How to Get Rid of Rabbits in the Yard

It is my goal to educate the public about rabbits and other wildlife, and provide tips for safe, effective, and responsible wildlife removal.

HUMANE HINTS: In some cases you can resolve a rabbit problem without trapping the animal - for example, you can install fencing around a garden you don't want eaten. Spray very hot sauce, like capsaicin, on plants. Keep habitat less attractive, by eliminating excess plant life or long grass. If you use a cage trap, be sure to set it in the shade and relocate the armadillo as soon as possible. Never attempt to poison rabbits. Unfortunately, there are no effective or registered rabbit repellents. Read below for how-to hints.

Summary of Step-By-Step Instructions:
1) Purchase large cage traps - rated raccoon size, usually about 10" x 12" x 30" or so.
2) No bait is effective - set traps in areas of high rabbit activity, and bait with fresh vegetables. Make sure traps are scent-free and flush to the ground, line the bottom of the trap with dirt and debris, and set in the shade.
3) Relocate any trapped rabbit at least 5 miles from capture site.
4) If you have rabbit living under a deck, shed, or other structure, install an exclusion barrier - steel mesh around the perimeter, and down at least 12 into the ground, with bottom of mesh sloping outward.

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How to Get Rid of Rabbits - We all know what rabbits look like; they are those cute fuzzy creatures that hop around your garden and your lawn. Rabbits have been an important part of our culture as they have appeared in our cartoons, literature and in cages in the living room. However, rabbits that are kept as pets are very different than rabbits in the wild. Rabbits are most recognized by their “fluffy” appearance and bushy tails that resemble cotton balls. They have long ears and come in a variety of colors such as gray, white, brown and black. However, not everyone thinks that these critters are cute or harmless.

Rabbits are the enemy of gardeners, farmers and landscapers. Rabbits are an issue for these people because of what they eat. Rabbits will eat anything that it green and leafy. A rabbit’s diet mainly consists of flower bulbs, plant roots, shrubs and some parts of trees. They will also make a snack of any of the fruits, vegetables or herbs that you have growing in your garden. They will also dig holes in your lawn and under your house or porch for their burrows which can cause significant damage. If you have a rabbit problem that you want to take care of, try these suggestions to get rid of rabbits.

  • Fencing is probably the most effective and humane way to get rid of your rabbits. You can choose to either fence off your entire yard, your garden or even individual plants to keep the rabbits from eating them. You can go with almost any type of fence, but you want to make sure that the fence is buried at least a foot underground with at least a foot above ground. A white picket fence will do the trick or you can try a wire mesh fence if you are on a budget. However, building a fence like this will not do anything for the rabbits already in your yard, so you will want to get rid of those when you build the fence.
  • Trapping is another effective way to get rid of rabbits in your yard. There are both lethal and live traps available at many hardware and garden stores. You can even try calling your local humane society’s office and ask if they can lend you a trap or let you rent it. Bait the trap with an enticing snack and make sure to wash all of your human scent off of it. Rabbits are smart and will know when you are up to something. Make sure to check the traps every day and when you do catch the rabbit relocate it to an area that is at least 10 miles away from your property.
  • You can also use repellents like predator urine. Coyote and fox urine has said to be effective for scaring away rabbits, but these scents are unreliable and wear off quickly. You will have to constantly reapply it, especially after it rains. Needless to say, if you live in an area that gets a lot of rainfall, this is not the method for you.
  • There are also fungicide sprays that are repulsive to rabbits and they will not go near the plants that you spray it on. These sprays have a chemical called thiram that is toxic to the rabbits. However, this chemical is also toxic to humans and you cannot spray it on plants that you plan on eating. However, for trees, shrubs and ornamental plants this is very effective for keeping the rabbit away while not affecting the plant.

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 keep rabbits away - prevention techniques.
Information about how to catch a rabbit - remove one stuck in the house.
Information about rabbit repellent - analysis of types and effectiveness.

Rabbit Information & Facts

Rabbit Appearance: Rabbits are small mammals with long ears, large eyes, and scissor-like teeth. While not a rodent, rabbits share the characteristic perpetually growing teeth of that species, though the number of teeth and location within the mouth is different. The rabbit’s front legs are much shorter than the hind legs and are primarily used for digging. The hind legs are long and powerful, capable of kicking with such strong force that the animal can actually break its own back. Rabbits in the wild are usually a mixture of browns and grays, while rabbits in captivity can be as varied in color as domestic cats. The weight rarely exceeds three pounds in the wild, though rabbits up to twenty inches tall can achieve greater body mass.

Rabbit Habitat and Behavior: Rabbits live in many different countries. The largest population is in North America. They can live in most environments and will occupy meadows, woodlands, mountains, and marshlands. Rabbits are social creatures, living in groups inside a complex system of burrows called a warren. Warrens are composed of large, interconnecting tunnels. Sleeping burrows and food storage burrows are all different, and each rabbit is allowed the ability to select a private den to sleep.

Rabbits have a tremendous reproduction rate. At the age of six months, female rabbits—does—are able to be bred. Once bred, the females will produce a litter in thirty days and will immediately be able to be impregnated again. This cycle occurs for most of the year, and rabbit litters can number up to twelve offspring.

The wild rabbit is always on the alert for predators. It is a staple in many carnivorous diets. If danger is detected, the rabbit will thump the ground with its hind leg, producing a loud vibration throughout the surrounding area. Other rabbits will immediately seek refuge inside the warren or under any available cover if a burrow is not within easy reach. The thump is not only a warning to other rabbits, it is also a warning to the predator that it has been noticed.

Because they breathe solely through their noses, rabbits are prone to infection from cuterebra, a fly larva that migrates up the nose and into the internal organs. Eventually, the larvae will develop into a grub and will tunnel out to the rabbit’s skin and create a breathing hole. These repulsive parasites will poke their heads out for air, sneaking back under the skin when discovered. They will eventually become a type of bot fly.

Rabbit Diet: Rabbits are herbivores. They feed on a variety of vegetation including clover, alfalfa, tubers, legumes, leafy vegetables, and grass. This diet of greens can be difficult to digest. To aid in the process, the rabbit will eliminate two different types of feces. Normal droppings are hard and are left alone. The second form is black and sticky, and these are immediately eaten by the rabbit. This special form of fecal matter is able to be re-digested, with more vitamins and nutrients removed the second time around. Rabbits also need a hard form of vegetation, such as wood, to chew on to maintain the length of their teeth.

Rabbit Nuisance Concerns: Due to the rapid rate of reproduction, rabbits can quickly pose a serious threat to agriculture. Some countries have had such an issue with rabbits that fences had to be erected to corral the destructive creatures. Rabbits eat constantly, and that frequent need to forage can devastate gardens and larger areas of crops.

Rabbit Diseases: Rabbits rarely contract rabies, but as with almost all wild mammals, there is still a concern. Other rabbit diseases include Q-fever, brucellosis, tularemia, giardiasis, encephalitozoonosis, and dermatophytosis. Most of these illnesses are rare and usually affect individuals with compromised immune systems.

You're here to learn how to get rid of rabbits in the garden or yard. This site is intended to provide rabbit education and information, 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 your nuisance rabbit.

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