Finding out a family of rabbits is living under your deck might be a cute discovery at first as you imagine those fluffy tails and twitching noses. As the weeks go by, they start breeding and chewing on your foundations. You probably won’t feel the same way anymore.
So how do you get rid of rabbits under the deck?
There are numerous ways to get rid of rabbits living under your deck or shed. Use the catch and relocate method, motion-activated devices that spray water, adopt a dog, or barricade the deck so the rabbits can’t get under it. As a last resort, you can contact a professional to remove the rabbits.
If you have a colony of rabbits living under your deck, and you would like to get rid of them in a humane way, then this detailed guide will provide you with all the information you’ll need.
Are Rabbits Dangerous?
Wild rabbits, such as Eastern Cottontail rabbits, are very skittish prey animals that prefer to stay away from humans. These rabbits aren’t typically aggressive toward humans or other pets, as their natural response is to run away rather than fight.
However, this doesn’t mean that wild rabbits aren’t dangerous in their own way. Having a colony or family of rabbits move onto your property poses some risks to your family and pets, such as:
Wild rabbits carry various diseases and parasites that can be passed to humans and other household pets. One of the most dangerous (and sometimes fatal) diseases they carry is rabies, which is passed through a bite from an infected rabbit.
Here’s a quick look at some other parasites and diseases rabbits can spread:
- Tularemia (also known as rabbit fever) is an infectious bacterial disease that is spread through an infected rabbit’s droppings. Humans and other pets contract this disease by inhaling contaminated air or dust.
- Ringworm is spread to humans and pets through skin-to-skin contact with an infected rabbit.
- Cryptosporidiosis is a nasty infection that causes diarrhea in humans and pets. This parasite is spread by coming into contact with an infected rabbit or by eating contaminated food or water.
Attracting Dangerous Animals
As mentioned above, rabbits are prey animals and, therefore, attract several predators. The predators are attracted to the smell of their urine and feces. Soon the predators will move into your garden to hunt the rabbits.
Having predators in your garden can be dangerous for you, your family (especially if you have young children), and your pets. Here’s a list of some predators that might be attracted to the smell of the rabbits:
- Rats (which also spread disease)
How Do Rabbits Become a Problem?
Rabbits have a very short gestation period (25 to 28 days), meaning they can multiply in numbers rapidly. And they carry litters of 1 to 12 kits.
Before you know it, two rabbits could become 40 rabbits in just a few months.
Here’s a quick look at how rabbits can become a problem:
- They’ll eat the plants and flowers in your garden. If you have a veggie patch, they’ll feast on this too.
- The smell of their urine and droppings will attract rats and mice, which can cause further infestation and disease.
- If any rabbits die underneath the deck, an unpleasant odor will filter into your house.
- Rabbits like to chew on things to keep their teeth filed down. They’ll start chewing through the deck and even onto the porch of your house. Depending on the damage, this can cost a lot to repair.
- If you have dogs, the smell of the rabbits might cause them to try and dig under the deck to reach them, further destroying your lawn.
- Rabbits like to burrow and will end up digging burrows that run under your property.
How Do I Get Rid of Bunnies Under My Deck?
Let’s take a closer look at how to get rid of bunnies under your deck:
Catch and Relocate
Rent or buy a humane live rabbit trap and set it up at the spot the rabbits are using to get under your deck.
Ensure the rabbits can see right through the cage. Otherwise, they’ll think it’s a threat. Leave some fresh carrots or food in the cage to attract the rabbit.
Once you’ve caught the rabbit, you can relocate them to a suitable spot at least 5 miles away from your home.
Get a Dog
Another great way to get rid of rabbits under your deck is to adopt a medium to large-sized dog. The rabbits will pick up the dog’s predator scent and vacate the area.
They won’t be able to explore the yard if a dog is around.
Ask a Professional
Consulting with a professional is definitely the best idea. A professional can remove the rabbits safely, relocate them, and help repair any damage the rabbits may have caused to your deck.
Rabbits hate surprises, and a sprinkler that goes off when they move is one of the biggest surprises you can give a rabbit.
As a prey animal, this sudden burst of water will send them scurrying away and reconsidering their home arrangements.
What Scents Will Keep Rabbits Away?
Rabbits have very sensitive noses and a strong sense of smell. Let’s take a look at some scents that will keep rabbits away:
- Blood meal
- Urine from predators (and yes, you can buy some)
- Chili powder
- Onion and chives
My Last Bunny Thoughts
Even though rabbits seem pretty harmless and timid, they’re capable of creating chaos once they set up a home under your deck.
As you have seen, there are numerous ways to get rid of rabbits under your deck, from traps to motion-activated sprinklers.
Remember, wild rabbits will kick and scratch at you if you try to corner them. Getting close to wild rabbits poses the risk of contracting rabies or any other disease they may be carrying. Prevention is better than cure in this case.
If you have a deck, block any possible entry spots with chicken wire and cement. Be sure to dig deeper (at least 4 inches deep) so the rabbits can’t burrow beneath it.