Too Many Ravenous Rabbits This Year!!!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

What's with all the Bunnies? They are all over thew place this year--munching away at all my plants!
I see at least three generations running around! I have put plastic rabbit fencing around every one of my beds, but--if they have their heart set on a certain plant--they just chew a little "door" right through the plastic and have breakfast....I don't always find these openings right away until I see nothing but stubs
where once stood a 2' high plant ready to bloom.

As in Jill's "Not Chocolate Daisy" I got from her at hart's. It was almost 2' tall and a nice looking bunch.....Now look! This all happens overnight!

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Same here....This WAS my Orange Daylily. Luckily, it had already finished blooming.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

This is what it looked like a couple of weeks ago.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

This is all that's left from my neighbor's beautiful, yellow Oriental Lily.
They just chew the stem right off and then have a meal of all the leaves.....

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

This is what THAT flower looked like...

Do any of you have some secret ways of dealing with Rabbits????? WHAT?

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Shenandoah Valley, VA

Gita, I have a big container of snake repellent I got a couple of years ago to encourage the black snake that was in the water garden to move on. It got the snake away from there and I've used it since to keep ground hogs and rabbits out of my flower beds. Worked like a charm to keep the digging critters away from my bulbs too.

I'm sure the other sprinkling animal repellents work just as well but I can promise you the snake repellent works.

The garlic I interplanted with my daylilies to keep the deer from mowing them down would work too, although you'll need to use something else until the garlic grows up.

Here's some recipes for homemade repellents including some for animals in general and one for rabbits specifically.

http://www.ext.nodak.edu/county/ramsey/hort/trees/general/repellents.htm

http://www.ghorganics.com/page6.html#Rabbits more homemade rabbit repellents ( wouldn't use anything with bonemeal or bloodmeal because that can draw other critters)




Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

Gita, I'm so sorry about your bunny damage. I think the population runs in cycles, one year I am over run and then it slows down to a few here and there, this year the only one I saw was a dead one in the back yard.

But I am having a huge ant problem!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

ladygardener,

EVERYONE is having a huge ant problem this year!

May I suggest "Orthos" Home Defense spray? You can buy it everywhere....
It comes in ready to spray and also as a concentrate.

Spray it around the perimeter--inside AND outside--where you think ants may circulate or come in from. If you have a deck--spray it around the posts and along the flooring near the house. Inside--spray it on your windowsills and door sills--around the kitchen sink, etc.
If you have HB hanging from tree limbs--spray the trunk--all around--so they won't crawl up the tree. I had a HUGE problem with ants having set up housekeeping in the bottoms and insides of all my HB that I had hanging from my maple tree. YUK!

This is a REALLY good product. Once it dries, it is safe for animals and children--BUT it puts down a barrier that the ants (or any other bugs) wont cross for FOUR MONTHS!

There are many other ant products available...

Hope this helps, Gita

Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

Thanks, Gita next time I'm out and about I'll get some.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Gita- Maybe they were all cozy in your neighbor's bushes until the new guy started hacking them out. Sorry to hear it, so frustrating!

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Gita, tell me about it w/all the rabbits, the stinkin' things, and I have lovely patches of clover in the lawn that they could be enjoying, but noooooo, they have to be munching on my plants. New hydrageas were eaten, I can't find the hardy cyclamen that were coming up.
I did put crushed irish spring soap around the one hydrangea that the leaves are still on and they haven't touched it. Found them in my new wildflower garden and put cayenne pepper after I saw them, haven't seen them in there since, but of course you have to keep reapplying it after it rains.

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Gita, We're having a bad problem with them here too. In my front shrub bed, I've been putting down Molemax, trying to kill those little buggers that are eating my azalea roots. So far, no dead moles, but this week there were 3 dead small bunnies. Guess it's the Rogaine methodology at work!! The bunnies deforested my parsley and have completely defoliated some new shrubs. I bought some sort of small holed metal fencing to wrap around them yesterday. Spent $200 at the Agway and probably $125 of that was for critter defense!!!!! The groundhogs and squirrels are having a heyday too.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

It's voles for me. I am putting mothballs in the holes. and setting a few traps. Cannot use poison with the pets around.
One of my kitties has been known-cough- to bring home baby bunnies. Better that than a bird right?

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Sally, I think I'd prefer a bird. LOL!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

oh, either one is hard to see. If only I could teach him to go for House sparrows and House wrens, and leave alone the sweet little kinglet...

I haven't stopped the voles, but I haven't lost a nother plant lately. I have no clue what actually occurs when I put mothballs down the holes and close it. Probably they have a back door. Ants eat the peanut butter off my traps! unless they are licking without setting it off. Wooden-wire traps but also high tech new plastic ones, much less dangerous to the fingers and nerves to set.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

House sparrows, OK, but wrens -- oh, the cat that caught a wren would be in such trouble here! LOL

I have pretty good luck chopping up extra mint and sprinkling it around my garden to deter the bunnies (then they stick to the clover). I noticed a while ago that they completely ignore anything growing in the bed with the 'Kentucky Colonel' spearmint groundcover... I think it confuses their little bunny noses. Peppermint oil or spearmint oil on a cotton ball might also do the trick... I think LariAnn wrote an article about using that to deter voles in the greenhouse (essential oil, not alcohol-based flavoring).

Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

Jill, I have baby wrens, the youngsters are keeping Mom and Dad very busy.

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Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

What fun! I think we've got at least 2 pairs of Carolina wrens and one or two sets of house wrens in or near our yard, although I don't know where they're nesting. They love to hop among the plants on the deck and catch bugs... needless to say, I cheer them on!

Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

I have had wrens for a few years now but this is the first time for the house, girlfriend gave me the "Bluebird" House for my birthday but I didn't have a place to put it up till the new fence was put in last year.
I notice them flying to the neighbors yard for bugs, maybe they got all my bugs. If not I have to have a talk with them about who they need to pay rent to. LOL

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Hey- I have happily given a home to house wrens as long a I've had a house/yard of my own, but house wrens are not the innocent lil charmers we would like to believe. I recently had my conscience raised about them. (aggressive, territorial)

I have plenty of mint to chop and sprinkle--thanks for the hint. Chipp and Dale like to play in my pots~~

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Sally, One year I covered an entire bed in moth balls, I caught the squirells playing volleyball with them. Then I lined the perimeters with red pepper flakes. It bothered no one. I soaked all of my new daffodil and lily bulbs in cayenne drenched oil before planting. They still were dug up and thrown all over the yard. My winter garden gloves got very soft and developed a nice dark brown color.

I'm not a bird lover, but since I have 2 white mulberry trees, there is an incredible winged audience to my every gardening effort. They have become a board of
directors and I find myself talking to them constantly. They don't even move away when I come near. I think they've decided that I'm a harmless fool and fun to watch.

Critter, I have moles eating the Azalea roots in my shrub bed. Do you think that sinking pots of mint behind the shrubs would help? What about in the winter when the mint has died? My moles are very active in the winter. They move to their winter resort, the insides of my lighted xmas ground ornaments!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Sad but true tales from the house by the woods, that people whose houses are NOT by the woods, long for.

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

No Sally, the sad tale is that today when I asked some kids if they would like to take a hike in the woods, they replied that they'd rather do anything else!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

humph---I would rather do not anything else. sigh.

Lexington, VA(Zone 6a)

Too many "critters" this year :( We've always had problems with the rabbits, but Lucky is doing a pretty good job keeping their population under control and this year doesn't seem as bad as others. Voles and moles, grrrrrrrr - they've got tunnels everywhere and although they're an ongoing problem here, this year seems to be the worst! Maybe I'll have to pick up some mothballs and give them a shot. We bought some concentrate last year that has Caster Oil in it that's supposed to be good, all you have to do is connect it to your hose, but I still haven't tried it yet :( Groundhogs are another problem this year - not too much damage in the gardens but at the nursery we've got a whole family living under one of the houses! Surprised one of the babies last week when he was in the house munching away - made a mess of things trying to make a fast getaway back to their hole :( They have some favorites that they always attack, but now I'm seeing damage on some of the shrubs - fewer and fewer leaves every day :( I think it's time to post a sentry and bring out the guns!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I guess we'll find out about the house wrens, Sally! I saw them here last year for the first time. They'd better not drive off our beloved Carolina wrens!

Stormy, the mint works against the rabbits and maybe groundhogs also. I haven't had much luck with various scent deterrents for voles -- anything I try works for a day or two, and then they return. Moles, I just don't have any experience with, thankfully. I do have a wicked mole killing device that I bought when I thought my voles were moles... it's heavy enough that it wouldn't be worthwhile to ship, but if you're ever passing through this way, LMK! :-)

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

critter- I'll probably get something into Pending articles next week about HW, but there are people adding guards to bluebird houses - see Sialis birding website

I bought a groundhog repellant once, no good at all.

Baby groundhogs- no fair they are sending out the innocent civilians to get sympathy.

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

I read somewhere (maybe here on DG) about using Juicy Fruit gum for voles. Put in down the hole, they eat it and die. Sounds weird, but the guy swore it worked like nothing else.

Moles & voles are really bad here this year, too. I had zero problems last year. This year, they're tunnelling under everything. They've been all through the garden chomping on roots of everything. Especially onions-- somehow they eat the bulbs but leave the foliage standing straight up. I've gone out there to weed several times and found rootless onions and new transplants dying from having their roots tunnelled through. I've never had to deal with them before, so I'm kind of at a loss as to where to begin. Can't use any harsh chemicals or dangerous traps because of my little son. Maybe I need a cat. :-)

We haven't had much problem with rabbits, thankfully. I mostly credit my neighbor's dog, who is constantly urinating all over my yard and precious plants (grrrrr...) for keeping them at bay. Guess he's good for something.

