March brings the promise of some warmer weather. This year hasn’t seen the volume of snow some areas of Scotland receive, but it’s still nice to look ahead to the spring and beyond.

Unfortunately, spring itself can spring some surprises on homeowners – and not always pleasant ones, either.

From March onwards, baby rabbits can appear in gardens in every corner of the country. Damage can quickly occur in their wake. They’re not too bothered by the plants they chomp on – anything and everything looks tasty. Not so to homeowners though, who are left with a trail of destruction that could cost a significant sum to put right.

How can you deter baby rabbits from visiting your garden?

Lots of plants start to appear in spring. When baby rabbits appear at the same time, those plants don’t stand a chance. So, how can you repel rabbits from your property?

The first step is to make sure your garden is less inviting. Lots of other animals will target rabbits, so they need to feel and be safe. Make sure you block access to any areas they could seek shelter in. Can they get underneath your shed or even under your garage, if you have one? Block those access points. Look out for signs of burrows that have been left empty, too. Fill these using gravel or stones to prevent the rabbits from re-entering.

Fencing alone isn’t good enough to prevent baby rabbits from getting into your garden. Rabbits can chew through wood, so mesh fencing will be required here. It should also begin at least 6in beneath the ground. This prevents the rabbits from going under it.

Consider using repellents or traps

Rabbit repellents do exist, but they produce mixed results. It’s always best to seek professional advice on how to rid your garden of rabbits, especially early in the year. The phrase ‘breeding like rabbits’ came up for good reason. If you ignore the early signs of a rabbit presence in your garden, you could well end up regretting it later in the year.

You can legally trap rabbits in the UK, but this must be done with an eye to the law, which prohibits unnecessary suffering. Contact a pest control expert with a track record of handling rabbits in gardens to make sure you resolve your problem quickly and within the law.