Nuisance rabbits

If the rabbit is not injured and you have a nuisance situation, here are some tips:

If you are having problems with rabbits chewing on tree trunks place half-inch hardware cloth around the trunks of these trees. It will protect the delicate tree trunk from a number of chewing mammals, including rabbits. Make sure you bring the hardware cloth up high enough on the tree trunk to protect it from mammals that will stand on their hind legs to chew. Please remember that your tree trunks may be growing, so apply the hardware cloth loose enough to allow for any growth.

If you are having problems with rabbits chewing on your flowers or decorative plants, spray these plants with a mild solution of 2/3 water to 1/3 plain (non-soapy) cleaning ammonia. It is non-toxic and discourages chewing because it tastes terrible. Remember that rain will dilute your spraying and neutralize its effect, so you may have to re-apply after a rain shower. Do not spray on human food plants, as it will affect the taste. However, you can spray around the border of people food gardens. If you have large human-food gardens, consider fencing it with 1/2-inch hardware cloth. To discourage the mammals from digging under the fence, bury part of the fencing under the ground. Initially it will be more work, but it also will result in a sturdier, more effective fence that will serve you longer.

We discourage live trapping rabbits for the following reasons:

  1. It is futile. Studies have found that an area or habitat will hold a limited number of any one species of animal. It will hold no more than that because the over-abundant population is reduced by food scarcity and predators. But the fact that is even more significant is that the area or habitat will also hold no fewer than the established number. So, by live trapping and taking some animals from the area other animals of that species will move in.
  2. Live trapping frequently results in the death of a trapped and relocated animal due to the stress and trauma of the situation. Add to that death count the fact that the trapped animal may be a lactating female who leaves behind babies to the painful death of starvation and dehydration.
  3. We have seen an increase in animals that injure themselves frantically trying to escape live traps. This injury is not the intent of the trapper and often that animal then needs medical attention, rehabilitative care and occasionally surgery to repair the injury.

Animal Humane Society's Golden Valley location provides care for all wild animals except skunks. We will provide phone advice for skunk situations. Please bring your wild animal directly to the Golden Valley location. If you need further advice or assistance you may call the Wildlife Exam at (763) 489-2223.