There may be times when the rabbits are munching on the vegetables and plants in your garden. This may cause great damage to your shrubs, and there is a high possibility of the rabbits ruining the fencing of your garden as well.
There are many ways to get rid of rabbits without causing them any harm. You can use chase the rabbit away with the help of rabbit repellent or even use traps. Most of the time, the damage done by rabbits is only a few inches from the ground.
It is essential to prevent rabbits from digging since they will make your garden a messy place. Although the shrubs, vegetables, and other tall grass are likely to have a relatively clean-cut since rabbits are known to be tidy that way.
These are some of the most important factors that can easily be noticed especially if you are just having doubts about the presence of any rabbit in your garden or yard. In order to be able to control the animals from ruining the plants.
Fencing the entire yard with mesh and even making traps to protect the plants and to remove the rabbits are some of the options that are essential to try.
How rabbits damage plants
Rabbits tend to eat vegetables and flowers during spring and woody plants during winter. They consume different plants depending on the season. One way to recognize the damage done by rabbits is by checking the young stems. The plants usually have a clean-cut, especially on the young stems.
Since rabbits are primarily under three feet, they eat the plant mainly within the same height. Rabbits tend to eat a lot of flowers during the spring season. As for vegetables, beets, beans, and the like are generally the ones rabbits may damage throughout your garden.
Rabbits clips off the stems, branches and they even gnaw the bark. Trees are said to be damaged by the rabbits, mainly during the winter season., along with shrubs. Young trees are also prone to damage since they are clipped off.
How to recognize rabbit damage on plants
As mentioned above, the rabbit’s food changes in every season. Young trees that are a part of the Rose family are said to be their favorite food. Among the woody plants, red, blackberries, and apple trees are damaged by the rabbits more often.
Carrots are also seen to be one of the most commonly damaged vegetables. Most plants that are only three feet high are the ones most likely to be damaged.
The rabbit burrows are also mostly near the plants, and you can check for the same to confirm. You should check the green shoots of the plant, which is usually tender. Rabbits are mostly seen munching on these.
Other than that, check the clean-cut on the plant; this will definitely help you know whether rabbits live on your property or not. This is one of the first signs that you can take note of.
How to recognize rabbit damage on trees and shrubs
Rabbits tend to destroy a lot of shrubs as well. Among trees, they tend to consume a lot of basswoods, ironwood, sugar, and red maple, mountain ash, etc.
In most areas, rabbits are likely to target evergreen compared to old or young trees. The bark is also considered one of the major food sources for rabbits. Since thick barks are more difficult to gnaw, they go for thin and smoother ones.
If the bark of the tree is relatively thick or rough, they consume the sprouts. Girdling is known to be the damage done by the rabbits. Once the rabbit has damaged the bark, the sap will not be able to flow.
If the trees’ bark has been completely removed, there is a high chance of the rabbit girdling it. The bark around the stems and trunks should be checked thoroughly so that the shrubs can be pruned or bridge grafted.
Sometimes, the traps or fence might not be around the tree, and the least you can do is try to prune the stems as soon as possible.
Some tips on how to get rid of rabbits
The girdled trees can be replaced since that is the only way you can prevent severe damage. Moreover, the stems can also be pruned off 1 inch below the area that has been damaged. You can try to protect your plants from various animals.
The problem of the rabbit eating all your plants or even trees can get worse. Moreover, there are a few tips on how you should prevent the rabbit from damaging the plants in your garden. You can try to protect your plants or tree by putting up a fence or trap in the garden itself.
Hence, all the tips to control the rabbits will be listed below. You can make sure that some of the methods are followed intricately for effective results.
How to prevent rabbits from damaging plants and trees
Many methods will help you get rid of rabbits. We will be discussing certain options for you to keep the rabbits away from your property in the most humane way.
1. Check your yard
You need to maintain your yard regularly. If your garden is overgrown, rabbits will likely start making burrows since they are only a little over two feet.
It becomes difficult to spot the rabbit population that has been inhabiting your yard. You should also mow your grass regularly, and getting rid of debris and branches will not allow the rabbit to make holes in the ground to live.
After doing the same, you can check for holes wherein the rabbits might hide during winter or the monsoon season. The possibility of the rabbits staying in the yard after the burrow has been blocked is very less.
The least you can do is maintain your yard and remove the piles of extra leaves or even debris that you have lying around. The less you clean your garden, you will not be able to control the rabbits from coming in.
