Rabbits and Bermuda

Gotcha. I was just curious because of the steel cover on your meter box. Can’t believe your area still does manual meter reading. I work with the manufacturer that makes those boxes here in town.

@tmcgahey We’ve been in this home when it was built in '94. I never thought much about the meter reading being automatic. I remember seeing the guys come around to take readings, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen them around.

Same here. I have a box like that in my front yard of a 7 year old home.

This year we have a bumper crop of rabbits. Good luck keeping them out of your yard. We put a salad bowl out and expect them not to stop by and chow down. :fork_and_knife: They know a good meal when they see it. Worst of all, they spread the word about the neighborhood cafeteria and invite their buddies.

The desert cottontail loves mesquite beans and their diet consists of grasses, leaves and seeds. I have watched them nibble my Peruvian tree cactus. They love to eat the flowers on my lantana for desert.

I tried one of those “sonic pest repellers” very similar to this: http://bellhowellpestrepeller.com/bell-howell-50104-motion-activated-ultrasonic-solar-powered-animal-repeller.html

It seems to work, but it doesn’t cover a very large area. So I put it in one spot, the waskly wabbits go to another, I move it there . . . I think they are laughing at my attempts to keep them out.

The repellents that come in a spray bottle stink to high heaven! It smells like very strong garlic mixed with who-knows-what. The neighbors will not appreciate your attempt at rodent control. It needs to be reapplied frequently. I give it a D-.

This year–rabbits, next year–coyotes. At least they don’t eat my landscape,

That stinky rabbit repel stuff does work though. They could care less about my lawn, but they love my balloon flowers and my rudbeckia. Just like candy for them. I find that I can use it once a week for 2-3 weeks in a row, and then they must decide that it tastes/smells too bad and they leave things alone for the summer.

@Linn, what are you using?

@sunny Yeah, I’m not at all interested in regular application of this stuff, but it @Linn gives me hope. My thought was to use it a while, let me grass recover, and hopefully by then they’ve found something more tasty and forget about my lawn for a while.

I think if you can deter them for awhile, they will either soon move on from there and go bug someone else… or be coyote food


They are tricky little buggers. I don’t think there is one right way to get rid of them. You can try rabbit repellant plants and sprays. You can hire an exterminator. Or there is always the old-fashioned way of placing traps or hunting the rabbits.

My suggestion see if you can find a motion detecting sprinkler and set that up hopefully that will scare them away and help keep your yard nice and green.

Best of luck dealing with Bugs Bunny’s offspring.

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Thanks for all of the great ideas. I ordered some natural repellents and will give it a go for a while to see if they go elsewhere and forget about my yard. I’ve been in this home for 22 years and hadn’t had this problem, so I figure that there’s hope.

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If you are so inclined…you probably could use a combination of a z-wave motion detector and Wink hub to create a “robot” that when motion is detected, it kicks the Rachio zone on…

Good idea @tmcgahey. I have a bunch of z-wave already, but my controller is a 2-GIG alarm.com panel. I don’t think they do IFTTT yet but I’ll keep my eye on it. It would be interesting to track how much something like that would trigger over the course of an evening.

I thought I saw Alarm.com available on IFTTT a while back when I looked at it.

Nm, I guess I just confused it with Amazon Alexa, looks like the only recipes available monitor gmail for emails from Alarm.com and use that to trigger something else.

My deterrent worked great. It’s a pain when taking the trash cans out though. Haven’t had bunny issues in months thinking of removing.

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I am using Repels All, got it at either Lowes or Home Depot. It was cheaper than Critter Ridder. I buy it in the concentrate form.

I thought I’d provide an update on my rabbit issue in case it’s of use to anyone. I took a 2 step approach.

STEP 1: Get the rabbits to stop coming to my lawn to munch on it.

Prior to @Linn posting his Repels All suggestion, I had already ordered two products:

Coyote Urine

Ortho Deer B Gon

Both had mixed reviews on Amazon, but they were better for these products than most, or at least just as good. Of the two, the ‘Ortho Deer B Gon’ certainly seems to be the most effective for me. The first night I sprayed it and didn’t see rabbits for a few days. The product claims that you can water after 20 minutes, and claims that it lasts 30 days. It also states that it covers 10,000 sq. ft. I didn’t find any of those claims to be the case for now. The rate that the product came out will probably only end up covering about 1/3rd of that 10,000 sq.ft, but I plan to play around with the application rate to see if I can throttle it back. After a couple of irrigation cycles I had to reapply, which meant about 6 days in our hot weather. This week seems to be better, so maybe the rabbits have just decided to move on ? I sprayed the Ortho right on the lawn. It has almost a cinnamon smell to it.

I used the Coyote Urine on the periphery at various times throughout the last couple of weeks, in some cases when I knew that the Ortho had washed away. The concept is that the rabbits will smell the scent and detect a coyote has been there and it won’t want to take any chances. I didn’t spray right on the lawn as I didn’t want to negatively affect the pH of the soil. Needless to say it smells absolutely awful when spraying, but I didn’t notice much odor the next day. The bottle will last me longer than the Ortho, but I’m not sure that it has had any significant impact. When the bottle runs out I’ll stick with the Ortho if I need to continue. Again, my hope is that they rabbits just find somewhere else to eat for a while.

STEP 2: Test my soil’s pH.

Since animal urine can affect the soil pH I decided to have it tested. I bought this soil test kit and sent it in for testing.

The kit costs $14.99, and the shipping for me was ~$10. They email you the results within 2 days after they receive them, so I had results within a week of ordering it from Amazon Prime. If you tell them what you are growing in the soil, they give you the ideal pH and a specific treatment plan.

The ideal pH for Bermuda is 6.5. You can see that at 8.0 my pH was high, so they recommended that I add elemental sulfur and gave a specific amount. They also recommended the amount of nitrogen and potash to add. I bought the elemental sulfur at Lowe’s in the garden section, added it the fertilizer and applied it with a drop spreader last night, watering immediately afterward. Hopefully the lawn won’t burn anywhere. We’ve had some monsoon activity which has dropped temps and provided cloud cover, so I’m hopeful.

So I wondered how my high pH might correlate to rabbit urine. A quick web search turned up an article that shows rabbit urine is alkaline. Go figure that so was my lawn soil. My lawn soil pH pretty much matched the rabbit urine pH.

Six months ago I bought an irrigation controller. Now I find myself buying coyote urine and researching rabbit urine pH. Sad but true.


Ha, ha, ha, ha, thanks for the laugh @azdavidr! We promise we won’t tell anyone. :wink:


I meant to also mention that some of these motion detecting devices @George mentioned have better reviews than the liquid or granular repellents. I’m not going that route as right now as I’d probably soak people walking past my front lawn, and/or the unit would get stolen, but if I had a back yard problem I’d be going for it. They seem to be hose based but I imagine they could be connected to an underground system with the appropriate adapters. Most are battery operated. The Elenker is solar powered and has a 5-star rating.

Yeah I vote on it being stolen. Doesn’t matter what kind of good neighborhood you live in, nothing is safe out front.