Wednesday, March 03, 2010


The rabbits will soon be munching in the garden.

I participated in a PA Forestry Web Seminar “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”. led by Gary S San Julian, Wildlife Specialist and Linda Wiles Extension Educator, Penn state University. An overview of garden pests included bears, geese, voles, raccoons, skunks, squirrels and many more.

Here are a few things I learned about rabbits.

Rabbits cut foliage with their sharp incisors making knife-like slanted cuts. Deer browse and tear. You can tell the difference between rabbit damage and deer damage by looking at the cuts on young plants and shrubs.

Rabbits only live about 12 to 15 months. But, they reproduce like, well, rabbits. (I guess I knew that part.) Each year a rabbit may have six litters with about 5 or 6 young each.

Rabbits usually don’t eat cucumbers, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, and some types of peppers.

Fencing is still the best method to keep rabbits out of the garden. I’ll be using cayenne pepper again this year. I am determined to be vigilant.

A rabbit’s tail is called a scut. (Just kidding. I learned that in a crossword puzzle.)

(Wildlife Damage Control publication “Cottontail Rabbits”.)


Kate and Crew said...

I love bunnies. I can say this because we don't get them in our garden - I'm not sure why since I have seen them around our neighborhood. I think our privacy fence and garden fence and raised beds and dogs might make our yard less inviting than others. The "scut" is fascinating to me though!

Marie said...

I'm sure the fence and dogs keep the little scoundrels out of your garden. The bunnies are very cute - until they start eating my flowers.

donna said...

I found this rabbit info fascinating. There have been many times when I've wondered if the damage was caused by a rabbit or a deer. You should do a post about how you use the cayenne powder. The thought of how quickly/often they reproduce is frightening.

A very long time ago, my high school son gave his girlfriend a white bunny for Easter. Of course, her parents didn't let her keep it. It came to live with us. My dad built a very sturdy hutch for it where it seemed to be happy. We lived way out in the country on a lake. I heard a terrible racket going on outside. Looked out the door and saw a couple of dogs ripping the wire off the hutch. My son grabbed a gun and shot it into the air to scare off the dogs. It was too late. All we found was Bun-Bun's scut!

Marie said...

Oh no - what a sad bunny story.

I'm glad you found the rabbit facts as interesting as I did. I didn't know how to tell the difference between deer and rabbit damage either. I think they both stay away from cayenne pepper.

Thanks for the suggestion on a post about cayenne pepper. I'll post as I begin sprinkling when the rabbits start munching.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I've been very lucky not to have rabbit damage out here on the farm. My border collie probably helps. Interesting that bunnies live less than two years. Seems kind of sad.

Marie said...

I think I need a border collie of my own. The rabbits have started eating some of the crocuses and tulips!

Unknown said...

I didn't know rabbits had such short life spans. Fences work, but they can be an eyesore. And expensive. I recommend picking up a bottle of DeFence. The stuff really works. Plus, it’s natural and organic so you can feel good about using it. If you buy it from, sign up for the newsletter and you get 10% off.

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