Yes. Rabbits can attract rats and mice, so can many other things such as chicken houses, heaps of composite pits, bird feeders, among many others.
These rodents are often attracted to areas where they can easily get food and shelter and they use their powerful sense of smell (olfactory ability) to detect the presence of food.
How do rabbits attract them?
The first reason why these pets might attract wild rats is due to the presence of food and their docile nature that makes them ignore rats even if they come into their cages to eat food.
These rodents can feed on your bunny’s food including pellets as well as food for other pets and animals you have at home. Therefore, a rabbit’s food and food remains will be a source of their breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Also, besides depending on the food you give your bunny, “rat will eat other kinds of feces from other animals, including rabbit pellets and cat poop.”
The second reason why bunnies may attract these rodents is a shelter. Rats love making their nests dark and warm areas including cavities. Therefore, if you have some space between your hutch and wall, beneath it or any cavities around your hutches or sheds, it will be a perfect place for them to make their nests.
Therefore, having rabbits gives a perfect place for these rodents to come and live. They can get food and shelter. That is all they need for their survival.
How to control rats near your hutches?
There are several ways you can keep these great scavengers off your rabbit’s hutches. However, the method you choose should not harm your bunnies or any other pets you may be having in your home.
Some of the ways to get rid of rats around hutches include the following:
Rat proof rabbit hutches
If they are a menace, you should consider buying a rat proof hutch, i.e., with a smaller diameter that these rodents cannot pass through and ensure there are no other opening.
If you have a raised enclosure, you can also include rat guards on the hutch’s legs to stop them from climbing up or entering them.
Also, opt for hutches with a solid base (as they are comfortable and will reduce sore hocks)and avoid fecal droppings reaching the ground. If they have a section with a wire mesh, ensure you have a slide-out tray to trap both urine and fecal pellets since these rodents can feed on fecal pellets.
Finally, avoid dark areas and spaces around your rabbit enclosures especially spaces behind and beneath hutches since these are the common places where these rodents can build their nests.
Safely keep your bunnies’ food
Since they may also be feeding on the food you give your bun, ensure it cannot be accessed by these rodents. Without food nearby they are unlikely to stay near hutches. Also, ensure you do not drop any food while refilling your rabbit feeders.
Keep your hutches clean
Always remove any droppings and food remains and ensure the area around hutches is spotlessly clean. Also, properly dispose off soiled food remains as well as their droppings.
Proper hygiene will reduce rabbit smell and make it less enticing to wild rats.
There are various ways to control these pests including baiting them, using ultrasonic ant-rat devices and so on. You need to ensure any method you use does not harm bunnies or any other pet you may be having at home.
Can rats or mice harm rabbits
Yes. A mouse can harm your bunnies in various including spreading parasites such as mites and fleas to these pets. Also, some bunnies may be frightened when they see a mouse. Some may become jumpy and get stressed.
We also saw Rabbit Awareness Week warning on wild rats attacking rabbits especially while they are outside their hutches.