For the past few years I’ve seen more and more marsh rabbits on our islands. Now my yard is overrun with bunnies. They are somewhat cute in an overgrown rodent sort of way, but these are brash bunnies. At night, they crouch low, waiting for me to get close then suddenly jump away, rudely squeaking out a honk-chirp-hiss that causes me to jump out of my shoes.
Full Rabbit Buffet
You would think these rabbits would be more appreciative. After all, we have carefully planted a full buffet for their dining pleasure. My wife Susan and I have just redone our landscaping. They are especially enamored with the newly planted ground covers. In a single night they ate 25 new plants to the ground.
Egg Juice Anyone?
I chased the rabbits. My dogs chased the rabbits. They just scoot below some razor sharp, make-you-bleed bromeliads, taunting us with their chirp/squeaks.I suggested turning the table on these ungrateful varmints and snack on them instead (hasenpfeffer anyone?), but my kids all threatened to become vegetarians. Susan, wasn’t thrilled with the idea either.
So now I’m out defending our yard by spraying putrefied egg juice on the new plants. Really, this is a thing – only $30 a gallon at Home Depot, guaranteed to make the new growth less appetizing to the rodents. I’m not hopeful; apparently one female can deliver 6 litters per year. That’s a lot of hungry rabbits.
I need help. Where are the bobcats and raccoons that used to prowl through our yard? I heard Sanibel now has some resident barn owls – let them know I’m putting up an owl box.
According to Charles Sobczak, author of the book Living Sanibel – A Nature Guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands, marsh rabbits have a population boom every 7 to 10 years. Then the predator population catches up and eats all the bunnies. With less bunnies, the predators die-back and the cycle repeats.
Does anyone have rabbit repellent recommendations to use until our carnivores show up? Shoot me an email at Jim@McCallionRealty.com with any tips. Until then, I’ll be out spraying my egg juice, but next time I’ll wear gloves. That smell does not wash off.
(Note: No bunnies were harmed in writing this article… can’t say the same for our poor Asiatic Jasmine plants.)