I've got a rabbit hole. Help!
April 14, 2014 4:22 AM   Subscribe

We are new home owners and a hole about 5" in diameter appeared in our front yard. I believe it is a rabbit hole because I've seen rabbits running around my front yard. I do not want to kill the rabbits, but I want them to dig a nrw hole that is some where not in my yard. How do I fill this hole so the rabbits decide to relocate?
posted by Coffee Bean to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Dog feces works for chipmunks.
posted by yclipse at 4:33 AM on April 14, 2014

Coyote urine.

Also, it may be something other than a rabbit, not knowing where you live we're just guessing. Could also be a ground squirrel.
posted by HuronBob at 4:54 AM on April 14, 2014

Also, not knowing where you are living..it could be a nest, not just a hole. I think rabbits abandon the nest after they kick the kids out of the house, so it might just be a temporary thing anyway.
posted by COD at 5:12 AM on April 14, 2014

I also used to find shallow holes when they were nesting. No more than a couple of inches deep, lined with some fur, and not full prairie-dog-style burrows. And they'd be just out in the middle of the yard, not really sheltered at all. As COD says, I found them to be pretty temporary.

If you see any raised areas in the turf anywhere else, it might be a mole. Getting rid of them can be something of a project.
posted by jquinby at 5:50 AM on April 14, 2014

Yeah if it's a rabbit nest you can't relocate them. I think you need to investigate some more to find out what kind of nest this actually is in order to make an actionable plan.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:58 AM on April 14, 2014

Most common species of rabbit in America do not dig their own dens; they take over abandoned dens left by other animals. There's no real way to tell what dug that hole or who's living in it unless you actually see somebody emerge from it...

Our yard looks like trench warfare every spring; I just kick over any mounds of dirt to spread them around and by the time the grass starts growing the holes are gone. The only one that seems to recur year after year is a woodchuck den that I'll have to do something about if we ever plant vegetables; the rest are random. (We're pretty rural so there's no possibility of eradicating them -- a peaceful detente is fine though.)

If you're a new homeowner I wouldn't sweat this too much for now. Wait a year or two to find out whether it's a recurring problem; then you can decide what if anything to do about it.
posted by ook at 6:00 AM on April 14, 2014

I do not want to kill the rabbits, but I want them to dig a nrw hole that is some where not in my yard.

You can use a hav-a-heart trap, transport the creatures to the next country, and release them there.

Hopefully for you it won't be a skunk.
posted by three blind mice at 6:10 AM on April 14, 2014

trapping (and transporting) can be very, very, very illegal depending on the state/county you live in.
posted by k5.user at 7:09 AM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is there any possibility that the hole is from the realtor's signpost? The dimensions sound about right - if there was a wooden post, it would have been about 3.5"x3.5" and would have left a hole around the size you're talking about. If you do have rabbits around, they'll likely have other burrows or warrens around so unless you trap all of them the issue would continue, so it's probably best to deter them from your yard rather than try to trap them.
posted by LionIndex at 7:21 AM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

My experience with rabbits in my yard has been that their nests/holes were actually fairly shallow. Barely deep enough to hold an adult and babies. If the hole you speak of is straight down and deep, it's probably not a rabbit hole.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:26 AM on April 14, 2014

I'm feeling like my earlier response was a little too "it's probably not a rabbit hole" and not enough "what you can do about it" so:

Step 1 would be to find out if it's an active burrow or a now-empty winter dwelling. This is easy: fill the hole with dirt. If it's still filled in tomorrow, you're done. If it's cleared out, somebody is still living in there, so proceed to step 2.

Step 2: find out what's still living in there. This will depend on your location, but this may be helpful. Once you know what you're dealing with you'll be better able to determine what to do about it (traps, predator urine, poison, live-and-let-live, or Other.)
posted by ook at 8:00 AM on April 14, 2014

Could be a skunk hole. That is the right size.
posted by sulaine at 10:27 AM on April 14, 2014

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