Do you have a problem with rabbits? Rabbits were introduced by the Normans from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa in the 12th century to provide meat and fur. They escaped their enclosures and colonised Britain very quickly. They can live for up to 9 years but in the wild they rarely live for longer than 12 months. Rabbits become sexually mature at four months and breed quickly. On average doe’s (female rabbit) will produce 20 young per year with a gestation period of four weeks. Rabbits will rarely travel further than 200 meters from their main burrow.
The myxomatosis epidemic began in 1954 and almost wiped out the entire population. However, rabbits are now increasingly resistant to this viral disease. Adults will often recover from the disease and this immunity is passed on through the generations. Their numbers are now close to pre ‘mixy’ levels and present a problem in most towns.
Rabbits are one of Britain’s most widespread and destructive agricultural pests. They cause considerable damage and can decimate crops, with the resulting loss of profit on cereal fields and other crops. They also destroy fine lawns and vegetable patches in gardens, not to mention eating tree bark which can quickly kill young and old trees by ring-barking the trunks. Rabbits also pose a risk to health and safety by digging burrows and scrapes that can represent a trip hazard for people, livestock and horses, and in extreme cases, the collapse of banks, tracks, hedges and farm roads. Overgrazing by Rabbits threatens native mammals through direct competition for food, removes plant cover and contributes to soil erosion.
There are many methods that can be used to control Rabbit numbers including live trapping, traps, ferreting, shooting and gas to name but a few. Often a combination of methods will be used depending on the area, the scale of the problem and proximity to domestic pets or other wildlife. Another option is Rabbit proof fencing dug into the ground around the perimeter.
If you require assistance in controlling a rabbit problem or want to proof your premises against rabbits call Best4Pests for professional Rabbit control.
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