Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Preventing rabbits in your garden

One problem you can get if you live in a rural region is the ever present rabbits. They despoil your vegetables and make a mess of your lawn. And they are getting much more common. Although in the 80’s they were well under control, they have been multiplying like – well - rabbits and they can be real trouble in the garden..

The traditional approach to a rabbit problem was decidedly deadly. People used to snare them, or trap them, or shoot them. In the old days people used to go out at twilight, with night scopes, and then stun them with a bright headlight. The Rabbits would stand still making an easy target.
Other approaches were to use ferrets to drive them into nets (this is no longer legal in many parts of the United States).

Of course, you can’t take many of these approaches these days. It is illegal to use snares, and if you do trap them you are legally responsible for killing them instantly, and in a humane way. When you trap them you need to use an approved trap.

Personally, my preferred approach is to try to prevent the rabbits getting into the garden.

There are two main ways you can do this. The first is to get a dog. The smell of a dog will frighten the rabbits away from your garden. This method is more successful than you would think. And you don’t have to kill anything!

The second approach that works is rabbit netting. Now, you can get this commercially. But one thing they don’t always make clear is that you need to dig the netting deeply into the ground. Rabbits, after all, burrow.
This makes putting the rabbit netting up quite an unpleasant experience.

There are other ideas, such as trying to use something like lions poo to frighten them off, or a sonic device, but I think in practice they are more quackery than effective. And so, from a practical perspective, you may end up having to trap the rabbits.

There are no really great solutions to the problem. Unfortunately if not dealt with you will slowly get overrun with rabbits.

I guess the upside is rabbit pie. 

I’m thinking about trying the recipe on although I think that this post has certainly alienated the vegetarian readers of my blog. Ah well. I hope they will forgive me J   

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