The use of traps can be effective in reducing rabbit numbers, however, this method is time consuming, requires previous trapping experience and may not be allowed under local by-laws.
Gardens and specific crops can be protected by preventing rabbits from gaining access to them. Rabbit-proof fences should be:
- 80cm high
- made from galvanised wire netting with a maximum mesh size of 3cm or electric fencing wire
- buried 20cm into the ground to hinder digging
Individual shrubs and trees can be protected using netting cylinders, plastic sheaths or steel guards.
Repellents are substances which render plants unpallatable or unattractive to browsing rabbits. Solutions should only be applied to 50% of the foliage cover to avoid damaging the plant. Commercial repellents available from garden centres or agricultural suppliers include:
- Thiroprotect - a thiram-based repellent
- Treepel - an egg-based repellent
Egg mix: Mix four eggs with 100ml water-based paint and 900ml water. Pour through a strainer into a spray applicator and apply every three weeks.
Thiram mix: Mix 50g thiram fungicide wettable powder witha
little water to make a paste. Add 100ml water-based paint and 900ml
Fat and kerosene mix: Heat soft mutton fat. Mix 1 part keroseneto 10 parts of fat and allow to set. Apply sparingly to leaves with rubber gloves.
The following methods can also be considered:
- Spray the lower parts of trees with a strong lime sulphur wash.
- Spray a strong solution of Jeyes fluid evenly around the plant.
- Sprinkle the garden with naphthalene moth balls or blood and bone fertiliser.
Commercial Pest Controllers
If you do not wish to use any of the above methods to control the rabbits yourself Bay of Plenty Regional Counil pest animal officers can recommend a suitable pest control contractor. Pindone rabbit pellets, Magotoxin fumigant and Greengard bait stations can be purchased from Bay of Plenty Regional Council offices. Your local pest animal officer can also help with practical instruction required for a poison licence.