Seeing cockroaches roaming around your rabbits all the time can is gross and also a little scary. However, you can take care of cockroaches in your rabbit hutch after taking some preventive measures. Let’s explore how cockroaches affect rabbits and explore different ways to get rid of them.
You can keep the cockroaches away from rabbits by cleaning the pen properly and regularly. Dampness and food attract cockroaches to a rabbit’s hutch. By ventilating the hutch properly and avoiding excess food your rabbit’s cage can be cockroach-free.
A cockroach infestation in an outdoor rabbit hutch is usually considered a trivial problem. Yet, you cannot turn a blind eye to them as cockroaches can transmit diseases and affect rabbits’ health.
Just as importantly, if you have cockroaches thriving outside of your home, it won’t be long until they find their way inside.
Are Cockroaches Dangerous to Rabbits?
A few cockroaches around your rabbits are not harmful to your rabbits. Rarely, rabbits get food poisoning due to cockroaches’ excretion. But their constant presence may lead to various health complications including allergies, indigestion, and red itchy skin in rabbits.
Cockroaches are likely to be found in or outside the house, near the rabbits’ pen, near the rabbit’s food bowls, and nipping on the fallen food crumbs, by the litter box and hiding in the rabbits’ bedding. They may leave their feces and secretions in these places.
Newborn little bunnies often get scared by crawling insects like cockroaches. Cockroaches are nocturnal and make noise in the dark. They can affect the sleeping habits of rabbits if they are sharing a pen with your little buns at night.
Swarming cockroaches can definitely be a vexation and nuisance not only for the rabbits but for you too. Most of the time, rabbits seem undisturbed by their presence. Despite this, sometimes your pet rabbits may start to act dozy and sluggish in their presence just because of lack of sleep.
Here are some tips to wipe out the cockroaches and keep rabbits safe from them.
10 Tips Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Your Rabbit’s Hutch
1. Clean The Infested Areas
Stinky places full of grease, litter, waste, and garbage are perfect home homes for pests, especially for cockroaches. They consume waste and lay eggs in these places. Therefore, cleaning is the primary strategy to wipe out cockroaches in your rabbit’s hutch.
- Sweep the rabbits’ hutch twice a day.
- Discard the litter daily and hay messes.
- Cockroaches love to lick greasy and musty food bowls, so wash food bowls with dishsoap or in the dishwasher.
- Change the bedding material often.
- At night, make sure no food scraps remain in the pen.
Water drains near the rabbits’ hutch are often the suspected entry point for cockroaches found inside a structure.
Water drains that never actually drain water can dry out allowing odors and cockroaches to travel from the sewer up into your home.
Make sure the drain elbow or p-trap under the drain is full of water to slow discourage cockroaches from climbing through them. You can do this by simply dumping water down the drain.
You might also like to read: How to Wash a Rabbit — Steps to Clean Your Bunny
2. Ventilate Rabbits’ Hutch And Your House
Excessive moisture, humidity, and dampness attract the cockroaches. Dark and stuffy places are heaven to the roaches. When they find such an environment, they quickly move and start reproducing.
Air out your rabbits’ hutch daily when you have a cockroach problem. Open windows and doors wide, turn the fan on to let the fresh air circulate. If your hutch has no windows or big opening into their sleeping area, put a portable fan aimed at the damp places to dry it out quickly.
Some people even install a small exhaust fan in their rabbit’s bed area to ensure proper ventilation. You can even get inexpensive solar fans like this one on Amazon that are a breeze to install.
3. Maintain Your Garden
Unkempt gardens and plants around your rabbit’s hutch can become the habitation of insects and roaches. Shrubs, weeds, earth holes, moldy plant pots, and smelly grass give the perfect comfortable accommodation for cockroaches to live and spawn.
The use of insect traps and baits is really helpful to catch the hidden cockroaches. While the traps are set, your bunnies should not be allowed to play in the garden at that time.
4. Dry the Stagnant Water Near Rabbit’s Hutch
Water attracts cockroaches. Cockroaches need water and like to make colonies reliable water sources like a dripping pipe and places where water is stagnant all the time. If you can’t eliminate the water source, your rabbits’ cages should not be located near these places.
