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One of the joys of having a yard is viewing the wildlife that may wander in and out your space. While sometimes we want to attract them by putting up bird feeders or salt licks, our yards provides the food, water, and shelter they need. Wildlife can end up causing damage in our gardens or flowerbeds and wild rabbits are notorious for finding their way to your vegetables and flowers, and can be tricky to get rid of. The best approach to rabbit control, to prevent damage and stop them from eating your flower bed is to combine some knowledge of rabbit behavior with exclusion, repellent, habitat modification techniques, and trapping.
Rabbit Behavior, Habitat, and Food Sources
Rabbits can cause damage at any time of year. In the spring, they prefer young, growing plants, especially those in the rose and lily families. They also enjoy garden vegetables like carrots, peas, beans, lettuce, and beets, and also clover and turf grass. In the winter, rabbits gnaw on bark of young trees and shrubs to get to the green inner bark. Rabbits use natural cavities or other animals’ abandoned burrows to take shelter in bad weather. In other times, they shelter in brush piles, hedges, and shaded, heavily landscaped areas. Areas with plenty of moisture are especially attractive to rabbits.
Rabbit Damage Identification
As with any form of animal control, damage from rabbits must be correctly identified in order to properly control rabbits. Cleanly clipped stems on tender shoots and small, chiseled gnaw marks on the bark of trees. The clearest sign of rabbit lawn damage is actually seeing the little critters hopping around your garden and yard.
How to Get Rid of Rabbits
Exclusion is the best and simplest option for keeping rabbits out your garden and controlling rabbit damage. Here’s what you can do:
Habitat modification will add to your exclusion methods by reducing shelter and water sources for the animals, making your yard less attractive to rabbits and other critters.
Rabbit Repellents and Rabbit Trapping
Repellents and trapping can provide temporary control if exclusion and habitat modification is not working effectively.
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