If you have rabbits in your neighborhood, no doubt you are all too aware of the damage they can do to your yard.
So, how to solve the problem?
Owl or coyote decoys?
Granular repellant (pet safe, of course)?
A .22 long rifle works well. Cottontail in a creamy mushroom sauce is delicious. ;-)
Have you noticed the rabbits seem to go in cycles? At least around here they do. Some years they are everywhere, like this year, other years you rarely see one.
I have, OTOH, smoked a couple of them with field points when I was in the back yard shooting my bow.
I've got a couple of barn cats that are hell on the rabbits.
Actually, we are not in Reno, proper. We live on the outskirts of town so it's Washoe County.
Doggie sleeps in the house and she's the furthest thing from 'ornery' you'll ever see.
Our rabbits just munch on the lawn a little, but they really don't do any damage. And nothing makes better fertilizer than rabbit pellets.
They munch on the lawn and in many places, what's left is nothing but dirt.
Then, when they're doing their munching, they pee and poop at the same time.
"Where bunnies 'go,' no grass grows!"
My father raised rabbits to eat. He used their droppings for fertilizer for his large garden. It's very "hot" though, so you have to use it sparingly. Tomatoes seemed to especially like it. My father's gardens were second to none.
How many rabbits are we talking about here? A handful? Dozens? Hundreds? Have you considered traps?
Traps are out. They'll just come back or other bunnies will magically show up to replace them.
There are hundreds and hundreds on Cottontails in the immediate area, along with a few Jacks. In my case, we're likely talking a dozen or so.
Yet if I can get rid of those, without question other rabbits will soon line up to fill the void.
The light should scare them and ur neighbors probably wont notice it.
I was serious about eating them. It's some of the healthiest meat you can eat, and it's delicious. Wild cottontails will be a little chewier than domestic, so slow cooking in some kind of sauce works best. Rabbit stew is one of our traditional meals at elk camp every year.
There has to be some sort of spray repellant you can put on your lawn, but I've never looked into it. I bet the greens keeper at your local course would know.
They often show up at the crack of dawn. As I get up early, if I see a bunny or two on the lawn as it gets light, I'll call my sweet doggie "go get the bunnies." She comes running, then I open the door and once she sees them she goes running after them.
I think that scares the bejabbers out of them, but only for the rest of the day. Then they come back again the next day.
I'd bring in some rat snakes, they'll eat the rabbits.
Kyle lives in one of those "hoity-toity" neighborhoods. You know, McMansions with perfectly manicured landscapes, and rich blue-hairs walking their poodles. I don't think snakes, feral cats, or hunting dogs would go over too well. ;-)
Kyle, talk to the grounds keeper at your golf course. I bet he'll have a few ideas.
Earlier this year I was getting lots of coyotes on my trail cameras. During that time, we had little or no rabbit issues.
Since then, no coyotes and lots of bad bunnies!
Kyle, funny you bring this up. The cottontails are making a major appearance up here this year, too. I've even been watching a number of youngun's grow up. Been tossing them a few fresh almonds every morning, and they actually come within a few feet and eat them right in front of me.... 'course, I ain't threatened with yard destruction like desert folk... ;^)
All I need now is a couple of Anti-Bunny guns!
But a word of caution: There won't be ANYTHING left alive within 100 yards of your house!!!
Go to TSC (ag supply) and see if they have any pepper spray (gallons) as a pest control to spray on the ground.
One of the things that might work is see if you can get wolf or canine pee to apply on the "rabbit trails". Another trick for snakes is to pee around the edge of the yard to keep the snakes out....
With a fenced yard, the JRT is not a bad solution, he'll catch and kill or offer no peace to trespassing critters. And with such a target rich environment, he won't be bored enough to dig, which is one of only 2 cons to me about owning one. My BMC has the same mentality, nothing is allowed to live in his domain. If we had a rabbit problem, well, we wouldn't have a rabbit problem.
Really?? I live on 5 acres surrounded by woods. In the summer you cannot see the nearest neighbor's house, and we rarely...if ever...see a snake. When my dog needs to "go out", I go out with her. I think you just gave me the reason why!
A trick I learned from my father was to spray your traps with apple cider after setting them. Not only does it attract the critters, it knocks down any human scent.
Based on Kyle's pics, he's got some mighty hungry bunnies. I suspect that's because the watered lawns and landscapes are about the only greenery they can find in his neck of the woods.
It's interesting that others have noticed that rabbit populations run in cycles, as I have. I wonder what variables affect that? I've noticed no correlation between weather/precipitation/vegetation. We've had big rabbit numbers in dry and wet years both. In my area, I have noticed that when coyote numbers are down, rabbit numbers are way up, which makes sense, but what causes coyote numbers to change year to year? Apparently, they naturally migrate around so no one particular area gets over harvested. Kinda like the bison used to do with grasslands on the American plains.
Explosives are what is needed.
The reason rabbit populations run in cycles is coyotes. The coyote population follows the rabbit population but is a year or two behind the rabbit cycle.
When rabbits are abundant, coyotes have plenty to eat and the population grows. But as it grows, they eat more bunnies so the rabbit population declines, with a decline in the coyote population to follow.
Supply and demand!
I agree, I've never seen rabbits do that kind of damage, either. I think Kyle has something else going on with his lawn.
I'm lucky I have a 37lb pit mix that kills anything that enters the yard. My fig trees haven't been touched in years since she got a few opossums and raccoons.
They pee and poop, then poop and pee in that spot. I can actually take a trowel and scoop up dozens of pellets at a time.
In the bare spots, I get my blower out and 'whoosh away' lots of droppings which then end up off of the grass.
My neighbor has an owl decoy in his back yard and it seems to work as his yard has very little damage.
I ordered TWO owls. They have rotating heads which are motion sensitive.
If they work, I'll get another one for the front yard.
It appears the ones which screech and hoot can be annoying to the neighbors, so I passed on that option.
Just not enough to eliminate the rabbits.
Since they started visiting after my lab passed away, we rarely ever see a slug ....