Pesky Rabbits and Treating Woodworm


One of our problems here are the rabbits. Wild rabbits are a real pest, not only do they like eating your vegetables, they’ll strip the bark of saplings so killing the tree. Now the answer is to fence them out of the vegetable plot and to use tree guards on saplings as well as control their numbers.

Let’s not beat about the bush, control means killing them. It’s been suggested I get a powerful air rifle but my concern is injuring rather than killing them. I abhor cruelty to animals, even pests. Leaving a wounded rabbit to slow, lingering death is not something I could do,

So, I’m sitting in the office enjoying the first cup of tea of the day in my dressing gown when I hear this squealing sound and the cat trots in with a young rabbit in her mouth. Now a perfect opportunity to rid ourselves of one pest with a quick heavy blow to the back of the neck.

So I grabbed a towel, dropped it over the rabbit and carried it outside where I set it free in the field. Normally there’s nobody about but today there’s a group of hikers coming up the track and I’m outside in my dressing gown. Somewhat embarrassing.

My name is John and I am a softy.

It doesn’t end there, as I took the rabbit out of the front door the cat left through the back and two minutes later was back with her catch. So this time I locked the cat flap and set bunny free again to the further amusement of the hikers. That Watership Down has a lot to answer for.

Treating Woodworm

When we had the old cowsheds at the back of the house renovated, we discovered the woodwork was riddled with woodworm. Although a rafter looked perfect from ground level, close up you could see little pin-holes in the wood as if someone had thrown darts at it.

When we handled it we found the wood could be crumbled into dust just by squeezing it with your hand. Apparently the larvae eat the wood and then the adult beetles bore the tell-tale holes on the way out. So the little beasts aren’t even visible when they’re doing the damage.

The builders replaced all the rafters, which bust the budget, and replaced a couple of old wooden lintels with concrete ones. It’s a wonder the place hadn’t collapsed! They left one purlin (a big cross beam that supports the rafters) in place and spray treated it.

That left a couple of wooden lintels, two doors and their frames with tell-tale holes in. So we spent a small fortune (£44.00) on 5 litres of wood treatment liquid and I sprayed and painted the timbers. Of course, I couldn’t find my rubber gloves so got the stuff on my hands and some spray drifted onto my face.

Well it tastes horrible and it’s a bee to wash off. Chances are I’ll live and I very much doubt I’ll ever get woodworm. NB don’t do as I did, get some rubber gloves, a mask and those cheap protective eye goggles before you start!

Having done it, I then discover there’s a much cheaper and safer treatment for woodworm. Apparently you can use borax as a 15% solution in water ( Too late now for me but maybe it will help you.

Posted in Pests & problems
5 comments on “Pesky Rabbits and Treating Woodworm
  1. M Golding says:

    I have to keep the rabbits down too as they sent a few Ewes lame last year with their burrows. They also killed off a few young sapplings and loads of garden plants as they sent out lush green shoots

    The airrifle at 35 yards will drop them instantly everytime if you only ever shoot them inbtween the ear and eye when side on. You dont need license to own one but they can be pricey. Get a bipod to ensure sturdyness to your aim and lay down in position on a day thats not windy. Choose your quarry carefully and only when you are in no doubt that you will dispatch of them without unneccesary injury. The alternative is to get a ferreter in or maybe get one yourself and some purse nets.

    We eat them and so does the cat. They make very good lowfat sausages and burgers. The pelts and other bits compost buried a few feet down in no time at all or you could always find a use for them.

    You will never get rid of them all. They are like gremlins in a water tank come breeding season so the netting and protection will also need to be done.

  2. Mike Price says:

    John… you need a change of worldview. I know it’s difficult but you are in the wilds of Wales and rabbits rule… if you let them.

    On the plot we have a plague of squirrels, pigeon & rats. You can’t shoot on site but you can trap them and then… goodnight vienna.

    I’ve just invested in a Weihrauch HW 100 TK 1.77 with a Nikon Scope and silencer. Go on… pigeon is tasty and squirrel is on the menu of some five star London restaurants.

  3. Ian roscoe says:

    if you would like myself and my friend would gladly help you out with your rabbit problem in the shape of bela and milo my two pet ferrets that i use to control rabbits{free of charge}.its the most humane way to control rabbits i think.and make mouth watering stews along with the veg i have grown on my alotment in flint.please email me if you want me to sort them out for you thanks ian

  4. John says:

    Thanks Ian & Mike Price – however we’ll fence the little pests out for now. I’m waiting for the cat to drag a sheep through the door next..

  5. Steve Calver says:

    Hi John

    (Correct me someone if I am wrong but) I think you will find that King Harold had a lot more to answer for than losing an eye at the battle of Hastings. The Normans introduced rabbits into the UK for hunting setting up warrens, dovcotes etc etc.

    Not sure if they introduced Phaesants as well but the setting up of tracts of forest for hunting of deer, rabbits and other game was the past time of the day for the landed gentry.

    yep eat them, make a wonderful pie does game…..yum yum but I think fur slippers and a coat may be a step too far for some but it is a sustainable source. Not sure I can speak for your good lady but ladies do like shiny rocks and furry coats for gifts.


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