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Cottontail Rabbits the Urban/Suburban Nuisance
As cities continue to expand into natural areas, rabbits take up residence in urban and suburban areas. Although these rabbits are fun to watch, they are becoming more of a nuisance when it comes to gardens and plant life. Cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) are the most common wildlife seen in the urban/suburban areas. These little brown haired mammals have a white fur on their underbelly and a white puff tail which is where they got their name from. These creatures will have about four litters of babies a year making them one of the most populous in small areas. Their average home range is ten acres or less.
Since rabbits multiply so quickly it is sometimes difficult to remove them all together. Chances are you will clear an area only to have the neighboring rabbit move over and take up residence. It is more practical to protect the areas that you do not want rabbits to bother than trying to get rid of them. Cottontails love bushy areas that intercept with open areas. This provides all the food and cover that they need during the spring, summer, and fall months. During the winter when food is scarce they will look for twigs and tree bark to sustain them. Landscaped yards with lawns are the ideal habitat for rabbits and why they are so abundant in the suburbs.
There are both homemade and commercial repellants available for rabbits; some are for areas others are for plants. Both kinds of repellants will require that it be reapplied every time there is a heavy rain. It is also known that if rabbits get hungry enough they will bypass the repellant to eat. Some of the substances that repel rabbits are soaps especially with ammonia that can be applied in the soil, garlic that can be planted in the garden area or applied as a mixture, blood meal which is usually used in commercial products, and pepper that can go into the soil or on the plants and is usually used with garlic. All Out Deer and Rabbit Repellent by Sweeny uses garlic and pepper which is a big portion of why it works so well.
Keeping Rabbits Out
One of the best exclusions for the garden area is a fence that will keep rabbits out. A small wired fence that is buried in the ground and stands about two feet high will save the garden area. Making fence panels that can be moved around will allow the gardener easy access and stop the rabbits from entering. A wire mesh that is about two feet wide can be placed around the smaller trees to prevent the rabbits from eating bark. There also is a seedling protector manufactured by Vexar which is made of plastic netting that is easily installed around trees. Most electronic and frightening devices are not effective with the cottontails so it is better to look for other venues when deterring rabbits.
Trapping Cottontails Safely
It is possible to trap the rabbits and move them to other areas, but you will need to be prepared to do it several times since there is never just one cottontail. The best time to do any trapping is in the winter when food is scarcer. During the summer food is bountiful and it will be difficult to lure a bunny into your trap. Placing the trap where their trails are is the most effective way to catch rabbits. Using lettuce, corn, carrots and apples as bait will draw them into the trap, once you have caught one it is a good idea to leave them for a short period, as their scent will draw others.
More in-detail how-to rabbit removal articles:
Information about rabbit trapping - analysis and methods for how to trap.
Information about how to kill a rabbit - with poison or other methods.
Information about how to catch a rabbit - remove one stuck in the house.
Information about rabbit repellent - analysis of types and effectiveness.
This site is intended to provide education and information about how to keep rabbits away from your house, yard, garden cans, shed, so that you can make an informed decision if you need to deal with a rabbit problem. This site provides many rabbit control articles and strategies, if you wish to attempt to solve the problem yourself. If you are unable to do so, which is likely with many cases of rabbit removal, please go to the home page and click the USA map, where I have wildlife removal experts listed in over 500 cites and towns, who can properly help you with keeping away rabbits.
Click here to read more about how to get rid of rabbits.