This year, the rabbit population seems to be running rampant! It could be due to the extra precipitation we’ve been having that leads to there being more food for them to eat. If their food is abundant then the number of litters will increase. On average, rabbits have about 2-6 litters per year, each containing up to 6 babies. Rabbits use grass and weeds not only to provide them food, but also to provide them and their young with shelter. These furry friends spend the entirety of their life on less than 10 acres total, so there’s a good chance that once they’ve made a home out of your lawn, without deterrent, they’re here to stay.
Typically, rabbit damage can create big problems for yards. They not only gnaw plants down to the root, but the concentration of urine can creating brown spots in lawns. If you’ve been noticing spots in your yard that look really short and are beginning to brown, it’s probably rabbit damage. Rabbits love to eat grass, and will munch it all the way down to the crown, putting a lot of stress on the plant. If areas of your lawn have been damaged, the best thing to do is to fence of the area and then keep it well watered and fertilized to help it grow back. The rabbits don’t eat the root system, so your lawn has a great chance of coming back.
Although getting rid of established rabbit families is difficult, it isn’t impossible. One of the best ways to get rid of them is to make their lives as uncomfortable as possible. Bunnies love low-to-the-ground shrubs and bushes, as well as taller grass because it provides them with shelter. So, a big way to get Rabbits to leave is by eliminating areas they could hide. Trim shrubs and bushes, put chicken wire below porches so they can’t get under there, and elevate any kind of decorative garden pieces that may be offering them refuge. Another way to get the little guys to move on is to cut off their food supply. Put fences around flower gardens, making sure that the openings of the fence are smaller than a rabbit’s head and dug 6 inches into the ground so they can’t sneak through underneath the fence. Spraying different odors on your plants like capsaicin (pepper extract), castor oil, ammonium salts, or predator urine can also help, but must be applied after every watering or rain. It’s also smart to utilize your pets! Let your dog chase the rabbits, or let your cat go harass them.
Bunny damage can be very frustrating, but with the right prevention and proper lawn care, you can get the furry nuisances to leave your lawn alone.