General Discussion:

rabbits rabbits everywhere !


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Susan25-Apr-05 04:00 AM EST
Nancy27-Apr-05 03:30 PM EST 5   
tom dawson30-Apr-05 10:41 AM EST 3a   
Patricia30-Apr-05 02:20 PM EST 5   
Susan01-May-05 11:58 AM EST   
Ann13-May-05 05:00 PM EST   


Subject: rabbits rabbits everywhere !
From: Susan (killam@eastlink.ca)
Date: 25-Apr-05 04:00 AM EST

I am a newcomer to the icangarden newsletter and considered myself a relatively well informed gardner. But I am really at my wits end with our problem and REALLY hoping someone out there has some suggestions.

We initially thought we would have a deer problem due to the extensive woodland throughout our subdivision just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. As it turns out, we haven’t seen the deer in almost a year.

However, we have far more intrusive visitors and NEED HELP desperately. Every one of the shrubs, bushes and perennials (with the exception of one lone smoke bush) we planted last year, were decimated by rabbits. They worked their way through artemisia, gold-tide forsythia, mockorange, several varieties of spireas, roses, weigela, viburnum and their favourites were over a dozen hostas which were nibbled to within a half inch of the soil, not a leaf remained to be seen. The plants couldn’t establish any growth (not to mention root system) at all... as soon as there was any sign of new growth on the plantings, the rabbits invaded. They were so bold, that they were coming up on the deck, and eating right out of the planters which were on the steps. I am sure they are thanking their lucky stars that we moved onto this lot!

Everyone thinks they are so cute and laughs at our rabbit problem and our attempts, but it is serious, we can’t afford to keep replacing plants. We have tried everything from moth balls, human hair, a noxious spray mixture of neem oil and fish emulsion, to trapping more than a dozen over the winter hoping to diminish the population. Nothing seems to work…....in fact, the rabbits seem to ignore us and just continue munching happily and multiplying. They have no fear and obviously have never heard of the expression “scared as a rabbit” because they don’t even flinch if we try to shoo them off. We have even tried chicken wire, but with such a large acreage, and so many shrubs, bushes and plantings, it is extremely unsightly to have everything covered with 3 foot encirclings of wire mesh.

Is there anything anyone can suggest? We are desperate…....they are now eating the new growth on the new lawn which we put in last fall…. And I am sure as soon as there is a fraction of new spring growth on the plantings, they will start on the shrubs again.

We would appreciate any sugggestions....cheers


Subject: RE: rabbits rabbits everywhere !
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 27-Apr-05 03:30 PM EST

I can sympathize, Susan. Last season they almost knocked off my smoke bush, chewed up my yuccas, many crocuses and tulips, 2 feet off the bottom of my 12 foot upright juniper and all of my beans. But at that, it's no where near as bad as you have it.

Our population explosion seems to be due to the lack of neighbourhood cats. We lost most of our good hunters in the last two years and the rabbits are now breeding up a storm. I've been unsuccessful at trapping (bought too small a trap, I think), but have some luck this year with sprinkling around a mix of Critter Ridder, blood and bone meal as both repellent and food for my bulbs. The nibbling on the smoke bush stopped when I sprayed with an animal repellent (sorry, but don't remember the brand). One of my neighbours has reminded me that she loves rabbit stew, but I'm not about to try to buy a shotgun these days, not that I'm not tempted some days.

If I come up with anything else, I make sure I share it here. Good luck, and let us know if you find any solutions.


Subject: RE: rabbits rabbits everywhere !
From: tom dawson
Zone: 3a
Date: 30-Apr-05 10:41 AM EST

Hi Susan, i asked one of our writers, Art Drysdale to look at your posting and see if he had any suggestions - he did, so check out his article this week - go to the home page and click on the "this weeks articles" and choose his article

regards tom


Subject: RE: rabbits rabbits everywhere !
From: Patricia (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5
Date: 30-Apr-05 02:20 PM EST

Don't assume that you don't have deer just because you don't see them. We never see deer, yet find tulips chewed to the ground, plus lots of deer droppings and even their hoof marks in muddy spots. They come around after dark or just before sunrise. One thing that seems to help a bit: a large noisy bamboo windchime hung in a tree.


Subject: RE: rabbits rabbits everywhere !
From: Susan (killam@eastlink.ca)
Zone:
Date: 01-May-05 11:58 AM EST

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. If it ever stops raining here long enough for us to stop the work on our ark, I will definitely give Art Drysdale's suggestion of the Wilson Rabbit Repel a try. It sounds quite promising. Thanks again Tom....cheers


Subject: RE: rabbits rabbits everywhere !
From: Ann
Zone:
Date: 13-May-05 05:00 PM EST

Rabbits became a problem in my area due to the wolves and coyotes being hunted out, -balance of nature upset once more. If they do indeed seem very tame, how about a catapult or pellet gun ? It sounds as if you have too many shrubs to wrap in chicken wire.


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