Remove the standing water by using buckets, sponges, towels, rags, wet-dry vacuums, pumps, and squeegees. Fix water leakage and use duct tapes for minor punctures. Call for the plumber’s help if need be.
5. Use Weather Strips
Sometimes you’ll find cockroaches wandering around your rabbits, even though your house, rabbit’s pen, and garden are immaculately clean. These might not be resident roaches, but cockroaches searching for food our a new home. But even passing-through roaches are gross.
Cockroaches can find their way through crazy small cracks and crevices.
Windows, doors, vents, and ceilings are the easy passageways for roaches. Make sure that all of those cracks are closed up by attaching weather strips to the windows, doors, and sliding vents.
6. Seal Up Your Walls
We’ve all seen horror movies where an army of cockroaches come spilling out of a hole in the wall, but that horror shot is based in reality. Cockroaches do find their way into wall cavities and set up homes there.
Most walls are made of drywall which is cheap but brittle, making them vulnerable to be easily damaged. If you overlook pits and cavities in the walls, they will become home to cockroaches, spiders, ants, and more.
You can fix drywall holes pretty easily, but if you don’t have time to patch the hole correctly, just do a quick and dirty job with a roll of tape.
7. Use Sticky Straps
Cockroaches feel comfortable and relaxed in the corners. You will mostly see them hiding in the corners. They hide in the corner of rabbits’ hutch and make themselves invisible.
Sticky traps are an efficient trick to catch cockroaches that slip into rabbits’ hutch at night. Set the sticky traps in the corners of the rabbit’s hutch and your house. While these traps are set in the hutch, rabbits must not be around these traps.
8. Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is not only safe for rabbits, it’s deadly for cockroaches.
Just a dusting of diatomaceous earth will affect their cockroach’s exoskeleton and dehydrate them to the point of death.
Diatomaceous earth powder is crazy abrasive damages the roach’s exoskeleton, which causes it to die through dehydration. When cockroaches walk through a dusting of diatomaceous earth it clings to them and starts the process of attacking their exoskeleton.
Just be sure to buy food-grade diatomaceous earth like this brand on Amazon.
9. Use Boric Acid Or Baking Soda
Both Baking Soda and Boric acid will kill cockroaches when they ingest it. It gives speedy and reliable results.
Most of the DIY roach killers that use baking soda or boric acid combine them with some form of sugar. Then these sweet-death-treats can be left out for the cockroaches to enjoy…to death.
However, both boric acid and baking soda can also be deadly to your rabbit. Neither will kill your bunny right away, but both have the potential to.
You see, for all mammals eating too much baking soda or boric acid will cause vomiting, but rabbits are physically unable to puke. When they need to vomit, the pressure can build up inside of their little bodies until their stomachs explode.
If you choose to use sweet baking soda or boric acid baits around rabbits, you must make sure that there is zero chance that your bunny can get to them. After all, rabbits have a sweet tooth just like you and me, and the cockroaches.
10. Use Pesticides
In tough situations, when no other solution is solving the cockroach infestation in your rabbit hutch, you have to consider extreme solutions. It might be time to consult with a pest control professional.
Pest control professionals use different highly regulated yet super effective pesticides to kill all kinds of insects, including cockroaches. However, these pesticides are not always safe for rabbits or even people.
Using pesticides around your rabbit should be your last resort.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to protect your bunny only from the pesticide, you need to protect them from the temptation to chew on the dead cockroaches and other bugs that were done in by the toxic pesticide.
I strongly recommend that you remove your rabbit from the area during the pesticide treatment and for a period of time afterward.
When it’s safe for you to return to the treated area, you need to meticulously clean your rabbit’s space. This includes removing all dead insects which are full of toxic pesticides and washing not only your rabbit’s food and water containers but all the surfaces that they might be tempted to lick.
Once again, I want to stress that using pesticides to deal with cockroaches in your rabbit’s home should be a last resort. If you need to do this, take the extra time to protect your bunny from the poison.