Wascally Wabbits

Sunday July 22, 2012


Mr Pest Control


How do I get rid of rabbits in the backyard? They are eating up the grass.

Mr Pest Control


The ideal solution to rabbit control is going to be permanent exclusion. If this is a yard that is fenced then it is all the easier as you already have a physical barrier around the backyard that can be modified to prevent the rabbits from getting through any holes or digging under it. Digging would be their most likely entry method if the fence is otherwise completely intact and without holes. To prevent them from digging under the fence requires some sort of permanent barrier placed down into the soil at least 1 foot deep. Obviously this is going to require a lot of digging by someone, but once in place the barrier will last for many years to prevent rabbit entry. Hardware cloth or even chicken wire with a minimum of 1 inch mesh will be effective. If the fence is porous and holes are inevitable, or even if there is no fence, the chicken wire placed around the yard at up at least 4 feet high can also be a physical barrier. If you choose to place the wire only above soil level then it can be bent outward at the bottom for a few inches, and this helps to discourage rabbits from trying to dig under the vertical portion. 

If you have this rabbit problem here it would normally be due to a nice population of them around the area, so killing a few rabbits, while probably legal, would only leave the door open for others to try to enter. Trapping them and releasing them somewhere else would be illegal without permission from a wildlife agency, and again would not resolve the issue of more rabbits coming to the property. You are in California where natural grassy areas turn completely dry in the summer, so the rabbits are going to be drawn to green landscapes for their food. In California rabbits may be classified as game animals, meaning the homeowner or you, as the contractor working for the homeowner, could legally kill them if they are damaging the landscape. But, killing them may not set well with other neighbors, so some diplomacy is called for, and killing is a short term solution. 

Chemical repellents may have some effect but it too will be very short term. These work best for protecting specific plants rather than wholesale applications to turf, and they would need to be re-applied constantly to be effective. Ultrasonic repelling devices are well known to be ineffective. Toxic baits, as far as I know, do not exist for rabbits in urban areas. I would try very hard to sell the customer on the need for physical exclusion as the most effective and only long term solution. 

Mr. Pest Control

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