Yesterday, one of my farm clients (he has a rat control contract with us) was chatting about his ongoing rabbit problem in a small tree plantation on the edge of the farm, asking my advice on how to control them. They have tried gassing, trapping and shooting with some success, but the damage was getting worse, so he asked me what would I do.
There is nothing wrong in any of the methods described and in fact they should be used as an ongoing measure, however the one technique over looked was ferreting. He did look at me a bit funny as if to say “Are you serious”. His view was that there must be a better, more modern way of dealing with them, but I assured him that the old ways are still the best.
So today, despite the horrid weather, I went up to the plantation armed with my trusty ferrets, to do battle with the rabbit problem.
The one good thing about this plantation is that the undergrowth had died off, making finding and netting the holes very easy. The holes did look well used, however I did suspect that the rabbits probably used them as night cover, rather than serious burrows.
Anyway, I got the radio control collars on the ferrets, netted the first burrow and sent the ferret in. A few seconds later, the first rabbit was in the net!
The plantation is about 10 acres, so in total I ferreted about a dozen burrows in just a few hours. The rabbits bolted very well, but I did have to dig on two occasions where I discovered some young rabbits – heralding the end of the ferreting season once more. It is almost impossible to ferret burrows with young rabbits in them – the ferrets are far too strong and experienced by now and will kill the young down the hole and eat them – causing lots of frustration and digging for us.
Despite the rain and cold, it was a great morning, taking 8 full grown rabbits. The ferrets once again proved themselves formidable as a force for rabbit control. The farmer was delighted with the result – even though he thought I was a little mental for being out in that weather! Nothing a hot bath won’t sort out – besides nothing pleases me more than the ferrets doing a great job.
The thing to remember about rabbit control is that it is a constant battle and you need to use all the resources available to you, changing to suit the conditions and weather. Young are now being born, so in a few weeks, lots more mouths will be eating your crops, plants and shrubs.
So if you do have a few rabbit burrows in your garden or wood, time is running out for ferreting them – so call Rapid Pest Control now to see what else we can do to solve your rabbit problem.