- Eliminate the rabbits (trap, poison, fumigate, ferrets).
- Prevent rabbits from entering the area (fencing).
- Limit the amount of damage (harbourage modification, tree guards, repellents).
- Rabbits use warrens as refuges and for breeding. Fumigation is the best method to use when a few rabbits live in widely scattered warrens or inaccessible areas. Fumigant tablets (commonly Phostoxin®) are placed in burrows to release poisonous phosphine gas.
- Fumigation can be used effectively as a follow-up technique to poisoning and warren ripping.
- For spot treatment of small, isolated rabbit infestations.
- Where ripping is undesirable, because of the risk of soil erosion or damage to conservation areas.
- Where the poisons 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) and pindone cannot be used because of the risk to non-target species, or where poison baits are unwanted.
- When the rabbit distribution has declined under temporary harsh climatic conditions and rabbits are surviving in a few isolated pockets
- For phosphine fumigation to work effectively, the gas must build up quickly to lethal concentration throughout the warren. This will not happen if the gas is released from the tablet slowly - under these circumstances rabbits may have time to dig their way out. The speed of release of phosphine depends on the amount of moisture in contact with the tablet. To ensure fast phosphine production, always wrap the tablets in moist paper just before putting them in the warren.
Under most circumstances, and mainly due to safety concerns, 1080 poison cannot be used for rabbit control in urban areas. However, under special circumstances 1080 one-shot oat bait may be supplied to landholders for agriculture protection or conservation purposes, provided that associated potential risks are manageable. Authorised landholders can purchase and lay baits containing 1080, but these products are only available from licensed commercial S7 retail outlets and a permit required before baits can be purchased.
A 1080 Baiting Permit application form must be submitted the DPIRD who will then conduct a risk assessment for the baiting proposal.
Training to get your Restricted Chemical Product Licence can be done on line or contact the Landcare Office for more information. Phone 9863 4225 or 0429612447.
Pindone is an anticoagulant with an effect like products used in some rat poisons.
It can sometimes be used near settlements where pets might be at risk from 1080, because unlike 1080, an antidote is available for Pindone.
However, Pindone poses a risk to native animals including kangaroos, birds of prey and perhaps bandicoots. The poison must not be used in the presence of these animals.
Areas where warrens have been destroyed by cross-ripping the soil are much less likely to be recolonised by rabbits. A tractor-mounted ripper is used to penetrate the soil to a depth of at least 60cm.
There are a few local ripping machines located in the district that may be suitable to carry out this activity.
Rabbit-proof netting fence has been available for many years and has proved to be an effective, long-term control option when properly installed and maintained.
Care must be taken to repair any breaches as soon as they are noticed to ensure long-term control is maintained. Any gates or entry/exit points within the fence should also be made as rabbit-proof as practicable.
This could be a costly exercise; however, these costs may also be reduced if there is an existing fence on which to attach the rabbit netting.
Make your property less attractive to rabbits by removing all available rabbit harbour. For example, where practical, destroy any rabbit warrens, remove rock piles or wood heaps and keep your garden and surrounds tidy and weed free. A chemical weed control break around the house yard may prevent the rabbits from entering the area. If your pet dog is keen to chase a rabbit you can restrain the dog near the rabbit nesting area for a short time to create a predatory presence that may scare the rabbits from entering under the house. Eradication of rabbits becomes harder once rabbits establish in an area and then it becomes a dedicated job trying several different methods to eliminate them.
Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development on 9368 3080
Email Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)