Last Updated on September 23, 2023 by Admin
If you come across a hole in your backyard, farm, or in the wild, and are probably wondering whether it’s a rabbit hole or not, then this article is for you. Bunnies are natural burrowers that dig holes referred to as burrows primarily for shelter purposes. So how do you identify a rabbit hole? Our blog post describes in detail the size and depth of the burrow and what to do if you stumble upon one.
What do rabbit holes look like?
Rabbit holes are one or more openings on the ground dug by rabbits. They have an average diameter of 10 to 15 cm with a main entrance normally covered by soft dirt slopping inwards having a shallow depth of 1 to 2 feet. In most cases, the burrows are extensive, with underground chamber holes (warrens) that go as deep as 10 feet below the ground, spread across a 150-foot area. In addition, the holes are smooth and may even be lined with grass or soft fur as well as traces of rabbit poop pellets.
Considering that the rabbit holes are safe havens from predators or harsh weather, you may notice that bunnies usually cover some openings using soil to prevent unwanted guests or anything life-threatening.
Rabbit burrows may be found in different habitats such as woodlands, meadows, marshes, deserts, and forests. Nevertheless, rabbits living near the human population have adapted and may unfortunately, burrow on your lawns or gardens, causing great damage.
Other Signs to look out for when identifying rabbit holes
One of the tell-tale signs that is a clear indicator of rabbit presence and a rabbit hole to be precise is a bunny’s recent activities. They include their droppings, fresh tracks, or chewed vegetation near the hole’s entrance.
The soil composition around the hole is another thing you need to keep a keen eye on. For instance, the excavated soil is usually piled up at the entrance, usually forming a mound or raised area. The hole itself is cylindrical shaped extending a few feet underground, leading to underground chambers or an extensive network of tunnels. The complex tunnels or warrens usually consist of multiple entrances, especially if they house a large group of rabbits.
The purpose of rabbit holes
As mentioned earlier, burrows are essentially, a safe haven that offers rabbits protection from predators or harsh weather conditions. In addition, rabbits also use their burrows to raise their vulnerable kittens since these underground tunnels are not only secure but comfortable having a stable temperature.
Factors influencing the size and depth of rabbit holes
There are two main factors that basically influence how a rabbit hole appears. They include the type of rabbit species and the location of the burrow.
The rabbit hole size or diameter will depend on the species that dug it or not as we shall discuss below. In other words, there is generally a correlation between the size of the rabbit and burrow size when it comes to the ease of entry and exit. Below are the three different rabbit species and how large or small of a hole they generally excavate.
- European rabbits – This rabbit species in the wild are known for digging a wide network of burrows which the colony essentially uses as shelter.
- Pygmy– The other rabbit species that are heavy burrowers are the pygmy species. Their burrows usually contain multiple entrances normally located at the bases of sagebrush plants.
- Hares – Hares usually create shallow holes known as “form” which are normally located around tall grass. In other words, hares are not burrowers nor do they create deep holes or warrens.
- Cottontail – This particular rabbit species is not a great digger and normally prefers to occupy already dug burrows that are abandoned.
The other factor that contributes to the size and depth of rabbit holes is location. Rabbits tend to dig deeper holes especially where there is softer soil. This is usually in grassy areas or woodland edges. The other thing that rabbits consider is the water levels in a location. In other words, how extensive and deep their burrow essentially depends on how high or low the water levels are likely to damage their dug holes.
Hopefully, you have an idea of what rabbit holes look like. In case rabbits have invaded your garden and are comfortably digging burrows, then one of the solutions is placing barriers around your property. This entails installing a fence that’s 6 to 10 feet deep and 2 to 3 feet high. In addition, cover all visible holes with dirt, cut all your shrubs and if possible, keep a dog on a leash to act as a rabbit deterrent, specifically around the region with the burrows.