Rabbit control

There are quite a few legal methods of controlling rabbits: snaring, cage and spring trapping, shooting, ferreting, netting and gassing.

Make too much noise when you’re hunting them and they’ll not only hear you first but, in addition, thump their back feet into the earth, alerting all their chums that you are there too! To the experienced eye, the best method of control for each situation can be discerned by simply observing and evaluating the evidence.
A superb tool in the control of rabbits is the pitfall trap, whereby rabbits simply slide into a box trap overnight to be collected in the morning.

Basically a pitfall is a deep box with a lid that is secured by means of a hinge pin and return spring. The box is set in a run through a fence line where there are few other areas for rabbits to cross through. The box is buried into the ground and the rabbits soon get used to running over the lid. Once every week the pin in the lid is removed and the rabbits simply fall into the box and the return spring closes the lid, leaving rabbits ready for collection the next morning.

It is a remarkably simple but wonderful rabbit control technique whereby you can select at your leisure when you set the trap. By law, you need to go back to the trap at least every 24 hours, but we prefer intervals at 12 hours (dawn and dusk). It is not unusual to find as many as ten or so rabbits on every visit in the box. Be sure you are adept at neck dislocation (the best method of rabbit dispatch), as rabbits can give a deep, nasty scratch with the rear claws to the unwary or inexperienced.

Cage traps should be set nine metres or so from a hedge and pegged down securely so that foxes and badgers can’t roll them away if a rabbit is caught. As with all traps, do not set the trap to start with, but leave sliced carrot and lettuce around the trap, gradually putting the food inside the cage. Once the rabbit becomes accustomed to entering, then set the trap! Setting ten or so along a hedge line will give better results than just one or two. Make sure no public footpaths are near or it won’t just be foxes removing your traps!



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