Why Wild Rabbits Kill Outdoor Grass

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Rabbits can cause extensive damage to lawns and grasses. Not only do they eat the succulent foliage, they also urinate, causing brown patches that you must repair. In many parts of the country, homes, schools, roads and businesses now exist where not long ago were meadows, forests and prairies. With nowhere to go and nothing else to eat, rabbits have invaded many housing developments.

Grass Is a Food Source

Wild rabbits are hungry creatures that seek out nutritious foods wherever they can find them. Grass often becomes dinner for these creatures because it is widespread in suburban areas that have displaced the rabbits' former habitat. It's difficult to build a fence that will keep wild rabbits away from your lawn because they can jump and dig. A family of rabbits can cause widespread damage to a lawn in a short period of time.

Urine Burns Grass

Like dog urine, rabbit urine is acidic and will kill grass in spots wherever it occurs. You might be able to train your dog to use out of the way places for its elimination needs, but you can't train wild rabbits, so when they visit your garden, they urinate as well as eat grass and other plants.

Diagnosing Rabbit Damage

Rabbits are fairly large animals, so it's easy to spot them when they forage on your lawn. If you don't catch them in the act, look for their droppings near the areas of your lawn that they have damaged. Try diluting cayenne pepper with water and spraying it around the edges of your lawn areas once a week. You might need to reseed the damaged areas, but this remedy might help to deter rabbits from returning to the area.

Repellent Products and Plants Can Help

Commercial products are available at nurseries and online that claim to repel rabbits and other animals. Some mimic the scent of rabbit predators. Some people believe that sprinkling coyote urine around the periphery of your yard will repel rabbits. Rabbits find certain plants unappealing and might not venture into a lawn area that contains them around its border. Such plants include baby's breath, lavender, lily of the valley, foxglove, coral bells, ornamental sages, forget-me-not, yarrow, Oriental poppy, ornamental onions, day lilies and tulips.

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