Their bites may be small, but they’re also constant – and considerably destructive to spring shrubbery. Since the rabbit population is naturally threatened by larger predators, spotting their entryways and hiding spots can pose major difficulty. Still, you may have taken notice of their nibbling habits here and there and even observed them in action. You or your children may fall for their seemingly tender cuteness, though don’t be fooled; these nimble animals are as capable of damaging your garden like any other hungry pest.
Recognize the Presence of Rabbits
Some gardens are full of rabbits, while others see an occasional visit from time to time. To ward off their presence, you first need to identify the signs – tree and plant damage are common signs, along with small rabbit droppings spread across your yard. They can be scattered around randomly or found in minuscule piles, though rabbit scat is often identified by its similarity to peas in size and shape.
Notice Damage to Trees & Plants
If you have young trees in your yard and notice bark shavings in the surrounding area, you can bet a rabbit has taken a visit. This is especially common in the winter when new plant growth has come to a halt, leaving your trees and shrubs in danger as the second choice in a rabbit’s diet. They’ve been seen to both lightly gnaw in small portions and to fully destroy young trees, cutting away at the bark until plant circulation of water and nutrients is completely cut off. A sign of rabbit damage on shrubbery is distinguished by clean, 45-degree cuts – damage any higher than two feet above the ground isn’t reminiscent of a rabbit presence.
Surround the Area with Fencing
Encompassing your garden or yard with protective fencing is a common method for the prevention of any lingering pest with harmful tendencies. Fencing around two to three feet in height should be buried around six inches beneath the ground, and you can protect young trees by installing collars around the trunks. Installing electric fences is a more advanced strategy, though it’ll likely thin out your wallet a bit. Lastly – if you’re in a snowy environment, keep in mind that extra height might be necessary.
Scare Them With Props
If you take a trip to the local gardening store, you’ll find all sorts of scare devices to place near damaged plants in an effort to frighten invasive rabbits from continuing their reign of destruction. Items such as ceramic owls are often used in this way, though don’t rely too much on these props – after all, they’re inanimate objects with no movement to convey realness. Over time, rabbits typically grow comfortable around these objects and will no longer see them as threats.
Employ Your Pet
If you own a dog that loves to chase small animals such as rabbits, which is a similarity across most dogs due to their natural prey drive, try keeping them in your yard to watch over your delicate garden or young collection of trees. Simply seeing your dog could pose enough of a threat to scare rabbits into leaving your yard alone. Not to say you should purchase a dog for this very reason, as the extra costs and maintenance of a pet can be significant, though existing dog owners could find value in this simple method of rabbit prevention.