When Rats Harass Your Rabbits: How to Get Rid of the Rats Attacking Your Rabbits
Keeping your rabbits outside, even in the apparent safety of a sealed shed or garage, may attract the attention of nearby rats. Rats are omnivorous, which means they eat pretty much anything. Although they may first eat your rabbits' food, they have been known to attack and kill rabbits. Rats may also raid hutches in order to drag away kits so it is imperative that you take action to get rid of them before they decimate your rabbit population.
Rats Can Gnaw Through Almost Anything
Covering your rabbits or strengthening existing barriers may not work, because rats' teeth are extremely hard, even harder than concrete, steel and iron, with a ranking of 5.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.
Rats are also extremely accomplished climbers. If they can't access a structure from the ground, they will climb it and hunt for any areas of weakness. This means that measures like chicken wire, wire fencing and even metal plating will not keep a determined rat at bay.
Fortunately, there are many other things you can do to keep rats away from your rabbits.
The best defence against a rat invasion is prevention. This means taking measures to create a rat-unfriendly environment:
- Food: Store all rabbit food indoors. Feed your rabbits at alternating times so rats cannot lie in wait at certain times. Remove any remaining food when your rabbits have finished eating.
- Dog Faeces: Rats also eat dog faeces. Clean up after your dogs and advise your neighbours to follow suit.
- Terrain: Minimize nesting sites. Trim grass and shrubs, and keep your yard free of junk.
- Fruit: Pick all fruit from your trees as early as possible. It attracts rats.
- Bird Feeders: Remove bird feeders from your trees.
If despite taking these measures, rats continue to bother your rabbits, then you need to be more aggressive.
Use Traps, not Poison
Sometimes, aggressive action is the best reaction, especially in the face of a sustained assault on your bunnies. Avoid using poison as the rats may pick it up and drop it where your rabbits can get to it. If you opt for traps, make sure you put them well away from areas where your rabbits might roam. You can place traps up high too as rats are excellent climbers.
Enlist the Help of Canines
Dogs too are great at keeping rats at bay. Use the hair of a friend or relative's dog, i.e. hair that the dog has shed or that was gathered during grooming to scare rats away. Take some old tights and create several bundles of fresh dog hair by filling tights with it before tying the ends. These bundles can be tied to hutches and placed around sheds and garages to keep rats away.
If you are really serious about getting rid of your rat problem, you could add a rat terrier to your animal family. Rat terriers are adorable little fellows as well as exceptional rat hunters and will make short work of a local rat population.
Alternatively, you can hire the professionals to take care of your rat problem. If breeding rabbits are something you love, then get in touch with a pest control service. A pest controller can identify burrows and nests in the area and eradicate the threat. You can also arrange for annual inspections to ensure that rats no longer harass your rabbits.
Contact companies like Allstate Pest Control for more information and assistance.