Who can deny that the sight of rabbits scampering across a dew-laden field in the early morning sun is not a pleasant and heart-warming one?
But, it can come at a terrible price…
- Damage to crops – every gardener and farmer can tell you that an uncontrolled massive population of rabbits can cause damage to crops in next to no time at all. Forever hungry and prolific breeders, the rabbit population is constantly on the lookout for food for themselves and their young.
- Damage to trees – rabbits can also eat the bark from the lower trunk of a tree, including newly planted young saplings. This permanently scars the tress but can also make the trunk vulnerable to disease. This in itself makes the tree unstable and, in orchards for example, means that the quality of fruit, if any is produced, can be low.
- Unstable ground – their constant burrowing and tunnels is effectively a rabbit motorway under the soles of your feet! Even worse is that these burrows can make the ground unstable, not good news for farmers or horse owners…
- Burrow holes – the exit and entry holes to their burrows can also cause a nuisance for animals, from cows to horses. An animal tripping on these holes can damage their feet and legs, not something any animal owner wants for their prized stock.
- Urban problem too – rabbits are not just a blight on structure and land management issues in the country side; they can cause untold damage in towns and cities too. Their burrowing can make motorway banks unstable; rail lines can become unstable too and neither are industrial premises immune from the burrowing of rabbits.
Is there an answer?
Rabbits are a natural and important part of the local ecology; they are needed to keep fauna and flora under control BUT, if their numbers swell to huge proportion, they can become a very serious issue.
Controlling the population on the land, both in the country and in a rural setting, is an important and integral part of land management; failing to control rabbits is failing to look after the local environment.
However, there is no ‘quick fix’ but, with perseverance and determination, rabbit numbers can be controlled and therefore, the damage they cause is also kept to a minimum…
Rabbit-proofing measures are an investment of time and money but can reap dividends when it comes to an improved quality of land, as well as decreasing maintenance costs too.
- Rabbit proof fencing can be erected to keep the number of rabbits able to access a portion of land to a minimum
- Poisoning could also be an option if an immediate effect is needed to curb the number of rabbits in an area, but this is something that should only be carried out by professional pest controllers; poison is laid in a way that means other animals, including pets are not affected.
- There are other methods too, including the use of nets, traps etc. but the best way forward is for a professional pest controller, with experience in rabbit control and management to assess the situation – some methods are better suited for use in some situations than others.
Rabbits need not be a problem and you can once again watch the scampering bunnies across the fields, knowing their numbers are under controlled and damage is being minimised.