Are rabbits causing unsightly spots in the lawn and destroying your prized gardens?
CALL 303-683-9283 to schedule your rabbit inspection TODAY!
Our technicians will assess your property for rabbit habitats and access points before providing a rabbit management plan. Whether it’s habitat modification, rabbit removal, or repair work we will strive to provide solutions that protect against future intrusions.
Most of the rabbits that we encounter in the Denver metro area are Cottontail rabbits. They are herbivores that love to feast on fresh vegetation – including your lush grass and beautiful flowers. When fresh vegetation is not readily available rabbits will chew on the tender bark of trees or shrubs. They will even chew through the wiring on cars – especially those with natural fibers.
Cottontail rabbits typically live in hollows. Sometimes these hollows are made in plain sight – those unsightly spots of dirt in your yard may be caused by rabbits. Other times they are hidden underneath a structure. In suburban areas, rabbits will often take advantage of openings underneath a shed, porch or patio. Rabbits may dig out the area or use existing rat/mice tunnels to infiltrate the area. Most rabbit holes will be 3-5” in diameter and may show signs of fresh dirt around the opening.
The most effective way to keep rabbits from living underneath a structure is to eliminate the access points. In most cases this must be done by installing a rabbit barrier around the structure that cannot be dug under, pushed aside, or chewed through. If only the current access point is sealed, but other vulnerable areas remain rabbits will often burrow under the area again. In the process of installing a rabbit barrier, it is important to confirm that no rabbits are under the structure at the time of repair. This may require trapping or other removal measures to prevent rabbits from getting sealed into the area – leading to foul odors from death and decay.
Rabbits may enter a building if ground level access points are present. One of the most common areas that rabbits will take advantage of are cantilevers up to 1.5 feet off the ground. Often the board on the under side of the cantilever is either missing or deteriorated. This allows rabbits (and other animals) to enter the floor joists and get in the walls, ceilings spaces and main living space of a home. To eliminate the access point, the cantilever board must be repaired and sealed properly. Any rabbits that may be in the space should be trapped or removed to prevent sealing them inside.
Rabbits may also burrow under “shallow” foundation walls to access a crawlspace. This typically happens when erosion has washed away the dirt along the foundation line and rabbits can dig a little bit to get under the foundation wall. Rabbit access can typically be mitigated by installing additional barrier to the area, replacing the eroded dirt, and correcting the cause of the erosion. As with any repair, the rabbits should be removed from the area prior to sealing up the access point.
When rabbits are simply visiting a property to feed on the vegetation, control options change. Some properties may need to consider repairing a fence line to limit a rabbit’s access to the yard. This can be done by installing a barrier along the fence line. Typically, the barrier needs to be installed below the soil so that rabbits cannot push it aside or dig under it.
If limiting access is not a possibility, trapping to reduce the rabbit population on the property may be necessary. Rabbits are very cautious creatures that can be wary of baited traps – especially when other food sources are readily available. For this reason, pre-baiting is often advised to increase the success of trapping campaigns. Pre-baiting allows rabbits to become familiar with specific feeding areas on the property before traps are set. These control methods are ideally done when alternate food sources are at a minimum – late summer through early spring.
When considering rabbit control, don’t forget about prevention. It’s easier to be proactive than to mitigate rabbits actively damaging your property. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Keep debris and vegetation cleaned up so that rabbits do not have hiding places on your property.
- Consider planting vegetation that rabbits do not like or zeroscaping in areas where rabbits are prevalent.
- Seal up potential access points around sheds, decks, patios, porches etc. before rabbits take up residence.