Rabbits reproduce at an extremely fast pace. Learning how to keep rabbits from eating the lawn or garden can seem impossible.
“This year (2012) I have seen more rabbit damage in lawns then ever before,” Jeff Disler, plant health care consultant. “Especially in south metro areas like Littleton, Parker, Castle Rock, just everywhere. ” Disler speculates that drought has reduced their natural food supply causing them to target new sources of nutrition, ie. your lawn.
Rabbits will eat grass and regurgitate part onto the lawn. This leftover product will start to burn the grass. The rabbit will return to the same spot up to three times and repeat the same process. By the end you have these weird blackspots or dead growth made by the acidic, digestive fluids of the rabbit.
So what do you do when they begin to eat up your garden or chew up your grass and newly planted trees and shrubs? Below are some tips and tricks to minimize the damage these pesky animals create.
The first step is to make sure that the yard and surrounding area is unattractive to rabbits. This encourages movement onto better foraging grounds then your yard.
Regular mowing and picking up clippings and other debris helps. Debris such as accumulated grass, sticks or leaves give rabbits a place to hide from predators which makes them prefer that area.
If you still get rabbits and you want a sure fire way to protect your area the only way that doesn’t cause damage to your lawn or garden is a fence.
It is recommended you use chicken wire that is 3 feet high and 10 inches deep so that the rabbits can’t hop over or dig under it.
If your trying to protect young trees or shrubs, hardware cloth will deter the rabbits from eating them up. Simply wrap the cloth around the base of the tree or shrub. Hard ware cloth is located near the chicken wire in the hardware store.
Live traps are a common way to get rid of rabbits. Live traps allow you to catch the rabbit alive and then release them somewhere else. The problem with this strategy is that rules vary by location on releasing wild animals, so you would have make sure it’s legal. Or hire a local critter collector.
The last way to manage rabbits, that we recommend, is through repellents. The problem with repellents is there are so many of them and they all seem to have questionable results. We recommend you try the following and see if they have an effect:
- dog hair
- blood meal
- fox urine
- rabbit repellent
Spread any one of these ingredients around the areas that you don’t want the rabbits to enter and reapply after rain or snow to keep the rabbits at bay.
Let us know how you kept rabbits out of your lawn or garden.