I LOVE fuzzy little bunnies but….

…. we’ve been lulled into a rabbit takeover. During our severe 2014-15 winter, we watched from the window as one sad rabbit fought to survive atop 3′ of snow. We were pulling for the bunny as it nibbled birdseed and whatever else it could find. At neighborhood gatherings, we exchanged sightings and worried about our bunny.  He/she survived. That was then and this is now.

Perhaps we were seeing more than one or it found another survivor. There had to be a male and female because we now are seeing the breeding potential of rabbits. Yards this summer look a little like the invasion of jackrabbits out west. At times, all I see from the window are baby bunnies… very tame babies, baby bunnies that graze from yard to yard, from garden to garden.

I’m playing catch-up learning about their diets. What do they like and what do they not like to eat? They hop around the yard nibbling grass and that’s perfectly fine but when I discover nibbles from my garden, I worry.

They don’t seem to totally eat anything…. except all my sunflowers and liriope. They sample from the smorgasbord. They seem bent on destroying plants, not eating them.  I don’t want to harm the rabbits but trying to learn how to protect my garden. Coyotes, foxes and hawks are natural predator that may balance out the number but right now I need solutions.

Suggestion so far: red pepper spray (seems cruel), a dog or cat (too disgusting to visualize), barber shop hair, motion detector sprinklers, scare tape or balloons, pinwheels, but the only solution I see for me are plant cages. Drat. Wonder if there is a sure-fire solution other than harming these cute little cottontails….

17 thoughts on “I LOVE fuzzy little bunnies but….

  1. No bunnies here… yet. Instead, it’s more like invasion of the woodchucks. Have been experimenting with companion planting my herbs — a friend tells me they don’t like aliums. Though it’s only been a couple of days, I plunked a chive next to the tasty parsley and so far they’ve stayed away…

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    • After raising a baby woodchuck, I could never kill one but that’s what many choose as the final solution. Mankind vs. Nature. It’s a game of wits but Nature always wins in the long run, yes?

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  2. Squirrels and chipmunk invasion here – half eaten gorgeous strawberries strung all over the yard. Our rabbit, Herbert Menninger, resides in a nice house and only nibbles on lettuce when we cut it for him. 🙂 I have used a pepper stray concoction for deer before.

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  3. The best solution is what Frank Perdue does, only his creatures live a horrid life.
    Right now my yard is full of chipmunk-sized rabbits. We have three kinds of Hawks, and three kinds of owls, but nature is not taking action of course. We see more daily. The only thing rabbits don’t fear is me! I talk to them, and I keep the grass really lush and long, which so far has kept them satisfied. And same with the chipmunks. Multiplying and no predator activity that we have seen. Good luck to y’all with all this.
    Meanwhile, bluebird pair is on its second brood. I still feed them live mealworms three times a day. Some of the first brood are hanging around begging, but are being driven away. Don’t think I saw any young ones today.

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  4. I made the mistake once Annie of trying mothballs to keep the deer away from my garden. Spent a summer with melting camphor under my bedroom window. Now I know why it works, I almost moved out myself!!

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  5. Tell me about it. Here we are having a rabbit population explosion. I’ve tried spray repellents. They smell like bear piss and wash away with the rain. I’ve thought of putting up a sign that says “Welcome Coyotes”. There are coyotes around, but apparently not enough of them. We used to have an outdoor cat who was an avid hunter but she would always leave her trophies proudly by the front door. Also she would go after songbirds, which I hated to see. I protect some woody plants that the rabbits are especially fond of (crabapple, witchhazel, etc.) with hardware cloth.

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    • New Hampshire is perhaps the 1st or 2nd most forested state depending on where you get your information. We live close enough to huge forests that we hear the eerie screams of fisher cats. Coyotes have bred with wolves so they are LARGE. I think the wise rabbits have taken refuge in our fairly safe back yard suburb. Dogs on leashes and no cats…. and tasty eats.

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  6. We are just now seeing rabbits in our yard after about a decade long “dry spell”. I’d suggest the same deterrent we use for deer – daffodils. Apparently, all parts of the flower – the bulb, the stem, the leaves – are all distasteful to critters. We don’t dig up the bulbs, just leave the stems and all to dry out and naturalize the following year.

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