2. Make a trap
Sometimes maintaining the yard alone is not an effective method to prevent the rabbits from staying away from your property. Hence, you can make traps for them and release them far away from your place after that.
You can purchase a live trap that will be able to keep the rabbits away from the plants. However, you should make sure that the rabbits do not pick your scent.
If they smell the human smell, you might not be able to trap them. It would be best if you put the trap in a relatively shaded area of your yard or any other property.
After that, you can check the cage several times a day so that the rabbits do not get stressed. This is one of the most effective methods to deter rabbits from your property.
After trapping the rabbit, you might not want to keep them in for a very long time. Rabbits do not seem to like getting trapped in a small cage, so you can release them around ten miles away from your place.
This is essential because they might find their way back, which isn’t ideal when you are trying to get rid of rabbits.
In order to deter the entire rabbit population living in your yard, you can put up fences. This is seen as one of the most effective and human ways of trying to deter the rabbits away from your yard.
There are many ways that you can make a fence to get rid of rabbits. You can purchase a chicken wire for the fencing and make mesh holes that aren’t bigger than one inch.
A few inches bigger in diameter won’t be able to keep adult rabbits away. Other than that, the fence should also be deep underground so that the rabbits don’t find their way from under the ground.
It would be best if you cut the chicken wire first, and it should be about 35 inches from the ground. The trench should be going in-depth, and the length of the perimeter is also generally tall. The fence should be around the yard, and this will definitely control the number of rabbits entering the yard.
A stake should also be driven into the ground, this makes the chicken wire stronger, and the rabbits will not be able to jump across or even navigate their way underground.
The chicken wire can be fastened thereafter, and there should not be any gaps that overlap the pieces of wire. The edges should be secured, and it should be tight around the stakes as well.
You can also make a garden gate if required. For this, you can contact a professional or make a small gate with the chicken wire itself’s help. However, the frame of the gate can be attached to either side of the stake.
Making a fence is one of the simplest methods on how to get rid of rabbits. The only thing you should keep in mind is that the mesh reaches the bottom and is a few inches deep in the ground. Making a fence can be of great help since the rabbits might find it difficult to jump over, and putting it in a certain depth in the ground will also prevent them from making burrows.
Rabbits are known to have a very strong sense of smell. Hence instead of other pest control, repellents are a very easy solution on how to get rid of rabbits.
You can deter the rabbits by using the scents of either flowers or other plants in the repellents. The best option is natural rabbit repellents. Other than that, the repellent should be safe to use. Chemical repellents may lead the plants in the garden to lose their flavor.
While getting rid of rabbits, the chemical repellents should be avoided since some of them can harm not only the rabbit but also the garden.
The solubility of water in your garden should also be checked before you move forward with using any kind of pest control. The pest or repellents might be water-soluble, and this results in getting dissolved very soon.
Half the garden might not be able to get the repellents, and the water is an integral factor to be noted.
The repellents are of great use, but it is essential for you to be cautious of the components used so that the plant or the flowers does not get ruined. The water should not absorb everything, which will make the repellent ineffective.
5. Some natural methods
There are a few ways that will help you get rid of rabbits in a natural way. Using sulfur or talcum powder can also help you keep rabbits away from your garden. This can be sprinkled around with the help of a brush.
Red pepper flakes will deter the rabbits and keep them away from the yard. Since the rabbits don’t usually like spicy food, those flakes will definitely keep rabbits away from the plants and trees. You can sprinkle it with the help of a brush and make sure that the bottom of the plants is all covered as well.
Another natural method of preventing the rabbit from making a burrow or damaging your plants is by using Irish Spring soaps. The shavings of the soap can be filled in small bags and then be hung in various places all around the garden.
Some plants are less liked by rabbits, and they don’t like to chew them as well. Hence, planting garlic, onions, and other plants with a relatively pungent smell will keep the rabbit away from the plants.
You can also plant salvia, sweet alyssum, and marigolds as well so that the rabbit will naturally be repelled.
There are a lot of factors that you should be taken into consideration while trying to check the damage done by rabbits. There are some ways to recognize the same, and you will be able to find proper methods in order to avoid the rabbit from eating the plants of your garden. Moreover, the piles of flowers, debris, weed should all be removed from the garden as well.
Using repellents that can easily be dissolved in water will not keep the rabbits at bay. Some of the important methods mentioned above will help you remove the rabbit and other animals as well. Making a fence or putting up a trap or mesh will definitely keep the rabbit away, and this will help you keep all your plants and flowers safe.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.