Rabbits cause a lot of damage to gardens and backyards. They’re voracious eaters, often eating plants all the way down to the root. If you’ve seen rabbits in your yard, I suggest you find a natural way to get rid of them. In fact, I get asked by people all the time about natural rabbit repellents.
So, what are the best rabbit repellent plants & natural homemade repellents? When planting your garden, choose plants that naturally repel rabbits so they’ll stay out of your yard. Try creative repellents like dog fur or urine, pepper spray or motion activated water spouts to scare the rabbits out of your garden. Or you can create a little rabbit garden on the edge of your property so rabbits won’t be interested in your garden. Of course, there are some natural repellents gardeners try that just don’t work. Mothballs are dangerous to put into your garden since they’re toxic to humans and animals. Other things like aluminum pie pans, moving owls or wind chimes work for a while, but eventually rabbits realize they’re not a threat. Rabbit infestations are troublesome, some countries like Australia have millions of rabbits devouring grazing areas. A town in the United States has hundreds of rabbits that are causing all kinds of problems for the residents. Rabbits repopulate so quickly, this isn’t as unusual as you might think. An unusual, but effective way of repelling rabbis is to bring in their predators in your backyard. The smell of their predator’s urine or poop scare off rabbits right away.
How Do I Know Rabbits Are Eating My Plants?
An animal sneaks into your yard and devours your plants. How do you know if rabbits are the culprits? Surprisingly, it’s fairly easy to determine whether rabbits are eating your plants. Inspect your plants carefully for any of these clear signs that rabbits are eating your plants.
- You see droppings in small piles all around your garden or flower bed. Rabbit poop looks like small light brown or black pea shaped balls. If you see this kind of poop, a rabbit is eating your plants.
- Your plants suddenly disappear. That’s a good indication a rabbit lives in your yard. Rabbits love small, young sprouts of peas peppers or lettuce. They nab the little plants in the night or early mornings.
- You might see a nest or bedding area lined with fur or leaves. Rabbits might decide your backyard looks like a nice place to raise a family. If you see signs of nesting, you have rabbits in your yard and if they’re nesting, you are about to see some baby rabbits, too.
- Your plants look chewed off clean like they’ve been cut back with hand clippers. Rabbits teeth cut through plants because of the type of teeth they have.
Once you know for sure that rabbits are eating your plants, you’ll need to find a good strategy to get rid of them.
What Plants Attach Rabbits To My Yard?
Rabbits are herbivores. They eat vegetables, fruits, shrubs, herbs and tree bark. In the warmer seasons, they eat grasses, clover, flowers, and weeds. When it gets cold outside, they eat twigs, bark and evergreen needles. If rabbits are eating the plants in your yard, it might be because you have these plants in your yard that rabbits love to eat.
- Morning glories
- Sweet pea
- Baby’s breath
- Black eyed susan
- Bell flower
Vegetables and Fruits:
What Trees and Shrubs Won’t Rabbits Eat?
It’s hard to nail down a specific list of plants rabbits won’t eat because they eat almost anything if they’re hungry enough. If you’re landscaping your yard, scatter rabbit resistant plants around your flower bed to keep rabbits from bothering your flowers or shrubs. Rabbits won’t eat plants that give off a strong scent or are prickly or have tough leaves. Rabbits dislike plants that give off a sap. Here’s a list of plants to plant in your garden or backyard to repel rabbits.
Shrubs and Trees that repel rabbits:
Birch, boxwood, dogwood, hydrangea, St. John’s Wort, holly, rhododendron, spiny roses, lilac and yew, Douglas fir, Japanese maple, pine, spruce, oak,
Perennial flowers that repel rabbits:
- Straw flower
- Lamb’s ear
Ground covers that repel rabbits:
- English ivy
- Virginia creeper
What Vegetables and Herbs Won’t Rabbits Eat?
Rabbits love vegetables and herbs, but they won’t eat some of them because they have strong flavors and smells that rabbits shy away from eating. Plant these vegetables or herbs interspersed around your vegetable garden to repel rabbits so they won’t eat your garden vegetables.
- Lemon balm
What Are Some Natural Homemade Rabbit Repellents?
