Why the rabbit problem needs controlling.
Even though you might find the sight of rabbits nibbling away on your premises, they are also one of the top pest species in the country. It is all too easy to underestimate their capabilities to reproduce at an alarming rate as well as, chew, eat and dig through most landscapes is second to none.
By allowing a rabbit population to remain on your land you will eventually fall victim to the destruction caused by rabbits in a variety of ways. The problems will get worse if the rabbit population ignored.
Below is a list of habitats and the problems a rabbit population will cause.
Farmland and stable areas where horses and other livestock are kept
Several rabbits can eat as much a one sheep, so I am sure you can imagine how even a small population of rabbits can decimate a huge amount of crop. It is estimated that rabbits cost the British agricultural industry £100million a year through crop damage. This makes them the number one pest species for farmers. If you consider that several rabbits can eat as much as one sheep it is easy to comprehend the loss of grazing they cause. This often means there is a need to buy in extra forage due to the loss of grazing at an unnecessary cost. You can easily find the tell-tale signs of a rabbit population on your stable and grazing land by the damage they cause through burrowing and scratching divots out of your land in order to find food. It is all too easy and not uncommon for a horse to seriously injure itself on one of these holes whilst at a canter resulting in thousands of pounds in vets bill or even worse.
Forestry, plantations and orchards
Rabbits cause hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to these industries every year. Gnawing the whole way round the base of the tree is the most common problem. If a tree has its lower bark completely removed by rabbits the tree will inevitably die after disease and fungi take hold, this can also result in the threat of collapsing trees and potential accidents as well as the loss of trees produce.
Rabbits have real taste for saplings and will happily gorge themselves meaning they will need to be replaced to provide correct woodland management. Tree guards can help but rabbits often chew through them.
Rabbits cause a variety of problems in gardens. They have no preference to the type of plant or flower they consume. Their droppings and urine will also stain and burn lawns meaning they often look untidy. They also dig large holes into lawns in search of young shoots often at great expense to the owner, ornamental garden trees will also be attacked again causing considerable expense for replacements. Burrows often grow over time if left uncontrolled. Rabbits often take up residence in places other than in holes such as under decking, garden sheds. Rabbits can also pass on diseases to domesticated rabbits such as myxomatosis.
Sports Grounds and Public areas
Often the favoured habitat for rabbits. The main reason for the rabbit control to is mainly due to digging. As rabbits continue to scrape and burrow the chances of a member of the public falling and injuring themselves which could result in landowners paying out thousands of pounds in compensation. Rabbits can be very much a Health and Safety issue.
Rabbits burrowing under path, roadways, hard surfaces & buildings can cause weakness & damage to the structures. Scratching and burrows caused by rabbits pose the treat of employees and members of the public injuring themselves through falls. Rabbits will also force their way into man made burrows such as wall cavities or drainage pipes can cause fires through chewing & digging. It is not uncommon for this problem to cause hundreds of thousands of pounds in property damage and loss off earnings.