Date of this Version
Proceedings of the 15th Wildlife Damage Management Conference. (J. B. Armstrong, G. R. Gallagher, Eds). 2013.
The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of Milorganite® as a repellent to mitigate damage on impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) by domestic New Zealand White rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). This biosolid byproduct of an activated sludge processing technique has been suggested as a repellent for a number of species. Three, 4 m square pens were constructed with steel walls and subterranean wire to prevent escape. Two female and one male (2-3 kg) were housed in each pen and provided with shelter, water and 170 g per animal of a complete pellet ration daily. Three impatiens plants were placed in plastic planters (55 cm x 25 cm x 25 cm) with potting soil. Four planters were placed within a hole at respective corners of each pen, resulting in plants within 2.5 cm of being level with the ground. Two diagonal planters received topdressing of 2500 kg/ha or 0 kg/ha of Milorganite®. Changes in plant area as determined by digital photographs taken on day 0 and day 7 post-treatment were used as an indication of consumption. During the 21-day trial, new plants were treated and evaluated at 7-day interval. While plant areas were similar (P > .10) prior to treatment, area of control plants (17.2 ± 0.8) was lower (P < .05) than Milorganite® treated plants (21.2 ± 1.0). Differences in week (P < .001) were noted as a result of larger impatiens utilized during week 1 compared to remaining weeks. However, there was no treatment by week interaction (P > .10). No differences ((P > .10) were observed for treatment plant location, pen or technicians determining plant area. Results of this study indicate Milorganite® was effective in reducing damage to impatiens by domestic rabbits.