Saving a Cupertino backyard from a rabbit invasion


DEAR JOAN: We’ve been noticing a darling little cottontail rabbit perusing our yard within the final yr in an city tract neighborhood. However now I think it was not the identical animal l noticed every time.

And not using a pet to chase them away, we’re noticing little mounds of freshly dug filth — and gophers aren’t the culprits. A deterrent of Epsom salts isn’t doing way more than fertilizing vegetation.

This might be the start of the top for our backyard and possibly different vegetation. Any strategies earlier than I turn into Elmer Fudd?

Tim Mitchell, Cupertino

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DEAR TIM: I can’t assure you gained’t tackle some Fudd traits, however listed here are some issues to attempt earlier than you begin searching for an ushanka, Elmer’s trademark cap.

Bodily obstacles. Essentially the most sensible, if not essentially the most enticing, method of maintaining any undesirable creature out of your yard and backyard is fencing and protecting cages. Luckily, you don’t need to create tall partitions with concertina wire to maintain rabbits out.

Hen wire, with openings no bigger than 1 inch, is a wonderfully acceptable barrier for maintaining the bunnies at bay. You’ll, nevertheless, have to bury the fencing about 6 inches under floor to cease burrowing.

You’ll additionally want a specific amount of vigilance to ensure the fence stays intact and make sure the rabbits aren’t discovering a method in. Take into account it a pastime.

Use vegetation are deterrents. The typical rabbit’s weight loss program is different and sturdy, however there are particular vegetation they don’t look after. Vegetation with robust odors or tastes are within the dislike column.

Rising these vegetation in pots or within the floor alongside the perimeter of your yard and backyard might help discourage the rabbits from plundering. These vegetation embrace basil, garlic, rhubarb, sizzling peppers, spicy basil and mint, the latter of which is finest grown in pots.

If you wish to fill your backyard with vegetation that rabbits aren’t as more likely to eat, develop candy alyssum, lantana, marigold, geranium, wax begonia, vinca, snapdragon, sunflower, salvia, milkweed, catmint, clematis, coral berry, juniper, lilac, Rose of Sharon and spirea.

Take away nesting areas. Have a look round your yard for doable nesting spots and take away them. Use care at the moment of yr that you just don’t disturb energetic nests — these ought to be left alone and handled later. Rabbits’ favourite spots are in tall grass and overgrown areas.

Scarecrows. The usage of scare techniques don’t at all times produce outcomes, however they’re price a attempt. Rubber snakes and owl statues may work, however you’ll want to maneuver them round to maintain up the phantasm. Tying reflective strips to fencing or a chunk of twine additionally may work.

Overlook the mothballs

Lately, Debi, from Aptos, wrote to inform me that it’s unlawful to make use of mothballs in landscaping, and he or she’s completely appropriate.

I knew it was harmful to make use of them unfastened, which is why I’ve really helpful placing them in luggage. Nevertheless, I’ve now realized that their use outdoors the house is forbidden by the Environmental Safety Company.

Please ignore my earlier recommendation and go away the mothballs for his or her meant use, which is to guard material from moths.

Contact Joan Morris at

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