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Rabbit Repellent: Keep Rabbits Out of Your Vegetable Garden




The 9 Best (Humane) Garden Pest Control Tips for Getting Rid of Rabbits


keep rabbits out of the gardenSpotting bunny rabbits in your yard can be a beautiful sign of spring and an adorable glimpse at nature, but these small fluffy animals can munch havoc on your precious garden vegetables and flower beds. Their cute demeanor wears thin when you see the damage done to your budding plants, salad gardens, and young shrubbery.


Unfortunately, rabbits aren't the only animal pests eyeing up your plants. You may need to protect your garden from gophers, woodchucks, squirrels & chipmunks, voles, mice & moles, deer, and even raccoons or skunks.


You may be wondering how to keep rabbits and other hungry animals out of your garden. Well, for the sake of this article, we stay focused on rabbits, but many of these repellent and protective measures will work for a number of the garden pests listed above.


Before we can effectively plan deterrents, we need to understand the target


Getting To Know Your Rabbit Pest


The "Peter" Cottontail Rabbit can be found all across the U.S., in every state. These wild rabbits have a lifespan of 1½ to 2 years. Fully grown, they typically weigh 2 to 3 pounds and are less than 12" long. In one year, a rabbit mother can have up to 18 offspring, which implies a scary potential for exponential growth.

Rabbits are herbivores and will eat just about anything green, including grass. But when options are available, they have some favorites and prefer to munch on young plants and tender new growth. To ensure you're dealing with a bunny problem, look for leaves with clean, angled cuts, young trees and shrubs clipped at the stems, as well as vegetables and flowers with missing buds. You can also check the surrounding area for rabbit foot prints (five toes on the front feet, four toes on the back) and spherical droppings that resemble a certain chocolate children's serial.

Wild Rabbits are skittish, nervous animals and will sprint away at any sudden noise or movement. They prefer to eat close to areas of natural cover in case they need to make a quick dash, so you should find most of their damage around the perimeter of your gardens. Watch your yard at dawn or dusk, when rabbits are most active.


Humane Garden Pest Control Options

getting rid of rabbits The 9 best control options for repelling rabbits and protecting
your gardens.

      Review the information below and select the options best for you and your property. Keep in mind that employing multiple control options will be more effective and will aid in repelling other animals as well.

    • Dissuade – Eliminate Favorable Conditions

      Making your property less appealing to skittish rabbits will encourage them to move on to another location. Eliminate nearby areas of natural cover where rabbits might nest or take temporary shelter. Be sure to clean up any brush piles and keep the lawn mowed.

    • Protection – Plant Barriers & Coverings

      Try a defensive method. Install chicken wire fencing or a hardware cloth barrier around the gardens to keep nibblers out. Be sure to leave some space between the plants and the fence to eliminate reach-through munching. Also, burry the bottom several inches down to prevent tunneling and make sure the height is at least two to three feet tall to discourage the jumpers. You can also use cages and cloth coverings over your plants to achieve the same thing.

    • Repellents – Scents & Tastes

      Using sensory repellents is a cost effective alternative to more labor intensive methods such as fencing and replanting schemes. There are many varieties of liquid and powder repellents on the market, but be sure to select an organic (OMRI listed if possible) safe solution such as Deer Off® II Deer, Rabbit & Squirrel Repellent. These solutions are safe for the animals and your edible plants. Repellent solutions use putrescent eggs & garlic to dissuade hungry pests and are usually undetectable by humans when dry. Some solutions also repel by taste and touch with capsaicin and pepper oils. To remain effective, these solutions must be reapplied over time, especially after heavy rains. Also, if food options are scarce, rabbits may eat your plants anyway.

    • Scare Tactics – Sudden Light, Motion, Noise, & Water Spray

      Relying on their timid nature, you can frighten away rabbits with solutions that produce sudden lights or sounds. One DIY Rabbit Repellent is to string up old CDs, DVDs, or other reflective objects around the garden perimeter. As the animal approaches the objects will catch sunlight and startle them. However, static tactics such as this will eventually lose their effectiveness as the animals become accustomed to their unchanging presence. The Havahart Spray Away® Motion Activated Sprinkler senses the rabbit's heat and movement, triggering a sudden spray of water accompanied by motion and a startling noise to effectively scare away a wide variety of garden animal pests.

    • Distraction – Decoy Gardens

      Can't beat 'em, join 'em. Instead of focusing on what the rabbits dislike, use their likes to your benefit. Cultivate a decoy or sacrificial garden to attract hungry bunnies away from your real garden treasures. In a nearby plot (but safe enough distance away), plant their favorite foods as such as alfalfa, beans, peas, parsley, rosemary, cabbage and lettuce. Keep your friends close, but your garden enemies closer.

    • Dissuading Growth – Plant What Rabbits Won't Like

      Why tempt them to begin with? Dissuade rabbits by only cultivating your garden with vegetables that they dislike. Growing veggies such as peppers, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers and squash won't pique their interest.

    • Barrier Growth – Plant Defensively

      Take the previous rabbit control method and use it as a barrier. Wild rabbits are timid, they tend to only nibble on perimeter plants so they can make a quick getaway. Line the edge of your gardens with flowers and vegetables that the bunnies dislike and they may not venture deep enough to hit the good stuff.

    • Capture & Relocate – Live Traps

      Live trapping is the most humane way to permanently remove an animal pest from your property. And Havahart® traps are the best for your safety and the animal's. For rabbits, use their Medium Collapsible 1-Door Trap and bait with some of their favorite veggies. Once the animal is contained, take them to a nice natural place of relocation (being mindful of other gardeners) and release them back into the wild.

    • Exclusion – Fencing

      As mentioned in the 'Barriers & Coverings' method, you can line you garden with fencing to keep out hungry animals. The height would depend on the specific pest that's eating your vegetables. Though, more expensive, but certainly more effective, you could border your property with a solid or electric fence. There are many options to choose from.


Employing one or a combination of these methods should solve your animal pest problem and protect your gardens. Remember to identify the animal before deciding on a solution, so you'll know if it will be effective.


Now that you're on your way to eliminating the pests, you can focus on the health of your edible gardens and flower beds. Be sure to support your vegetable plants to encourage growth. You can find garden stakes and supports here, if you need some.


Identifying Garden InsectsWe've addressed the animal pests, but you may still have some garden villains trying to eat your crops: Insects. Click here to learn which bugs are good for your garden and which ones will cause some headaches.


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