GardenSMART :: Smart Tips to Keep Rabbits from Running Rampant in Your Backyard
Smart Tips to Keep Rabbits from Running Rampant in Your Backyard
By Bobbex, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Bobbex, Inc.
You may never see them. They sneak in silently once the sun goes down. They ravage your delicate garden and stunning landscape. If you do happen to catch a glimpse, they'll run fast as lightning to safety so they can dine in your yard while you're not around.
No, this isn't a plot from some cinematic thriller; it's a daily occurrence for homeowners with outdoor space. Rabbits can quickly take a toll on any size yard, and can easily climb into raised beds and nibble away at your painstakingly planted container creations.
Wild rabbits have a big appetite and your garden and landscape is like a tempting, bottomless salad bar. And where there's one, there's more: The gestation period for a rabbit averages just 30 days. There's factual truth behind that old saying; "multiplying like rabbits!"
You may enjoy bunnies in storybooks or even as domesticated pets, but wild rabbits can be a devastating problem for your yard. These four-legged foragers can eat your fabulous flowers and prized produce, literally overnight.
To protect your yard from rabbits, you first need to identify their presence. Because they often come out at dawn and sunset, you may rarely see them. According to the animal repellent experts at Bobbex, these are the top signs that you've got rabbits:
Plant damage low to the ground, often a few inches above the soil.
A clean, 45-degree angled cut on the end of stems and leaves.
Woody plants debarked up to 16 inches from the ground.
Piles of rabbit droppings (dark pea-sized pellets).
Tracks: Wild rabbits have five toes on their front feet and four toes on their much longer hind feet.
Check, check, and re-check. If you do catch a glimpse of the furry intruder, you may be able to identify the most common wild rabbit species. Cottontails are common throughout North America, identified by their short tail that resembles a tuft of cotton. Snowshoes are typically found in rocky, mountainous terrain and are identified by their large feet, with white fur during winter and rusty brown fur during warmer months. Finally, the speedy jackrabbit is found in the Western U.S. and is known for its incredibly long ears and powerful hind legs.
Once you know you have rabbits ravaging your yard, it's time to take action. There are a few ways to safely repel them before the damage is done.
Step 1: Build and bury barriers
Fencing can be an effective way to keep rabbits at bay. If you're targeting rabbits, the fence only needs to be 3 feet tall as they are unlikely to jump over it. However, you'll have to bury the fence underground since rabbits are experts at burrowing up to a foot below the surface to access a tasty food source.
Step 2: Repel and remove temptation
Bobbex-R Repellent is all natural, environmentally friendly and proven effective at protecting ornamental plantings from small, four-legged garden critters such as rabbits. Usable in any weather, it won't burn plants or wash off. Use it as a bulb dip to deter underground damage or spray it at the mouth of burrows to prevent animals from re-entering. It's safe for humans, pets, birds and aquatic life.
Step 3: Remove the creature's comforts
Many homeowners are surprised to find rabbits have made a home under stairs or in a shed. If you don't want rabbits nesting and raising families in your yard, remove brush and other debris that could provide them easy shelter and spray a repellent in those areas to maintain rabbit-free hiding places.
These three simple steps will help you safely repel rabbits so you can fully enjoy the beauty and bounty of your outdoor space.
To learn more, visit www.bobbex.com, where you'll also find repellents for other common wild foragers such as deer.
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.
By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
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