ABC Radio Adelaide
Increased rabbit numbers in the Adelaide Hills are creating headaches for residents who have reported them in sheds, under houses, and in parks across the area.
More rabbits are also being reported on the Fleurieu Peninsula, prompting authorities to suggest communities coordinate their response for a greater effect.
Sue from Mylor in the hills told ABC Radio Adelaide there were only a few rabbits on her land six months ago but now they were "everywhere".
"I'm up to my ears in bunnies," she said.
"I've had to resort to selective baiting in places like the hay shed and under the house.
"But out in the paddock … they've gone nuts.
Pam from Kangarilla said she had "never seen it as bad", with rabbits "undermining" her sheds, while listeners from Woodside to McLaren Vale and the Middleton area in the south also reported increased numbers.
Acting rabbit control coordinator Josh Rosser, from Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, confirmed that the feral animals were in higher numbers this year.
"They have been consistently creeping up over a period of time and, being right in the middle of rabbit breeding season, people are going to start to notice them out and about," he said.
He urged residents to combine their response with neighbours as much as possible "because you can cover a much, much bigger area, and get better results for less money, more bang for your buck".
Mr Rosser said responses should involve three steps: biocontrol, localised baiting, and burrow destruction.
Available biocontrol included individual releases of the Calicivirus RHDV1 K5 strain (rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus), which was released nationally in March 2017.
The K5 strain, which is from Korea, was released again in SA during August last year.
Former primary industries minister Tim Whetstone said at the time that rabbits were annually causing $30 million in damages to the state's agricultural production.
Mr Rosser said myxomatosis, the virus released in the mid 20th century to devastating effect, also continued to "float around in waves".
He said a "solid baiting" program was also critical for controlling rabbits.
"It's the cheapest, most effective thing you can do in smaller areas," Mr Rosser said.
"Rabbits are really reliant on their burrows for safety, so if you can remove the areas they hide, as well, they are highly susceptible to predation and the elements."
Mr Rosser added that consistency was also important and, once a response was undertaken, people should be prepared to "put their hand up and have another go".
"It's a persistence game and you can get really good results if you follow these simple steps, use bio controls, do your baiting, and destroy habitat," he said.
"It's quite simple."
He told residents to get in touch with their local landscape board for guidance.