- Jackrabbits (Snowshoe hares) and Eastern cottontails are commonly seen in grassy, open areas with thickets and burrows nearby.
- They are most active from late afternoon throughout the night and in early morning.
- Cottontail young are born throughout the year in grass-lined nests in burrows.
- They will leave the nest after 1-2 weeks.
- Jackrabbits have their babies in depressions under bushes.
- A young rabbit is on its own when it is the size of a fist, its fur is fluffy and its ears are standing.
- Cottontails may damage gardens, green crops and young woody plants.
- Jackrabbits eat a considerable amount of vegetation and can cause damage to unprotected gardens, shrubs, and tree saplings.
IS THERE A PROBLEM? HOMEOWNER SHOULD ACCEPT NORMAL, UNOBTRUSIVE BEHAVIOR.
Refer to SELF-HELP if:
- The problem is repetitive.
- The homeowner or a neighbour is feeding the animal.
- The established activity patterns are a nuisance.
Refer to PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE if:
- The hare is confined and unable to leave without hands-on assistance.
- If a young animal is orphaned.
- It is injured.
- The homeowner is unable or unwilling to exercise self-help options.
- If the animal is eating plants: Construct a cylinder of hardware cloth to protect the plants. The cloth should be at least 3 ft. tall for jackrabbit protection. Spray the plant-base with Ro-Pel® or Critter Ridder®.
- If the rabbit is in the garden: cover the seed beds with branches.
Removal of Attractants
- Stack firewood off the ground or inside buildings.
- Remove birdfeeders or at least clean up fallen seed.
- Advise neighbours to do the same.
Habitat Modification & Exclusion
- Fencing is generally effective if it is extended 2 feet underground to prevent the hare from digging under it. Underground fences must be "L"-shaped and should also extend a minimum of 3 feet upwards.
- Discourage gnawing by covering tree bases (usually saplings) with hardware cloth.
- Keep yard and adjacent areas mowed and cleared around shrubs to reduce hiding areas.
- If trapped in a room, open an avenue of escape.
- Spray with water (garden hose).
- Place ammonia-soaked rags where the animal is known to rest or den.
- Loud noises (clap hands, etc.) will usually scare them off.
- Sticky substances can be placed in the area - animals do not like the footing.
- Spray areas with 1 cup of regular Pinesol per gallon of water or spread a mixture of cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce and water (a few tsp. of each per litre of water).
- Rabbits do not like anything that smells like humans: human hair in a nylon sock at the perimeter of a garden or urinating around the garden usually keeps them out.
- Soap bars are also known to repel rabbits.
- Planting daffodils, bearded irises, hot peppers, catnip and peppermint (both members of the mint family) can to repel rabbits as well.
- For more great tips go to Rabbit Controls
- This is not recommended because when frightened, adult rabbits are very difficult to catch. In addition, once caught, rabbits can kick so hard that they can break their own backs. Trapping should only be done by professionals.
- Removal of a nest is not recommended. If a nest has been disturbed, replace all the fur and hair and touch all the babies. The mother will not reject them if they all smell the same. Chances are you will never see the mother feeding the babies because she feeds them at night. In the morning, check the babies to see if their bellies are full, or place a string at the entrance of the nest to see if the mother has returned.
- If a rabbit is caught, place it in a quiet, dark box with a paper towel lining the bottom. Do not place grass in the box, as dried grass can be toxic to rabbits. Also, do not feed it or give it water.
This is suggested when all other measures have been taken and it is determined that the rabbit may need to be removed from the property.
- Humane Wildlife Control (514-395-4555)
- If a young animal is orphaned: Young rabbits are not usually abandoned. If you find it on your lawn in a protected area, chances are that the parent is off feeding somewhere, watching you. Watch the animal from afar. Chances are that when you leave the area, the mother will return. – House it in a cardboard box with a heavy lid (with air holes) or place the box (without a lid) in the area near where it was found. The mother may come for it.
- If the rabbit seems injured, refer to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. It is illegal to hold any wild animal. Baby rabbits are unlikely to survive in an amateur's care.