Rabbits are excellent pets, but wild rabbits are an entirely different issue. They could develop into a much more dangerous problem if left ignored.
Digging is a natural rabbit trait, but it cannot be overlooked when they invade your privacy and wreak havoc on your grass with all these holes.
Why do wild rabbits dig holes? What will stop them from digging? How to stop them from digging? If you have problems with wild rabbits digging holes in your yard, this post is for you.
6 reasons why rabbits dig
To prevent wild rabbits from digging holes, it is necessary to first understand why they do it. Digging holes is a favorite pastime for rabbits kept as pets.
They dig as a kind of exercise and enjoyment. If they dig excessively, this could indicate boredom or tension. Alternatively, it could mean frustration. For wild rabbits, however, this is not the case.
There are more significant reasons why wild rabbits dig. For more essential reasons, wild rabbits build holes.
To create a burrow
Rabbits excavate holes to form burrows with tunnels branching off from the main chamber, ensuring ample escape routes. Additional holes will quickly follow when a rabbit digs a hole in your yard.
Rabbits may also dig holes and construct tunnels to help their food acquisition. If you have a garden or a lot of vegetation in your home, rabbits may head straight for it.
While you may see rabbits in the early morning or late afternoon, you are unlikely to see them at night. They are protecting themselves from nighttime predators by sleeping underground in a hole they have dug themselves.
To construct a home and provide refuge
Rabbits dig holes for their shelter. In fact, pregnant rabbits give birth inside their burrows because they provide a safe haven from predators. Some rabbits, in fact, grow their offspring under the burrows. They eat and sleep below, away from predators.
For safety and privacy
Rabbits, as previously stated, dig for survival. These holes are drilled for privacy and safety. These holes will protect them from larger animals and allow them to sleep soundly at night.
To gain access to food
Rabbits in the wild have the freedom to roam wherever they want. However, when there is a food shortage, they tend to look for a new home.
Rabbits dig holes in the ground when they spot an area with plenty of green grass to eat but is inaccessible. Digging will help them get through from underneath.
Help to get plant food easier
Digging beneath the ground, where the plants grow, can make it easier to obtain food. The root parts of some plants are particularly appealing to rabbits, and digging them is the best way to gain access to these roots.
Protection for nature and other elements
Rabbits create burrows to protect themselves from nature and other elements. When it rains or snows, these holes are where they will remain until the weather improves.
8 ways to stop rabbits from digging
Now that we know why wild rabbits dig holes, we can start looking for ways to stop them from digging and destroying your yard. Catching the rabbits might be an excellent solution to the digging problems.
However, doing that is impossible to do considering that you are not just dealing with only one rabbit but a whole flock. Setting up a trap will also do, but some laws prohibit that because they are part of the wildlife.
You don’t wanna mess up with the law. So to make everything in order, you have to keep it legal in natural ways. This section will talk about stopping the rabbits from digging your yard.
1. Clean your yard
Rabbits frequently seek protection near huge plants, where they may readily conceal themselves from predators. Eliminate their hiding areas by cleaning your yard.
Remove overgrown grasses and bushes. Always mow the grass short of making it easy to see whether there are any wild rabbits in the area.
Remove any dead tree limbs lying around and trim any bushes with branches that are nearly touching the ground. Maintain an open and visible environment to ensure that you detect the first sign of wild rabbits invading your yard.
2. Cover all possible hiding places
Even after cleaning your yard, holes or hiding places likely remain. Cover them all and check for rabbits hiding in any holes you may discover beneath garages, patios, stairways, or other areas where rabbits might seek shelter.
Chicken wire or wood can be used to plug these holes. Reduce the likelihood of rabbits gaining in by using chicken wire mesh or wood boards spaced one inch between or fewer. Regularly inspect the areas where you’ve secured the structure to ensure the repairs are still intact.
3. Eliminate the water source
Rabbits prefer to live in locations with a water source, such as a pond, a stream, or a man-made lake. If you have a water source on your land, construct fences.
These prevent the rabbits from freely accessing water, discouraging them from establishing their habitat in other locations. You can use the same materials used to cover the holes to create your own.
The mesh holes should be small, no more than one inch. Additionally, you should bury the fence’s bottom four to eight inches underground and guarantee that it is at least two feet high. Regularly inspect the wall to ensure it remains intact and clear of undesirable holes.
4. Choose plants that rabbits hate
Not all plants are appealing to rabbits. According to studies, rabbits don’t like plants with a strong scent, pricks, or tough leaves. They, like humans, dislike certain plants.
Mix these plants in with the plants you already have in your yard, so they don’t settle there. Planting fragrant flowers and vegetables like garlic, onion, marigolds, and lavender will irritate their nostrils.
They are effective deterrents. Planting these trees or shrubs will deter rabbits from digging in your yard. Rabbits, like humans, do not want to live surrounded by things they don’t like.
5. Use metal wire as a fence and dig it under the ground
Put up some barriers to keep rabbits out of your yard. If you are sure that wild rabbits are there, a wooden fence will not work. Apart from digging, rabbits enjoy chewing. As a fence, use metal wire.
This is essentially a bite-resistant wire that rabbits cannot gnaw or squeeze through. Create the metal wire stand using some wooden skates. The mesh should be buried at least six inches below the ground to prevent rabbits from digging beneath it.
Additionally, it should be at least three feet tall to stop them from jumping. While this may seem like a lot of labor, it will be beneficial if you want an undisturbed lawn.
6. Spray some chemical repellant
If you believe that such dense fencing is an eyesore, a chemical repellent may be a feasible alternative. The repellant is a liquid sprayed on your plants, creating a harsh taste that shoves the rabbits away.
Note that this does not work if you have edible plants that you use for food. These sprays are not just harmful to the rabbits but also to you.
7. Let your pet cat and dogs stay in your yard
Allow your pets out when you notice rabbits in your garden or on your property. If you continue scaring them away, they’re likely to learn to migrate and find a more secure spot to eat and sleep in the long term.
If your cat or dog manages to catch a rabbit, you’re likely to arrive home to a filthy and unsightly sight.
8. Hire professionals
If you’ve exhausted all-natural remedies and nothing is working, you can call professional rabbit control services. They will take care of the problem for you.
This is especially true for large farms as a company. These pros can examine your situation and recommend the most effective remedies.
Stopping rabbits from chewing
Aside from digging, another thing that rabbits want to do is to chew. The chewing can be harmless, but it is not funny anymore when they start chewing your things like your slippers, your wires, your rugs, and other things in the house.
Here are some tips to stop the rabbits from chewing.
- Keep them busy: To stop them from chewing important things, buy them toys to chew so their attention will be focused there. You can also feed your rabbits more hay because they can wear out the rabbit’s teeth.
- Keep your important belongings out of their reach: To ensure your things are safe, keep them in a secure location that rabbits have no access to.
Rabbits may dig burrows to avoid predators or access a fenced-in area through holes dug in the lawn. Another approach is to dig holes to loosen plants for easy feeding.
Even if you successfully eliminate them overnight, rabbits tearing up your yard or garden may be difficult to eradicate. Keeping a tidy lawn, employing repellents, and installing rabbit-proof nets and fences are all efficient methods of keeping rabbits away from your home.