Effective long-term control can be achieved if ripping leaves the warren unsuitable for re-colonisation. Large numbers of warrens can be treated effectively and weeds can be controlled at same time. However, it is costly if not done properly the first time.
Legal obligations: Landholders must be careful to avoid further damage to the environment (including waterways) and Aboriginal cultural heritage sites when using machinery.
Be aware of your legal obligations and obtain the necessary permits. If you are unsure, seek advice from Agriculture Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Aboriginal Victoria or your local council.
Dial before you Dig: Ensure underground services such as telephone, power, gas and water are not in areas to be ripped.
Neighbours: Rabbits won’t stop at your property boundary. Aim to coordinate a local ripping program with your neighbours to reduce costs, reduce reinvasion of rabbit populations and achieve long-term results.
Manage woody weeds: Remove weeds as part of your program; this will limit harbour for rabbits to shelter under.
Warrens depths: Knowing the depth of burrows within a warren can help determine what combinations of ripping practice could be implemented. By digging a trench through the centre of several warrens within different soil types, the warren profiles become visible (Figures 2, 3 and 4).
Soil types: Soil type and moisture are important factors affecting the collapse of warrens. It is important to carry out ripping when soils are dried out in late summer before the autumn rain, which is aligned with the optimal time to control rabbits.