Identification and Description
Rabbits are an interesting pest since they are so widely loved by many, and have been for centuries. Still, rabbits frequently cause a great deal of damage, and can be difficult to control due to their ability to reproduce so quickly.
The cottontail and snowshoe or other hare varieties are distributed throughout the United States. For the most part, rabbits and hares can adapt and live in urban and rural environments.
Often pet owners who are unprepared to handle swelling numbers release the animals into the wild, often too close to residential areas. Domestic rabbits which are let go and left to fend for themselves are not equipped to "live off the land". Often rabbits that were once kept as pets prefer processed food and when they cannot find any will quickly feed on crops, in gardens and in flower beds.
Diet and Feeding Tendencies
The appetite of a rabbit can create problems every season of the year both in residential and commercial areas. In the spring and summer, rabbits eat flowers and vegetables, and in the colder months they can damage and kill valuable woody plants and trees.
Most commonly rabbits devour a wide variety of flowers and similar vegetation. Certainly carrots are not the only vegetable that cottontails and other rabbits eat, and any gardener who has had a row of beans, peas or beets eaten to the ground knows better. There are very few crops that are immune to rabbit control problems.
Damage and Control
Although loss of vegetation can be annoying, damage that rabbits do to trees and other woody plants can be much more serious. Rabbits do their damage largely by chewing bark or clipping off branches, buds and stems. During the winter, when the ground is covered with snow for long periods, rabbits do a lot of damage to home landscape plants, orchards, park trees and shrubs that can be expensive to replace.
It should be understood that as rabbit numbers in an area increase, so do predatory animal populations. In some cases, the attraction of predators to rabbits can cause problems when they begin to prey on other animals and livestock in the area.
When rabbits become a pest control problem on your property, they can be both difficult to remove, and to discourage from returning. Professionals in your area that are trained with removal and deterrence techniques can help you to control rabbit populations and take steps so that they won't come back.
Animal Control - Interesting Facts
Latest industry estimates place the annual cost of damage and treatment of termites at $5 billion worldwide.