A common wildlife animal, the cottontail rabbit has become increasingly more of a nuisance with the increase of human development. These rabbits are easy to identify as a greyish-brown color with rounded tail and with broad white edge and white underbelly. They are 14-17 inches in length and weigh 1.5-2.6 pounds. In the wild they rarely live past 2 years old. Cottontails will have multiple litters per year and baby rabbits are called kits. Rabbits are commonly mistaken as a rodent, when in fact they are a lagomorph like pikas and hares. Damage from rabbits includes eating of ornamental plants, eating of turfgrass, nesting under decks and concrete, and chewing on electrical wires or car wires.
Treatments for Cottontail Rabbits
Treatment for rabbits is one of the most challenging because there are not a lot of options. There are no registered poisons for rabbits in Colorado, thus leaving us with exclusion or trapping. Exclusion by keeping them from going under a deck, patio, or keeping them from your yard in general is always the best solution; however, in some situations, exclusion is not feasible. Exclusion is a long-term solution, but it can be very expensive and might not be possible in certain neighborhood HOAs. If we can keep the rabbits from breeding on your property, you should have good success. Trapping is another option, but rabbits are difficult to trap, especially when there is not snow on the ground. Like most trapping programs, we probably will not be able to trap every single rabbit. Trapping is used to decrease the population, not eliminate it. There are numerous repellents on the market claiming that they will keep rabbits off your property. We have tried them and have not been happy with the results and we will rarely, if ever, recommend this type of solution. An easy way to limit the amount of rabbits on your property is to limit nesting areas. Keep your property free of debris and make sure that the rabbits cannot burrow underneath decks and concrete.
Exclusion will keep all the rabbits out of your property and is the best long-term solution available. NOCO Pest and Wildlife Control trapping can help reduce the rabbit population, but other treatment options should be done in conjunction to provide long-term relief. Always make sure that your property is free of debris and make sure that there are no nesting sites available for the rabbits. Rabbits can carry fleas and are known carriers of Leptospirosis and Tularemia, so make your property as unfriendly to rabbits as possible.