Natural rabbit repellents are a safe alternative to commercial repellents that can be toxic to pets and humans. These repellents are usually made from strong smelling, spicy tasting ingredients that rabbits dislike. The ingredients are convenient to purchase and some of them you’ll find around your house. Natural repellents should be applied often to stay effective, especially after it rains. Try out these natural rabbit repellent recipes in your garden to keep rabbits away.
Garlic powder and Tabasco recipe:
Mix garlic powder with hot pepper sauce with some water. Let it set for 24 hours. Add a few drops of dish washing soap to the mixture. Pour into a spray bottle and spray your vegetables or flowers.
Bone meal is ground animal bones Sprinkling bone meal all around your vegetables, shrubs and flowers keep rabbits away. You can buy bags of bone meal at home improvement stores. Bone meal not only repels rabbits but acts as a fertilizer for plants.
Blood meal-Blood meal is dried or powdered animal blood. Sprinkle it around your garden or flowers to repel rabbits since they don’t like the scent of animal blood. It’s also a good fertilizer for your garden plants, but it’s high in nitrogen so use it sparingly around vegetables to prevent nitrogen burns on your plants.
Dog fur or poop-Many homeowners use dog fur or dog poop sprinkled around their vegetables or flowers to keep rabbits away. The scent of the dog scares off the rabbits because dogs are predators to rabbits.
Kitty litter- Kitty litter is another tried and true rabbit repellent. Sprinkle it around your garden to keep rabbits out.
Do Rabbits Eat Hot, Spicy Plants?
Rabbits don’t eat hot spicy plants like chili peppers, onions, mint, chives or garlic. They don’t eat plants with strong flavors or tastes. Many natural rabbit repellents are made out of chilis, hot peppers, garlic or hot pepper sauces. Gardeners spray or spread these spicy mixtures around plants around the edge of their vegetable garden to keep rabbits from eating their plants.
Does Black Pepper Keep Rabbits Away?
Black pepper is a great black pepper repellent. Mix it with some kind of hot red pepper like cayenne and dust your flowers or vegetables. Rabbits hate the strong, spicy smell of pepper. One whiff of this mixture will keep them hopping away from your yard.
Will Ammonia Repel Rabbits?
Ammonia is an effective natural rabbit repellent. The smell of ammonia is like that of a rabbit’s predators where they’ve marked their areas with urine. If a rabbit smells ammonia, they’ll assume a predator is nearby and take off quick.
● Use household ammonia, full strength
● Soak strips of rags in the ammonia till saturated
● Lay the rags around the areas where rabbits come into your yard or garden. Rabbits smell the ammonia, think a predator lurks closeby and leaves your garden. If you know where the rabbits’ holes to their dens are located, you can lay the ammonia soaked rags around the holes. This will cause the rabbits to relocate their homes right away.
What Are Other Ways To Repel Rabbits?
- Fencing-Fencing in your yard or your vegetable garden is a good way to keep rabbits out. Fence in your garden area with 2-foot high fencing and chicken wire. Be sure to install the fence deep enough into the ground so the rabbits can’t dig beneath. You should also reinforce the bottom of the fence with chicken wire to keep rabbits out.
- Canopy for vegetable garden-Some gardeners say that a canopy keeps a rabbit away from eating their vegetables.
- Raised flower beds-For some reason, rabbits don’t bother raised flower beds as much as inground gardens. This may be because their too high off the ground for rabbits to reach.
- Dog in your fenced in the yard--Dogs are a natural predator to rabbits. If they smell the scent of a dog in your yard, they’ll run off.
- Vinegar soaked corn cobs-Soak corn cob in vinegar for one day, then put them in your garden.
- Mason jars-Strangely, some gardeners say that if you put mason jars in intervals around their gardens it keeps rabbits away from the garden.
How Do I Draw Rabbits Away From My Yard?
In a desperate attempt to keep rabbits out of their yards, some homeowners plant little rabbit gardens on the edge of their property to lure rabbits away from their garden. Find an area far away from your garden, on the outer edge of your property, even outside the fence around your yard. Plant grasses, clover, shrubs, wildflowers and herbs that rabbits love best. Rabbits won’t bother coming into your garden since they’ll have their own plants to eat. Just be sure the rabbit garden is far away from your garden so rabbits won’t return to eating plants in your yard.
What Rabbit Repellents Are A Bad Idea?
Some natural rabbit repellents aren’t as effective as others. Here are some rabbit repellents that don’t work so well or work only for a short time.
