Rabbit Control Services
The European rabbit has once again established itself as the major vertebrate pest of British agriculture, causing economic losses estimated to be in excess of £100 million annually.
The total winter population is estimated to be at 35% to 40% of the pre-myxomatosis level which then, accounted for 99% of rabbit deaths but now only kills about 20% of the population annually.
The numbers are increasing by about 2% annually. This is due primarily to the reduced effect of
myxomatosis, resulting from increased levels of genetic resistance.
Lancashire Rabbit Control aims to reduce this damage by offering a rabbit control program to farmers, garden centres and commercial business’s throughout most areas of Lancashire.
Rabbit populations can withstand high mortality from natural causes, therefore control efforts must add to, and not merely replace these causes if direct control is to be effective.
Because of the size of the effort required, and the rabbit's inherent capacity for population increase, complete eradication is impractical.
Instead the aim should be to reduce rabbit numbers to levels at which the damage they cause is economically acceptable.
More effective results will be achieved if adjoining land is treated at the same time in a co-operative exercise. Rabbits do not respect boundaries, and joint action will remove animals that use burrows on one holding and feed on another. Control over a substantial block of land will also reduce the rate of re-infestation.
Rabbit Control Methods
I only offer shooting as a method of rabbit control, there are other methods that may or may not be more appropriate in some locations. Night Vision and Thermal Imaging equipment is used for productive results and efficient use of time.
Live catch cage traps may be used in very small gardens where rifle shooting cannot be carried out because of unsafe back stops and the rabbits are actually living in the garden or have been trapped in a garden because rabbit proofing has be carried out without first making sure that no rabbits are still in the area. This method is only offered for properties within a 10 mile radius of my home base due to legal requirements to check live catch traps twice a day.
Garden Rabbit Control
I use both low and high-powered pneumatic air rifles that offer clinical, whisper quiet accuracy out to 60+ yards, although they are perfectly safe for control in less than 10 yards, in the right hands.
Garden rabbit control is only offered for very large gardens and garden centres. It is usually better to rabbit proof small gardens.
Agricultural and Commercial Rabbit Control
For the open areas I use FAC air rifle, .22 Rimfire and .17 HMR rifles, depending on the location and topography of the land, that are all devastatingly accurate and effective, up to 150 yards plus in the case of the .17HMR. That's with the right person pulling the trigger though.
Firing a high velocity .17HMR round means the rabbit is dead before it hears anything, and unique to the .17HMR is the fact that other rabbits still continue to feed around their fallen comrades.
I use a .22 rimfire rifle with subsonic ammunition for instances were the .17HMR is too much gun, or there are noise concerns for repeated rifle shots and the FAC air rifle is used where there are issues with limited safe areas of back stop.
Obviously as a mole catcher my main work is mole control but by combining the two, economies of scale are available. This is why I always say rabbit control is so cost effective when carried out with mole control. If there are no rabbits to be culled I’m not wasting time waiting for them to appear and can continue with setting mole traps.
It is a well known fact to any one who controls pests and vermin that the critters always seem to appear when you are least expecting and prepared for them. You can sit and wait intentionally with a rifle and everything seems to know that you are only there to do one thing, so they clear off at the first sight of you and stay hidden.
However if you are doing something else, it could be hedging, clearing ditches or mole catching, vermin and pests tend to ignore you and will generally stay out in the open.
Hence the opportunities are much greater.