Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bold Bunny Leaves Beady Evidence

Q. We have an animal using our patio as their bathroom.  The exterminator thinks it’s squirrels or rabbits but wasn’t much help as to what to do.  In the four years that we’ve lived in the house, this is the first time we’ve had this problem and while we do have squirrels running along the fence and through the yard on occasion, we have never seen a rabbit.  About a month ago, the problem started and it’s almost daily.  That’s when we turned off the sprinklers and we picked all the oranges off the two trees, growing in pots on the patio.

Do you have any ideas or is there someone at the Arboretum with that can offer advice.  Critter Ridder and Repels All work for a night and I haven’t found anything useful reading internet sites or from calling L.A. Animal Control.  

I’ve attached two pictures.  One is the mess left on the patio and the other is bark at the base of a pluot tree in the backyard.  Is it possible an animal is eating the bark?

Creature's scat. 

Bark that has possibly been attacked by creature that left above scat. 
A. Looks like a definite lagomorph –my guess is cottontail rabbit. You do not see them during the day here in the San Gabriel Valley as they like to operate just after nightfall. This drought has caused them to act a bit more boldly in their nightly forays for food and travel further than they usually would. 

Instead of 'Critter Ridder' (which is mostly hot and black pepper extract) and 'Repels All' (rotten eggs, dried blood and garlic oil) I would try a combination of fox urine (available online or at garden centers) and/or a motion activated scarecrow (remember to move this around every several days).

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