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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Rabbit control

  • Author(s): Johnson, Warren V.
  • et al.

Biology, damage, management, and control of rabbits (genus Sylvilagus) and hares (genus Lepus) in California are described. This paper places emphasis on control of the common jackrabbit, Lepus californicus, as it is the most significant of the rabbit and hare species in California and the western states in terms of damage and the need for control. Exclusion methods are discussed, including rabbit-proof fences as well as individual plant and tree protectors. A summary of repellents used against hares and rabbits is provided, as well as precautions for their use. They typically provide only temporary effectiveness. A recipe for a strychnine-based poison wash for trees, which has found to be of use as a repellent, is provided. Use of toxic baits to control rabbits and hares is described, with appropriate precautions. Bait formulation and application are discussed in some detail, with use of strychnine as the active ingredient. Recipes are provided for formulating both prebait and toxic baits; the primary ingredient can be barley, oats, root vegetables (carrot, sweet potato, or parsnip), fruit (green pears or cull apples), dry alfalfa leaves, or grain heads using barley or milo.

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