- Mothballs-Mothballs are an old recommended remedy for keeping pests away. They were made to only repel moths. Gardeners have used them to repel rabbits and other pests, but mothballs are toxic. They aren’t designed to be used in a garden, especially around vegetables that will be consumed.
- Talcum powder-Rabbits don’t like the smell or taste of talcum powder. It works as a repellent for a short time. Unfortunately, it blows away when it’s windy outside and washes away when it rains. So, ultimately talcum powder is temporary repellent at best.
- Aluminum pie pans-Many gardeners have tried aluminum pie pans to scare off critters like rabbits from their vegetables. These make noise when the wind blows and they’re shiny which catches a rabbit’s attention. They keep rabbits away for a while. But rabbits are smart, they figure out that the pie pans aren’t a threat and help themselves to your plants.
- Wind chimes-Like aluminum pie pans, wind chimes work for a while until the rabbits learn they aren’t dangerous. If you don’t have anything else to use, try these rabbit repellents for a short time, but you’ll need to find a better repellent long term.
Can Rabbits Infestations Be A Problem?
When we hear of rabbits sneaking into a garden to eat vegetables, we envision the clever children’s story about Peter Rabbit stealing vegetables out of Mr. MacGregor’s garden to his dismay. But rabbits aren’t so loved in some countries. For instance, in Australia, it’s illegal to own a rabbit. This is because for over a hundred years Australia has had an overpopulation of rabbits.Currently, there are approximately 200 million overrunning the country. Australia’s temperate climate keeps the rabbits healthy and happy. They have few predators. Rabbit infestations are nothing new to Australia, for over 150 years rabbits have brought ecological ruin to Australia.
Legend has it that back in 1859, a man by the name of Thomas Austin wanted to import European rabbits to Australia for hunting. His nephew sent him some European rabbits but included a few domestic rabbits in the mix of the initial 24 rabbits sent. It’s thought that the rabbit population exploded because of the interbreeding of these two types of rabbits. Within a decade of the release, of these rabbits, hunters on average killed 2 million rabbits every year without lowering the number of rabbits in Australia. They continued to populate over the decades. Rabbits ate so much vegetation throughout the country that it had an effect on soil erosion, re-vegetation, and the farmer’s ability to raise livestock such as sheep or cows since they need to graze on plants. Australia introduced disease to kill of populations, but they bounced back after several years. They also burned rabbit dens or holes to destroy
Rabbit infestation in the United States One town in Oregon has an infestation of rabbits that at first was cute and brought in tourists. The rabbit population started out with around 20 rabbits. But when the population of rabbits hit one hundred, local residents didn’t think it was so cute anymore. Yards and gardens full of rabbit pellets made it impossible to walk barefoot or to let children play safely in front yards without falling in the poop. Homeowners rake up the poop into piles and haul it away so their kids can play outside on a little grass that’s still left. Residents can’t grow flowers, because rabbits eat them. Currently, no action has been taken to get rid of the rabbits. Local government officials say they are considering what to do, but the rabbits have been in the town for decades so there’s little chance anything will be done to reduce the number of rabbits hopping around the town.
Will Rabbits Damage My Lawn?
Rabbits often eat grass down to the root. This can kill your lawn. Besides this, rabbit urine leaves brown spots in your yard. If you see damage in your yard, it’s best to fertilize those areas right away to see if the grass will grow back. If the rabbits didn’t get all the way down to the root, your grass will return. If you think you have rabbits in your yard, you can make your yard less inviting by clearing out brush underneath shrubs and bushes around your yard where rabbits like to hide in the shade. Trim back the shrubs, bushes and other heavy vegetation. Eliminate places where rabbits hide like under porches or piles of wood. Put up fences around your flower or vegetable garden.
How Do Natural Rabbit Predators Repel Rabbits?
Some gardeners have tried an unusual approach to keep rabbits out of their garden. They enlist rabbit predators as natural repellents. Allow cats, dogs or ferrets in your backyard to scare away the rabbits. The smell of their urine will make rabbits steer clear of your yard. Allow these animals to visit your yard frequently. Collect their poop and spread it around your vegetable garden or flower beds to repel rabbits. If you have a hawk or fox that wanders into your yard occasionally, they will also keep rabbits away.