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How To Repel Plant-Eating Rabbits & Protect Your Garden: Have rabbits become a problem in your yard? Sure they’re gentle, fluffy, then sweet to seem at, but the reality is rabbits can devour your garden as if it had been an all you’ll eat buffet. except for those that like to garden, a rabbit may be a destructive, annoying pest that eats up the landscape and causes expensive damage. Before condemning rabbits because of the culprits, though, it is vital to verify the identity of the villain.
How To Identify Rabbits In Your Garden
Of the nine species of North American cottontail rabbits, it’s the eastern cottontail that’s our most abundant and annoying. starting from Boston to Boulder and south into Mexico, this bunny-about-town is never found in forests; preferring instead brushy fence rows, field edges, brush piles, and—you guessed it—landscaped backyards. Its fondness for flowers, vegetables, bark, and bulbs often ends up in pruned peppers and clipped cosmos.
Even though its nicknames are adorable (among them bunny, bunny, and cottontail), and you’ll probably want to befriend it once you see its cute ears, the eastern cottontail is often a bothersome pest. it’s gray or brownish, with a brief tail and large ears. It can weigh 2 to 4 pounds, be 15 to 19 inches long, and live for 12 to 15 months. Its vocal call is nearly silent, but it’ll emit a scream when threatened. Its famous features include a brief white tail resembling a cotton ball and long, tapered ears.
For an eastern cottontail, security may be a pile of brush, leaves, or another animal’s abandoned burrow. Unlike their European cousins, these rabbits don’t dig intricate burrows or warrens but make do with what they find. Rabbits rarely leave their shelters in broad daylight, preferring early morning or evening instead. Like most animals, they’re sensitive to the change in day length as spring approaches. For rabbits, the longer days signal the beginning of two things: breeding season and spring dining.
How To Repel Plant-Eating Rabbits:
Once you’ve confirmed you’re up against plant-eating rabbits; it’s time to undertake some long tried-and-tested methods. Although rabbits are clever at getting what they need generally, people try one of three strategies for shielding their plants. They use repellants, invest in targeted coverage, and build fencing.
1. Targeted Coverage:
If there is a particular plant or crop that you simply know rabbits can’t resist (such as peas and beans) or a plant you do not want to risk losing (such as something exotic that you’ve got grown from seed), you’ll focus your efforts on protecting just that area. One option is to hide or wrap the plants with garden fabric. you’ll use Super Hoops to support the material. this is often a fast and straightforward thanks to protecting a whole bed of salad greens or a neighborhood of newly planted broccoli. make certain that the material gets securely anchored on all four sides.
You can also use 3/4″ mesh fencing, also referred to as poultry mesh or net, to encircle susceptible plants or create a protective tunnel for a whole row. to guard trees and other landscape plants against winter nibbling, wrap rock bottom of the trunk (loosely) with hardware cloth or 3/4″ mesh fencing to a height that’s a minimum of a foot above winter snow levels.
Chemical repellents are often applied to some trees, vines, or other plants that are in peril from rabbits. But these can create an unpleasant odor, taste, or stickiness. due to this and their toxicity, most repellents aren’t suited to use on vegetables or other food plants, as they will make the plant inedible for humans. additionally, repellents often work just for a brief time and wish to be reapplied frequently. If you select to use a repellent, carefully read and follow all label directions before use.
3. Garden Fencing:
As is true once you try to guard against any wildlife, the highest recommendation is to use fencing around the garden or the other area requiring protection. net with 1/2- to the 1-inch mesh may be a good selection for guarding against rabbits. The fence must be a minimum of 2 feet high to stay rabbits from jumping over it. To stop rabbits from burrowing under that, the fencing should extend a minimum of six inches below ground or be secured to the ground to stay the bottom edge tight. Electric net fencing can also be used for temporary control around seasonal gardens.
Live trapping is an option, but it’s usually not recommended that you simply do that yourself because you would like to have some strategy for then handling the trapped animal. Because rabbits are considered agricultural pests in many nations, and since they will carry disease, there are often laws that regulate where and the way you’ll release wild rabbits.
5. Individual Plant Protection:
Use 1/4- to 1/2-inch-mesh poultry netting to make cylinders to shield new trees, shrubs, or vines. Again, the fencing should be buried to stop burrowing, and therefore the cylinder should be a minimum of 2 to 4 inches greater than the diameter of the plant and braced far from it to stop rabbits from pushing the netting and reaching through to nibble.
6. Habitat Modification:
If you’ve got found evidence of rabbit nesting, remove it, and modify or block off the world to stay them from returning in. Proactively reduce nesting options by removing low shrubbery branches that provide harborage for rabbits. Eliminate tall, dense vegetation and wood and debris piles. Control vegetation along fence rows. Seal spaces beneath buildings.
7. Scare Them:
So many people have used pretend owls, aluminum pie pans, and lots of other things to scare rabbits off. These methods work but just for a brief time. Rabbits can quickly compute when there’s no real threat. Ultrasonic devices also are available and are ideal for scaring rabbits far from very large areas. However, it’s important to stay trying to find a more permanent solution. Consider getting a dog or cat to keep off rabbits.
8. Protect plants with netting:
One final solution could also be to use netting to guard your plants. Often times you’ll find thin, nearly invisible netting which will go right over plants and protect them from animals who would like to nibble. These nets are lightweight, and there’s no concern about them crushing or weighing down plants.
9. Make a Bit Noise
Place a wind chime or some cans on a string in order that when the wind blows, there’s a noise made. Rabbits are sensitive to noise, and will they hear even the slightest sound will run. This might even scare them from returning.
10. Eliminate Places to Cover
Eliminate rabbit hideouts. Being prey animals, they feel vulnerable without nearby cover and won’t want to risk being a target within the openness of your property. Remove excess leaves, brush piles, and overhanging foliage. If you create them believe your yard isn’t a secure place to prevent by for a nibble, they’re going to advance and appearance for a far better place.
Strategies that Don’t Work Against Rabbits
Despite long evidence that they do not really work, people still employ certain methods against rabbits. Some losing strategies include:
- Devices intended to frighten or discourage rabbits, like noisemakers, flashing lights, or ultrasonic sound waves, don’t really daunt or otherwise affect rabbits.
- Any number of faux owls, snakes, and hawk figurines are marketed as “scarecrows” intended to daunt rabbits and other pest animals. They are doing not work.
- There are not any EPA-registered pesticides or toxic baits for rabbit control. There are no thanks to controlling the utilization of such poisons outdoors, and doing this is often far more likely to kill neighborhood pets than it’s to kill rabbits.
Conclusion: How To Repel Plant-Eating Rabbits
Read more about Best rabbit repellents.
Sure, rabbits are cute, but not once they have eaten their way through your garden. Scares and repellents offer short-term solutions, and although fencing is ok, you’ll need to maintain it. In the end, you’ll need to invest in new plants and use several methods of control just to search out how to get on along with your rabbits. Keep in mind that you simply will need to try a mixture of methods to repel plant-eating rabbits and stay according to your efforts to stay them away, too.