Need Help? Call us on 0161 776 9832 or drop us an email for expert pest control advice on how to identify pest infestations and help solve your problem.

Rabbits and Hares

rabbit and haresThe hare (Latin name; Lepus) and the rabbit (Latin name: Lepus curpaeums) look similar and are commonly found in the UK. Both are considered pests by UK law because of the damage they can cause, especially to farmland. In domestic gardens, the hare and the rabbit can cause destruction, eating plants and vegetables planted there. Despite their cute and cuddly appearance, the Lepus and Lepus Curpaeums are also known to carry fleas which can be spread to domestic pets and therefore into our homes. A flea infestation is highly unpleasant as they cause bites and itching to both animals and humans, and it isn't easy to eradicate. In addition, some diseases are carried by wild hares and rabbits, such as yersiniosis, which can be spread to humans, causing severe illness in some cases.

Hares are slightly different in appearance to rabbits, but it can still be challenging to distinguish between the two without close inspection. Hares are generally somewhat more extensive and have longer ears and more giant feet. In addition, they have back legs that are longer and stronger than their smaller counterparts. Their fur also shows black markings compared to wild rabbits, which tend to have a brownish-grey coat. Although both rabbits and hares moult during the spring and autumn seasons, rabbits shed a brown jacket in autumn for a grey winter coat and then shed a grey coat in spring for their brown summer coat while hares turn white in the winter (especially in areas that are prone to snowy winters.) On the other hand, both creatures sport a short bobtail. A baby rabbit (or kitten) is born blind and without fur, whereas a baby hare (or leveret) is taken to see and already with hair. 

In behaviour too, hares and rabbits differ a little. Rabbits make their homes underground and rely on borrowing to escape from predators. They give birth to their young underground. On the other hand, Hares make their nests above ground and escape predators by running away at high speed on their long and powerful legs instead of burrowing. Hares usually appear on their own as they are solitary animals, only appearing in pairs to mate. Rabbits, conversely, live in large colonies and often appear in big groups. There is also a difference in the diet that they choose, with rabbits choosing to munch on grass, stems and vegetables while hares prefer the chewy texture of shoots, twigs, buds and bark.

Each year, both species produce numerous litters - somewhere between four and eight, with each trash having around three to eight babies. Because they can produce young from the age of just six months and a gestation period of only four weeks, a single animal can make a considerable number of young in the six years it is likely to live in the wild. 

It is best to call pest experts when discovering you have an infestation of rabbits or hares.