Varment Guard offers rabbit control, trapping and removal solutions for your property. Our expert technicians have the tools and knowledge for humane and ecologically sensitive rabbit removal.
Common Name: Eastern cottontail rabbit
Scientific Name: Sylvilagus floridanus
To learn more about wildlife removal, take a look at our Wildlife Removal & Trapping page.
HOW TO GET RID OF RABBITS:
Rabbits can be prevented from accessing valued ornamental plantings, as well as fruit-bearing plants and vegetables, by installing a 2 foot high fence, comprised of chicken wire or 1/2 to 1 inch mesh galvanized hardware cloth around the planting bed, fruit patch or garden to be protected. The base of the fence should be secured to the ground, or slightly below soil level, to prevent rabbits from squeezing through narrow gaps along the bottom margin. Cylinders constructed of 1/4 to 1/2 inch mesh hardware cloth, standing 18 to 24 inches high from the ground and extending a few inches into the soil, will protect the woody ornamentals and young trees they encircle from rabbit feeding damage, provided the diameter of the cylinders is 2 to 4 inches greater than the diameter of the trunks and stems they surround.
Wooden pyramid or live-catch wire cage traps can be effective for reducing rabbit populations in an area, provided an attractive vegetable bait or lure can be found to compete with the surrounding vegetation preferred by rabbits for food. Good winter baits include dried half-ears of corn and dried alfalfa and clover (available in pet supply stores). Cage traps can also be set as funnel traps to capture rabbits leaving tight spaces under decks that are in the process of being excluded with a buried wire fence.
Varment Guard offers a repellent application service to deter rabbits on your property. Repellents are generally recommended for use on woody parts of shrubs and saplings and ground sites desirable to rabbits for hiding and nesting. Periodic reapplications may be needed to keep rabbits away.
RABBIT PEST STATUS
Rabbits are considered to be pests because they feed on succulent flowering and leafy ornamentals and garden vegetables in spring and summer; then they girdle and kill shrubs and saplings as a result of feeding during winter. Rabbits can be discouraged from hiding and nesting on the premises if existing features that provide cover are removed. Such features include lower branches of shrubs that cover the ground, tall, dense vegetation, wood and debris piles and spaces beneath out buildings.
- Adult body length (without tail): 14 to 17 inches
- Adult body weight: 2 to 4 pounds
- Gestation period: 28 to 30 days
- Litters per year: 2 to 3
- Litter size: 2 to 10 (usually 2 to 5)
- Breeding season: February through August
- Birthing season: March through September
- Age at which young are weaned: 3 weeks
- Activity period: Night (pre-sunset to post-dawn)
- Range: 10 acres or less
- Primary foods: Vegetables, weeds, wildflowers, shoots, tender twigs, live bark
Dealing with Rabbit Nests
Rabbits often build nests in grassy areas. Activities like mowing and raking your yard can disturb rabbit nests. If you find that a nest has been disturbed, put it back together and cover the young with the grass that originally covered them. Removal of juvenile rabbits is not recommended - Even if they are taken to an animal rehab facility; they are unlikely to survive.
Juveniles will be big enough to leave the nest within 3-4 weeks. If you find a chipmunk-sized but fully-furred rabbit with its eyes open, ears erect, and the ability to hop, it is meant to be on its own. Juvenile rabbits found alone are usually not orphans. As small and helpless as they look, they don’t need your help.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why Do Rabbits Keep Choosing My Yard?
Rabbits probably aren’t targeting your home specifically. That being said, certain elements of a yard do tend to bring rabbits around. Any variety of ornamental plants, bushes, shrubs, and flowers could fall prey to the long-eared menace. Vegetable gardens are also enticing. Basically, if your plants are accessible, a rabbit is coming after them. Learn more!
How Do I Keep Rabbits Away From My Yard?
Keeping rabbits out of your yard means depriving them of what they want. First, you’ll need to fence off rabbit food sources. You should also block access to rabbit-accessible cover like your porch the same way. Finally, look for other good food sources like fallen fruit and bird seed and clean them up frequently. Learn more!
Do Rabbits Hibernate?
No! In fact, there are no rabbit species that hibernate during winter months. Instead, they remain active–and eating–all winter long. That doesn’t mean rabbits are unaffected by the cold, however. Winter is just as hard on rabbits for several reasons. Read more!
What Do Rabbits Eat?
Rabbits feed on a wide variety of plant life, including grass, weeds, seeds, flowers, and leaves. They can’t ingest anything meat-based, which means they’re less likely to root through your trash. Rabbits will also eat vegetables and fruit if they can get it, even though these high-sugar foods are bad for them. Learn more!