Rabbits are cute; but for anyone who tills the soil, they can be a real threat. This is what draws many of us to search for effective rabbit repellent to protect our hard work.
Although they may look like delicate nibblers, this long-eared animal has a voracious appetite for garden-fresh vegetation.
In summer, they will make short work of your grasses, leaves, shoots, weeds, fruits, vegetables, and berries. In the winter, rabbits will eat shrubs, tree barks, buds, twigs, blackberry, and raspberry.
For a rabbit, what’s on the menu is a ridiculously long list and there are only a few plants that it doesn’t enjoy.
Add the extremely high reproductive potential, and you’ve got yourself a real pest.
If you got yourself a real bunny problem, you can check out our tips on how to stop rabbits from wreaking havoc in your garden. We’ll cover as much as we can from rabbit repellent to plant protection.
Table of Contents
How to Know If Rabbits Are in Your Area?
Rabbits are only out to eat without being eaten. Since they have a great number of natural predators, it can be tricky to actively observe them.
However, it’s not that rare to see rabbits out in the open in broad daylight. If you’ve got a lot of them, then your garden will simply be overrun by rabbits.
On top of observing the damage, you should be able to see rabbit droppings in your yard or garden. They look a lot like raisins, with fewer wrinkles.
What is the Best Rabbit Repellent?
There are many methods and remedies available to control rabbits and drive them away from your garden. Personally, I regard rabbits as part of a peaceful, pastoral landscape.
Therefore, we will be covering humane and non-lethal ways to deal with your bunny problem.
Below are some tips to control rabbits in your area:
1. Make Your Garden Less Inviting
Rabbits will only live in areas or spaces that deem to be safe from predators – particularly areas that give them a good cover. This means they will likely live in tall grasses, brush piles, and under low-growing shrubs. Structures like sheds and under porches are also ideal hiding spots for rabbits.
To make your space less inviting, be sure to clean up brush piles, keep your lawn and tall grosses mowed, and block or remove any structures where they can crawl under.
In addition, you can introduce plants that rabbits won’t eat. These include asparagus, onions, potatoes, rhubarb, tomato, grape, basil, oregano, mint, daffodils, lavender, peony, primrose, and many others.
However, this is not 100% effective since it depends on the regions and which type of rabbits are coming into your area.
2. Protect Plants with Barrier Fencing
If rabbits are the only varmints causing problems in your garden, a simple 2′ fence made from chicken wire should be enough to get things done. Make sure that the fence has a diameter of 1″ or smaller (3/4″ is safer) and secured to sturdy stakes.
To prevent rabbits from burrowing underneath, the fence needs to extend down into the soil to about 6″. Therefore, if you want to install a 2-foot fence, you need to buy a 3-foot tall fencing.
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The height of the fence will also depend on the type of rabbits coming in your area. Garden variety cottontail rabbits will not be able to jump over a 2-foot fence. However, if it’s a jackrabbit that you are dealing with, you need a fence that’s a little taller.
For good measure, bend the top 5-6″ of the fence away from the garden to deter the more athletic and determined rabbits.
3. Use Live Traps
Like with most backyard pests, live trapping is also a viable method for controlling rabbits in your garden.
The idea is to use humane traps to capture the animals and release them in an environment where they can still survive and thrive. However, this is not a solution that I would personally recommend unless you already have enough experience handling traps and the trapped animal.
In addition, rabbits are considered to be agricultural pests in many states.
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Therefore, there’s the possibility that they carry diseases. Plus, there are often laws and regulations pertaining to where and how you can release them.
Not to mention, there’s also the fact that you can potentially injure yourself or the animal while handling the trap.
If you really want to trap the rabbit but don’t want to do it yourself, it might be a good idea to get in touch with a pest/animal control company.
4. Use Rabbit Repellent
There’s no shortage of rabbit repellent products that you can buy from your local home gardening store or online.
You can spray the chemical repellents to some trees, vines, or other plants that can attract rabbits. However, there are products that have high toxicity which means that they can’t be used on vegetables and other plants.
With that said, you should look for products that are odorless and more eco-friendly. This type of repellent is harmless to humans, pets and aquatic life.
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There’s also the option of making your own homemade rabbit repellent.
Mix 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, and a drop of dish soap with 20 ounces of water. Shake the mixture well. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and apply to plant leaves. The smell of the mixture will likely send the rabbits packing.
For continued effectiveness, reapply your choice of deterrent regularly over a few days or after a heavy rain or watering. This is to ensure that the rabbits stay away for good.
5. Chase Them Away with Pets
If you have pets at home, you already have one of the best rabbit deterrents available.
As mentioned, rabbits want to be in places where there are no potential predators. Cats and dogs are perceived by rabbits to be a threat, especially when they are being chased around. I have dogs that love to chase rabbits and squirrels which effectively drives them away, usually for good.
However, that’s not saying that you should get a pet just for the sole purpose of chasing away rabbits. If you are already planning to get a pet, then you’re good.
Otherwise, taking care of a dog or cat requires a lot of expense and maintenance.
6. Plant Trick Crops
Trick crops are also called trap crops. This is a good option to consider if you enjoy having rabbits around in your yard but you don’t them anywhere near your valued crops and plants.
Trick crops are planted a short distance away from the crops that you intend to protect. They are meant to attract unwanted pests or critters like rabbits. As a matter of fact, there are certain trick crops that can attract critters that will scare away the rabbits.
If your #1 pest problems are rabbits, consider planting crops that rabbits like (beans, broccoli, peas, lettuce) around the ones that you want to preserve. Rabbits won’t move much further if they know they have a steady supply.
Again, this might seem counterproductive to those seeking a rabbit repellent — but it’s an option for people who like having rabbits around.
Keeping Rabbits Away for Good
This concludes our guide on how to repel rabbits away from your yard, farm, or garden.
Which one is the best rabbit repellent to use?
Well, it all depends on your preference and how much you are willing to spend. In general, a sturdy fence should get the job done of keeping rabbits away for good.
However, no one will be stopping you to employ one method only. In fact, we encourage you to mix and match the strategies that we outlined above for the best results.
To ensure that rabbits stay away from your garden for good, you should always stay vigilant.
Thus, this means that you need to perform steps like regularly inspecting the fence to make sure that rabbits are not getting through and keep an eye out for rabbit signs.
As soon as you see the first sign of rabbits, act fast.
Have you tried any of the methods that we have outlined above? Or perhaps, you have a rabbit control method that you swear by? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.