There are 54 varieties of rabbits found all over the world. The most commonly found species in North America is the Eastern Cottontail. They measure between 14 and 18 inches long. Their fur will actually change with the season. In the summer months their fur is short and brown. As winter approaches, their fur becomes longer and grayer. All that remains the same is their white underbelly. Their white and bushy tails resemble a cotton ball, hence the name. Mating remains constant from February through September. In the winter, rabbits love a diet of bark, twigs, plant buds, but will switch to vegetables, flowers and other plants once it warms up. Although rabbits are known for eating carrots (thanks Bugs Bunny), they actually won’t go out of their way to eat them. Rabbits are known to carry tularemia.
Rabbit Nuisances & Damage
More than anything, rabbits will make you angry if you’re a gardener. They’ll eat your flowers, vegetables, and other crops just for fun. Rabbits may also girdle trees in your yard. This means that they will strip their bark, slowly killing the tree. Rabbits can also carry tularemia. This is a disease that causes fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, red lesions on the skin, and death if left untreated. If you come into contact with a rabbit and experience unusual flu-like symptoms, immediately seek medical attention to ensure the disease does not progress. Rabbits love their fruits and vegetables, so damaged crops are a good indicator that you might have a garden pest. Your tomatoes will be safe though, as this is the one vegetable rabbits won’t eat. Don’t jump to conclusions if your lettuce has been munched on. Other garden pests like groundhogs and deer will also sneak into gardens for similar snacks. Your shrubs and trees may also be damaged. They will attack smooth bark and and gnaw in random places. Twigs and sticks are bitten at a 45-degree angle. Rabbit tracks occur in groups of four. Tracks from their back feet occur ahead of the front feet because they leap with their front feet. Front tracks are about an inch long, while rear tracks measure between 3 and 4 inches. Their droppings are flat and round with the texture of sawdust. Normally they won’t bother you with noises, but they will scream when they are attacked, grunt when their nests are in danger, or squeal during mating season.
Rabbits vary in color, but the easiest way to identify them is by their long ears and short bushy tail. Their hind legs.
Rabbits In The Yard & The Garden
These hoppers are found in a variety of different habitats from deserts, swamps, and even forests. They are most commonly found in meadows, orchards, bushes, on farmland, or in areas that have low bushes and deciduous trees that lose their leaves annually. As for your garden - - only your tomatoes are safe from rabbits. The rest are usually on the menu of most species. You may notice some bite marks on the bark of your trees. That could be anything from a rabbit, to a vole, or deer, but rabbit bites are usually distinguished by small, smooth gnaw marks. They’ll often clip twigs and branches at a 45 degree angle.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I keep rabbits away?
Permanent removal of rabbits is not often possible because rabbits breed so frequently. However, modifying their habitats may help drive them away. These critters need shelter near their feeding areas, so removing thick piles of brush, trimming shrubs, and keeping your property closely mowed will reduce their hiding places. To protect your gardens, installing a small chicken wire fence around their perimeters will help, just make sure the fence is firmly planted in the ground. Repellents, pesticides, and traps are also options and can be purchased at your local hardware store.
Benefits of Professional Rabbit Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a rabbit problem. Finding and treating the rabbits can be challenging, especially if they are loose in your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the rabbit nuisance.