Ants were bad last year. They're worse this year. I'm gonna get some of that Ortho spray Gita mentioned. Otherwise, I might find myself carried down an anthole one night.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Our local Radio Gardening Guru (Allan Summers) used to always tell people that the only thing that works on Voles is "Remik" (sp?). You put it down their holes--and it is Bye---Bye! You might find it at a Southern States or some other Farm Supply type of a place. NOT at HD!

Just saw a new small baby rabbit running around today...it looked so thin! The Momas sure abandon them early! This one was maybe 7" long....Not yet too afraid....By my configuration--this should be brood #3 already....Just going by what sizes I see....when...

Frankly--I don't care how small or big they are--I chase them away (yeah, right!) with the hose or just running them off. Sometimes they just stand their ground and stare at me--until I get really close. Then they, reluctantly, lumber off as if to say--"Oh, Yeah?"

I am keeping an eye out for newly chewed open "doors" in my rabbit fencing. You know--rabbits ARE kind of stupid! I am sure they could jump over a 12" high plastic fencing, but NO! They need to chew holes in it....I have a nice lush, green lawn. WHY can't they eat my grass? I even have a small patch of clover by my front door.
And you know all the "hype" about rabbits liking carrots (Bugs Bunny fame)---NOPE! I once put out some carrots, and they never touched them.
Hmmmm...maybe I will put some out for the baby.....He/she might be "stupid" enough to eat them! I DO feel sorry for them--but I spend my good money on plants and I do not like seeing them decimated.
Maybe--if we did not have big trees in all out yards, some of the buzzards would swoop down and liberate me from all these rabbits and Chipmunks......Anyone want to mail me a couple of Black Snakes?????.........:o[

****HEY!!!! Early notice!!!!!!

I will be leaving this Saturday (6/28) for an extended trip back to my Homeland--Latvia. My sisters and a nephew will also be going. I have not been there for 14 years! I am in for a culture shock!
Anyway---I will be shutting down my computer this Saturday and you will not see me posting at all. TRY to survive this deprivation!!!!
I will be back in town on July 22nd--recovering.....getting my garden back in shape and dealing with a 5hr. jet lag....I KNOW I will jump right on DG to see what's what.

YES! I will be lugging BOTH cameras along and will have pictures to share.....

Gita

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

snort chuckle!!! have a great time!!

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Have a good trip-Gita!

Lexington, VA(Zone 6a)

Gita, how exciting - hope you have a wonderful trip!!! Darn, did a search for "Remik", looks like it won't work for me - I don't take any chances that Lucky might get hold of one of these critters and have devastating consequences :(

Quoted from the site: "Now, I do have to note that follow up posts on the subject voiced concern about using poison to get rid of rodents because dying rodents will tend to surface shortly before they die, which makes them easy prey for critters higher up on the food chain, including hawks, owls or domestic pets. Should a domestic pet or anything else dine on a poisoned rodent, it, too will die a very unpleasant death. One has to keep this in mind, I think, before resorting to rodent bait."

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Yeah, I never trust the labels that promise no secondary poisoning. I do have a bottle of poison pellets for voles that I resort to only very rarely (when I've got a really destructive one and other measures have failed)... but I use only one pellet, pushing it down into an active hole. I figure one pellet's worth of poison will do in the vole (and it does) but is unlikely to kill a larger animal the way using the recommended teaspoon of pellets might (who knows how many pellets the vole could scarf down before expiring).

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Gosh, Now I've found holes all over the garden. And so many plants have had the dirt cover removed. What's most likely doing this?

I have no pets, nor do my neighbors, so Remik sounds good to me.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

er, big holes? little holes? plants chomped?

NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

Can't figure out the rabbits of excess numbers this year. Last year it was groundhogs.

The birds of prey are not working this area this year. People may be driving more slowly giving road crossing critters a chance to avoid the squash.

Here is the real and most valued secret. The only consistancy in gardening is the absolute inconsistancy of it all.

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Critter ere are some holes arond a newly planted Ribes. There are 4 holes all together.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Stormy,

If the holes are "all over your yard" it is squirrels digging....looking for all the fathom nuts thet THINK they buried "somewhere".....They just dig.....every pot I have pit out--even cell packs--they go and dig into. I have plastic fencing all around pots and window boxes because of it.
Nothing you can do--it is instinctive behavior. ....See? This is where I have all my Basil planted.

Gita

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Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

One hole has a leaf sticking in it. I noticed some plants snapped off at the bottom and discarded. I noticed some holes like this over the weekend when I went to gas the grondhog den. I've not found a lot of chewed foliage, but all of my newly planted shrubs keep having the dirt removed. I've bought some fencing, just haven't gotten to it yet.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

stormy,

It is freshly dug soil where they go to dig first. That would explain why your newly planted shrubs have all the dirt removed. I wonder if putting bark mulch on top right away may deter them?????

Talk about mulch...I have a wheelbarrow full to put on my tomato bed yet before I leave......

G.

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