Dropboxes are a great means of reducing the rabbit population, especially when they’re in an area hard to access.
“When a box is installed it can take some time for rabbits to use them”
It's been a few years since I installed my first drop box, 17 in fact! From our last count I think the business was responsible for monitoring more than 500 dropboxes scattered across quite an area. I dread to think how to many we have installed for others to check, but it would be a notable amount more.
What is a dropbox?
Dropboxes are as the name suggests, a box that something (normally rabbits) drop inside. These traps work alongside a rabbit fence, which acts as a giant funnel to guide the rabbits into the tunnel system where the box is located.
The rabbit fence needs to be constructed to the correct specification so the rabbits don’t just chew it up, hop over it or dig under it. The better the fence the more effective the traps will be.
Unlike most other traps, these are multiple catch traps. The number of rabbits waiting to be despatched the next morning depends on how many pass through the tunnel – my personal record from one trap is 27.
Why a dropbox?
We tend to install fencing and add dropboxes to situations where rabbits live in an area that we cannot access for what ever reason, such as railway embankments, neighbouring land, or the ground which is impenetrable. It can also be a great control method if there are simply vast numbers that need reducing by every means possible.
When a box is installed it can take some time for the rabbits to use them, that said we fenced an area and installed dropboxes a few years ago and we bagged rabbits within days – but it was heavily infested.
It is wise to allow rabbits free passage through the tunnel systems to build their confidence, as well as to help encourage their mates to follow. This will mean numbers using the tunnel will build up to the point where a run can be seen and the trap is then worth setting. Setting the trap is easy, all you have to do is unlock the box and wait for rabbits to drop in.
Once the trap is set, rabbits will drop into the cellar below one by one. Regular monitoring of the fence helps increase hauls.
It is also worth noting that other species including rats, polecats, hedgehogs (if you live in an area where badgers haven't eaten them all) cats and foxes can mistakenly fall in. So its well worth being cautious!
Location Dropboxes are installed in areas hard to access
Tunnels The boxes are located inside a tunnel system to catch the rabbits