Any tips for rabbit/chipmunk removal from rose gardens?

stlgal(south z5)May 30, 2012

Well, I fenced in the roses, cleared as much of the brushy area they were hiding in, etc. but the bumper crop of critters is still making life difficult around here. They've invaded fencing I didn't do well enough once and nibbled some more, but I think I finally have that under control and the poor little rose babies are re-growing. But now they're going after the cone flower foliage, eating flowers and digging up petunias in the front pots and just being a general nuisance. I think it is a combination of a family of bunnies that wants to establish permanent residency in my yard and some annoying chipmunks.

So I just bought one of those Havahart traps designed for rabbits and smaller animals and I'm wondering how to optimally set it up--where to put it, what to bait it with, set it up with one door open, or both ends. I wouldn't mind catching the chippies as well as the rabbits for relocation, if we can set the trap trigger to be sensitive enough. Anyone tried this before? I have two very enthusiastic boys now out of school who will be more than happy to set and check the trap. They've already chased the rabbits around some, but that does no good as they come right back.

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I have only used the ones for trapping bigger critters. If they work the same way, you set it up with one door open.

I envy you since you only need to contend with rabbits and chipmunks. Around here deer and groundhogs are the bigger menaces. Rabbits and chipmunks are nothing in comparison so I let them chew away. LoL

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 1:50PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

My cat just killed his first chipmunk. He did catch a rabbit, but it got away....

We always had cats, and they were allowed in the fenced in back yard. After the last one died, we had chipmunks all over the place and we had squirrels in our attic. Now we have two kittes and they love patrolling the back yard and stalking out the chipmunk holes.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Merilia(8 PNW)

Here is what I use:

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 2:00PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

My cats tell me that Chipmunk on the hoof is delicious. Small rabbits can also be handled by good hunting cats and bigger rabbits can be trapped.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 2:03PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

I have tried to explain that those little toys are edible. So far it hasn't worked, though one of the cats plays so hard with his toys that they end up dead anyway. The other has figured out that dead toys are boring. He is also the one who brings his toys inside so he can play with them there.

Chipmunks are definitely NOT inside toys. (neither are snakes, but that is a different story)

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 2:10PM
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The rabbits were terrible in my garden this year & I've been trapping them with a live trap. The bait that works well for me is an apple...cut it in 4 pieces & make sure it is way in the back of the trap. Also to attract them into the trap, I bought a can of cheap frozen apple juice concentrate....drizzle about 1/4-1/3 cup of this thawed juice across the bottom of the trap.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 7:24PM
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stlgal(south z5)

Thanks for the moral support and suggestions--if only we still had outdoor cats. Maybe we can borrow the neighbor's. I love the Rodent Deterrent pic Merilia--he/she looks very serious about the job! Our two are completely indoor and their hunting turns up only hair ties, toy mice and the occasional bug. I'm sure they'd love bunnies or chipmunks but, as mad gallica says, I don't consider those 'inside toys'. And tapdogly, your comment made me imagine the size trap that would be needed for deer. My in laws have those and I agree it is much worse to contend with--other than a tall fence, hard to keep those guys out.

That is a great suggestion about the apple/apple juice. We have the former in the house but not the latter--will have a get to the store and refurbish the trap supplies. I'll have to see if the boys have been out hunting for the rabbits today...

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 7:40PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Rodent Deterrent, So-Cal-Style:


    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 8:46PM
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stlgal(south z5)

What a beauty! Definitely need to get some fiercer pets....

Okay....IT'S WAR! I came home and my intrepid bunny hunters (the boys) had not checked the trap since mid-day. In the meantime, the bunnies picked the bait tray completely clean of apples, lettuce and cereal somehow without tripping it. Then I'm walking through the garden and who is sitting there in it staring boldly back at me--one of the baby bunnies! It has no fear. I could have used a net, which may be what I search for next. I'm beginning to feel like Wile E. Coyote....get me an Acme bunny neutralizer immediately...

So I reset the trap (single ended this time, instead of both ends open, put a bunch of bait in the back, so they'll have to fully step on and tilt the bait tray to get to it hopefully. I still need some apple juice but can't get to the store for a day or two...wonder if cherry fruit punch would work in a pinch!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 9:36PM
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If there's tree cover nearby, you might consider putting up an owl box. You can find instructions online for creating one out of a cat litter box, the kind that has a snap-on top.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 8:16AM
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We think that either the owls or the hawks made the chipmunks to disappear from our yard, just before we set some traps for them.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:11AM
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stlgal(south z5)

Either owls or hawks would be most welcome and I know they are both in the woods next door (which does have big mature pines and other trees). In past years they've definitely patrolled the yard, so I'm not sure why they're not out in force this year. Maybe some encouragement would help--I can definitely put up an owl box and maybe I can get the neighbor's cat involved (outdoor and a hunter, while ours are indoors and totally impractical/useless as hunters).

The trap has been a bust so far, although I still need to add some juice to the mix. The bait tray was picked clean again while the stuff behind it they've been ignoring--it does trip when tilted, but I suspect they're managing to get the food off without triggering it. This is the version recommended for rabbits--maybe there's some way to make it more sensitive? At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if the chippies and bunnies are colluding in theft. I have a net coming which should make for some entertainment for the boys and maybe they'll manage to chase these guys out of the yard and down to the lake and convince them not to come back if they are persistent.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 4:57PM
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stlgal(south z5)

Boys report that a robin was in the trap this afternoon and they released it. Not sure how we can manage to catch a bird with apples and lettuce as bait, rather than the bunnies for whom it was intended but, hopefully the next time goes better...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 5:36PM
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