Every spring, we see pictures and artwork of adorable Easter bunnies-- cute, little rabbits that deliver gifts of chocolate and other goodies to our children.
Desert cottontail rabbit. [R. O'Connell.]
However, while “bunny rabbits” are cute, rabbits can also be very destructive pests year-round in the garden and landscape. This is especially true if your home is near wild or uncultivated lands, parks, or greenbelts. These places provide resting and hiding cover during the day for rabbits.
Rabbits can damage ornamental plants, vegetable plants, herbs, trees, and berry crops. They also gnaw and cut plastic irrigation lines, especially small diameter tubes.
There are eight species of rabbits found in California. Three of them are widespread and cause the majority of problems in gardens and landscapes. If these pests are visiting your property, read the UC IPM Pest Notes: Rabbits to identify the rabbit pest and learn about control methods.
Adult jackrabbit. [W. P. Gorenzel]