Bunnies have besieged the residents of the tiny, beachfront community of Okaloosa Island, Florida. It seems that the friendly rabbits — the rapidly multiplying descendents of Easter gifts set free several years back — have moved in on the private property of many homes in the town. Some folks consider them to be harmless, sort-of-pets while others consider them annoying pests.
There are certainly more cringe-worthy critters to find frolicking in your backyard. For example, feral hogs have been catching a lot of headlines and prompting plenty of nightmares as of late. And remember, this is Florida we’re talking about … a state with both a feral hog problem and alligators. Personally, I’d take a filth-covered, Chihuahua-sized rat scampering across subway tracks over a feral hog sauntering up my driveway or an alligator in my pool any day.
But I digress. The main beef that homeowners in Okaloosa Island have with these cute invaders is that they are wreaking havoc on their lawns and gardens. So far, the solution that’s been worked out is this: The rabbits will be caught (alive) via trap and sent to the already-bunny-filled property of a man who has promised not to eat them ... a foster home for displaced bunnies, if you will.
Sounds good. But what about folks who don’t live in Okaloosa Island and want to protect their gardens from a scourge of plant munching rabbits without trapping and/or killing them? Deter with a little spice, a fake snake, fencing/netting, or even coyote urine. As with all backyard pest remedies, trial and error is key. And it goes without saying, steer clear of chemicals: They may provide temporary relief to a pest problem, but can cause irreversible damage to the environment.
Has your home ever been beset by cute but cumbersome critters? The summer share house that I've rented with friends on Fire Island, New York, has a really unhealthy deer problem. The island, in general, is known for being overrun by mangey, tick-covered deer but for some reason it seems that they love to congregate in the grassy area around my share house. Sure, they're cute at first glance but after they've found a way to ransack your tightly-secured garbage cans night after night after night, the novelty wears thin. But then again, I'm just glad I'm dealing with deer instead of feral hogs.
Via [The New York Times]
Image: Star Guitar