Rabbits, hares and pikas resemble rodents but have some differences in morphology and diet (mostly grasses and herbs). They are called lagomorphs. Two species of rabbits are common locally: the desert cottontail(Sylvilagus audubonii) from the foothills east and mountain(or Nuttall’s) cottontail (Sylvilagus nuttallii) from the foothills west at higher elevations. They are prolific breeders, having 3-5 litters between March and September. They can be a nuisance by chomping on flowers and vegetables, living in/under structures, and sometimes getting trapped and dying in/under structures. Two species of jackrabbits (eastern grasslands), the diminutive pika (above 10,000 feet) and snowshoe hare (high conifer forests) live in the region but are rarely a nuisance.
Cottontails can be controlled somewhat by shooting with pellet air guns or .22 rimfire firearms where appropriate and safe. Live trapping with box traps or cage traps can be effective in harsh winter conditions when food is scarce, but otherwise is inefficient. Rabbits generally have too much food available to be enticed into a trap with baits. However, box or cage traps work well when rabbits can be funneled into them in travel-ways or when used as one-way devices over rabbit access points under decks, sheds, patios, etc. Exclusion repairs to prevent rabbits from having access in such cases can go a long way toward reducing rabbit problems. We can provide any of these services.
We’ll have more information about rabbit biology, problems they pose, and solutions we offer coming soon. In the meantime, if you have a rabbit problem, call us at 719-636-1014 for an assessment and prices.