensive odor, nor does it harm the rabbits. It keeps rabbits out without killing them – a win-win for all. And we can easily add it to a lawn care plan, so you can nurture your plants and protect them at the same time.
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