European Rabbit

Though the rabbit is often kept as a pet, wild populations continue to thrive throughout Europe and elsewhere in the world. This has had devastating effects on biodiversity in some instances.

Description of the European Rabbit

Scientific Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
Colour: Grey
Weight: 1.3-2.2kg
Length: 34-45cm
Lifespan up to 9 years, though typically less than 1

Reproduction of the European Rabbit 

Litter Size: 2-12
No. of Litters: 4-7 per year
Sexual Maturity: 3-4 months
Gestation Period: 31 days
Breeding Season: Mainly spring and summer

Diet of the European Rabbit

Primarily grass, but also leaves, buds and roots

Habitat of the European Rabbit

Geography: Much of Europe, Australia, parts of North Africa
Nest Location: Warrens extend up to 3m underground
Active Periods: Dawn and dusk

Wild rabbits can look cuddly and cute but they can thoroughly destroy your garden or affect your business. Once they've found a feasting ground, they will return again and again until the source is depleted and your garden looks like shredded cabbage.

Wild rabbits are especially fond of spring flowers and enjoy munching on young tulips. In autumn, rabbits often chew on the bark of flowering shrubs and woody plants.

Wild rabbits usually strip bark off of young trees only a short distance, approximately 2.5 feet, above the ground. Rabbit damage can be identified by a clean, angled cut on the end of leaves.

Wild rabbits are vegetarians. Their diet is 90% grass. They will eat almost any type of vegetable in the summer. Grasses, broadleaf weeds, garden crops, beans, peas, cabbage and lettuce are all foods of choice. In the winter/spring wild rabbits will eat tree buds.

How can rabbits affect your business?

Tunneling rabbits cause ground to become weak and unstable Loss and damage to crops in agricultural areas Soil erosion caused by removal of vegetation Damage to high quality amenity grassland such as golf courses Tree bark damage

There is also a legal obligation of land occupiers to prevent rabbit damage on neighbouring land.


Wild rabbits can do considerable damage to flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs any time of the year, especially in places such as suburban gardens, rural fields and tree plantations. ?Wild rabbits will eat your precious flowers and vegetables and can damage trees and shrubs by clipping stems, buds and small branches and by girdling larger trees.

Rabbit Traps

A well-positioned Havahart® live animal cage trap along with a tempting rabbit treat will make the trapping task simple. Unique safety features make this the ideal trapping solution.

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Humane Havahart® rabbit traps come in a variety of styles and sizes including our Medium 2-Door Trap, pictured at right, which is ideal for domestic and business uses. You should check the trap regularly and at least every 24 hours.

Suggested baits for wild rabbits

Do you have a rabbit trap and need to know what the best bait options are for attracting wild rabbits? Havahart® recommends the following baits to draw wild rabbits to your trap.

Place the bait at the end of the rabbit trap.

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Apples
  • Spray the inside of the trap with apple cider

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