Monday, January 3, 2011

Lemon Oil

I don't usually let Walter in the bedroom.  I did when I first moved into my apartment, but then I discovered that Walter's lounging time under my bed was really time spent pulling up the wall-to-wall carpeting.  Figuring neither my landlord nor I would not like the carpeting to be ruined, I banned him from the bedroom.  Over the past weekend, however, I had some friends over for brunch.  Walter can be a pretty shy bunny, and I assumed he would want to be able to get away from the noise of company, so I allowed him to spend the afternoon in the bedroom, hiding under the bed.  Apparently he loved it, and now he can't get enough of playing in there.

For the past two days, the bedroom, as usual, has been off-limits to him.  Walter has spent much of the day staring longingly at the closed bedroom door, then scratching at both the floor and the door itself, and then eventually biting at the walls.  Of course, none of these things work, and all they do is manage to make me mad at the bunny.  This morning, Walter was particularly feisty.  So I had to resort to more clever methods than just turning him away from the door.  Enter, lemon oil.

I've used lemon oil on the door frames before, and it deters Walter from chewing things that he shouldn't.  Today, I decided to put some on the door and the floor mat in front of the bedroom door, in the hopes that the smell would be enough to keep Walter away from the entire area.  Sadly for Walter, this method worked.  Also sadly for Walter, I accidentally got some on his nose as I was waving my lemon oil-covered finger in front of his face.  He is still not pleased with me.

I bought a small (0.5 fluid ounce) bottle of Aura Cacia lemon oil from Whole Foods a while back.  I am sure I probably paid too much for it there, but you can find it online for about three bucks.  You only need a teeny tiny bit of lemon oil when applying it to door frames or wherever, so even a bottle as small as half a fluid ounce will last you a long time.

Using lemon oil as a chewing deterrent is something I definitely recommend.  It's been a huge help for me. I just put a tiny bit on my finger, then rub my finger across the door frame or the table leg or whatever else Walter likes to chew.  It's such a small amount that I can barely smell it, but it keeps Walter away for days or even weeks.  And, as I discovered today, using more than my usual amount can keep the rabbit away from an entire area! He hasn't gone anywhere near the bedroom door for the past hour.  (Though, that could also be because he's still mad at me for getting a dab of the lemon oil on his face.)

What do you recommend as a rabbit chewing deterrent?

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