Getting Rid of Dad-Watted Rabbits In The Garden

Rabbits in the garden can be a major pest and there's few things worse for a gardener and coming out to find Bugs Bunny has just finished chewing off the all the buds on your just-about-to-open flowers.

Controlling Rabbits

So how do you control this pest?

Fencing. A good wire fence that goes down into the ground at least six to eight inches and is three feet high will stop rabbits from getting into a garden. It has to be buried or they'll do a little digging to find a hole through. And you might have to do a little careful patrolling on a regular basis.

Dogs and Cats Well, yes and no. Depends on the dog and cat. My old hunting cat at the farm would bring down rabbits with no problem but some of the other lazy ones would sniff at something that big. The Black Lab would take off chasing anything on four legs but the Old English Sheepdog couldn't see it and if she did, wanted to make friends with it.

Guns Extremely effective but Elmer is not welcome within city limits. Seems that the neighbours get downright touchy about shotguns going off in their backyards.

Manure Well, maybe. I'm told that milorganite encircling your plants will protect those plants as rabbits won't cross it. Variability depending on the weather.

Blood Meal Well, maybe. I've read reports of its effectiveness but it has never worked for me.


Foul tasting sprays Well maybe. Some seem to work and some don't. It has to do with how often you spray (once they get a taste of unsprayed flowers, they seem to eat all the sprayed and unsprayed equally). Regular spraying works the best.

The higher the concentration of bitrex in the product, the better. You have to be diligent about this – spraying after a rain and continually refreshing the spray at least once a week even if it doesn't rain.

And don't bother spraying your vegetables; you won't like the taste either.

Feed Them

And your rabbits have to have an alternate food source. If your garden is the food source in the area – you're toast. If there's a lot of clover nearby, you will have an easier time moving them to alternate dining facilities. So feed them plus use deterrents.

Trap them This works on the shoulder seasons when food is scarce and through the winter months. Mind you, once you trap them you have to kill them because moving them out of your neighbourhood is simply slow killing them or torturing them. Instead of a fast humane death, they'll wind up torn to bits by dogs or supper for owls. Take responsibility for your actions -- if you decide to trap follow through.

Best advice Fence! If you can't or won't fence, then combine several of the above. Make sure they have alternate sources of food and spray like heck with something foul tasting. Do it regularly to control rabbits in the garden.

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