- Organic Gardening
How to Protect Your Domestic Rabbits Naturally Against Myxomatosis
Effect of Myxomatosis on rabbits
Natural DIY solutions for Myxomatosis Attack on Rabbits
The onset of hot humid weather just after large amounts of rain creates a fertile breeding ground for insect pests, such as, mosquitoes and mites as well as microorganisms, such as, fungi and bacteria. During these times, rabbit keepers should be on the watch out for the lethal virus known as myxomatosis, which uses mosquitoes as carriers and infects rabbits. It can be transmitted from one rabbit to another with the potential of infecting a whole nest overnight, which makes it one of the most deadly pest carried virus for rabbits.
What is Myxomatosis?
Myxomatosis is a virus that usually kills using a secondary infection of pneumonia known as pastorella. It is often remembered as it was used in the 1950s as a way of controlling wild rabbit population in Australia. Presently, pet keepers are not allowed to immunize their domestic rabbits against this virus but there are natural ways you can adopt to ensure that your pets are safe.
Invest in Water Tanks
When constructing your sheds, design them in such a way that pooling of water is avoided at all costs. This is because still water is an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes. Instead of digging small ponds and dams for your pets in the garden, you can use water tanks to tap water directly from roofs. These water tanks provide clean water which is a plus for your pets and can be treated regularly to avoid breeding and accumulation of microbes. In addition, change the water and food bowls of your rabbits regularly to avoid chances of misquotes using it as a breeding ground.
Invest in Citronella Lamps and Insect Repelling Plants
During the heat of summer, it is likely that you will have many flying insects and pests in and around your shed. To discourage flying insects, such as mosquitoes, from coming anywhere near your rabbits, you can light citronella lamps at night. To boost the impact of the lamps, you can also place plants that repel insects. Examples of such plants include peppermint, spearmint and citronella daisies. You can also plant small shrub varieties that attract finches and swallows, which in turn feed on small insects.
Mosquito Netting Outside the Rabbit Hutch
This is an effective way of stopping mosquitoes from coming into contact with your pets. The mosquito nets need to be fitted well so as to avoid gaps and spaces that can be used as entry points. You can start by using the netting the moment the sun sets as this is about the time mosquitoes start becoming active. In addition, rabbit hutches should be constructed away from areas of still water such as fish ponds and dams. To supply water to these hutches, you can install small water tanks.
Use Organic Insect Sprays
When cleaning the hutches, use organic spray such as a solution of tea tree and water. Such organic sprays have the advantage in that they do not irritate your pets and still keep off mosquitoes and other insects. Before you put your pet back, ensure that the hutch is completely dry. When mixing the organic sprays ensure that you use clean and treated water. A good way to manage this is to have designated water tanks whose water is treated regularly and used for such sensitive operations.
Consult a pest’s exterminator
The processes described above are all natural ways of protecting your rabbits against mosquitoes which carry the deadly virus, however, to be effective, they need be done expertly. Exterminators specialize in pest control methods and know the exact place to plant the trees, the best method of hanging mosquito nets and the most effective natural spray and their concentration. It is thus, always good to seek the help of an exterminator especially if you are undertaking the natural mosquito control for the first time.