Want to learn how to keep rabbits out of your garden?
If you have a rabbit problem in your yard, you need to figure out ways to help keep them away.
Rabbits are cute and relatively harmless. But they can also be very destructive and create problems in your yard. Finding ways to keep them away will save you the time, energy, and money you’ll use to constantly clear up after them.
This guide will take you through 10 easy methods to keep rabbits out of your garden.
Why do you need to keep rabbits away?
1. Rabbits reproduce very quickly
Rabbits will reproduce very quickly. Cottontails don’t live long in the wild and so they produce lots of offspring. In one year a cottontail rabbit can have up to 7 litters. Each litter can have up to 12 babies.
Doing the math, that’s a lot of rabbits. Then those rabbits go on to do the same. You can see how the wild rabbit population can quickly get out of control.
2. Rabbits destroy your plants
Rabbits have an insatiable appetite for plants. In fact, rabbits will eat for hours on end every day. During the spring and summer, they’ll destroy your green shoots, leaves, and flowers. In the winter they eat twigs and barks, stripping trees to the point of destruction.
3. Rabbits are Bad for Your health
Rabbits carry diseases and parasites that are bad for your health. If you try to touch or remove a rabbit it can bite or scratch and pass on any disease it has. For adults, this isn’t usually an issue but if you have young children or pets it can be. Cleaning up rabbit poop can create the potential for you to pick up disease or parasites.
4. Rabbits Cause property damage
As rabbits like to constantly chew they can be quite destructive. Rabbits will mainly destroy your landscaping by eating the foliage, uprooting plants, or urinating on your lawn.
Rabbits have also been known to chew outdoor wiring, sheds, and cars.
Keeping rabbits out of your yard in the first place is the best way to prevent any of these problems from being an issue for you.
The good news is that there are a few natural ways you can deter rabbits from your garden. Although some of these solutions may work on their own, you’ll probably find you get the best results when you combine a few of them together.
Before we get started I want to mention that where there are rabbits there is also usually deer. A lot of the techniques to deter rabbits can be used for deer. But, if you want some more tips then check out my guide on how to keep deer out of your yard.
Let’s take a closer look.
10 Ways To Keep Rabbits Out Of Your Garden
1. Use a Physical Barrier
The most effective way to keep rabbits out of your garden is to physically stop them.
A hedge is not ideal for this as rabbits will easily work their way through even the tightest of branches.
A well-constructed fence or wall is the only way to keep rabbits out for good. This means your fence or wall would need to be at least 6 inches deep into the ground. That’s because the rabbits may be able to slightly burrow or squeeze themselves through a small gap at the bottom.
A fence to keep rabbits would need to be 4ft tall to stop them from jumping over. Your fence also can’t have any large gaps in the woodwork or wiring, as rabbits will easily squeeze through tight spaces.
2. Plant protection
If a fence or a wall isn’t possible for you, then you can protect individual areas or plants with a physical barrier.
With this method, rabbits will still be able to graze on your lawn, yet any plants or trees can be spared.
Young trees and plants are particularly vulnerable to hungry rabbits. They’ll happily eat the whole plant before it matures.
The best physical barriers are raised beds, tree tubes, and wire fences (like this). It’s important to make sure that any physical barrier is well secured as a startled rabbit can become tangled in the mesh. This is likely to harm the rabbit and cause a lot of damage to your yard.
3. Use Electronic deterrents
Rabbits are quite skittish and will flee at the first sign of danger. That’s why electronic repellents can be so effective at deterring rabbits from your yard.
There are a few different types of electronic repellent available on the market. You’ll find devices that work in a variety of ways. This includes sudden sounds, lights, predator noises, or motion-activated water sprays. Here are a few of the most popular brands you can buy.
These devices are a great inexpensive way to keep rabbits away. They are also pretty easy to maintain and won’t need much maintenance over time. The solar-powered devices are great as you won’t even need to replace batteries to make them effective.
4. Smell Deterrents
Rabbits have an excellent sense of smell. It’s the sense that helps them to source good food and keep themselves out of danger. Rabbits don’t appear to like overly scented plants as they can overpower them or cause irritation.
Scents that rabbits don’t like are:
- Chilli Powder
You can use these to make a homemade rabbit repellent spray. That way you can spray these smells around your yard to keep the rabbits away without having to maintain plants.
One issue with using scent repellents is that the rain will wash them away. This means you’d have to reapply the scents frequently to keep the effect.
5. Rabbit Repellent
You can buy ready-made rabbit repellent granules or sprays to use around your yard.
The ingredients of these repellents can vary and will depend on the brand you buy. The bestselling rabbit repellent on Amazon is Liquidfence. It contains a mix of egg whites, garlic, and sulfur.
Other brands will use a mix of the strong scents that rabbits don’t like. Ingredients such as egg white help the product to ‘stick’ to your plants so that the scent doesn’t wash off in the rain.
Another natural repellent you can use is predator urine. Lots of gardeners find this effective as rabbits will naturally stay away from areas with predators.
Unfortunately, rabbits are prey to a lot of animals. You’ll find that fox urine is most effective on rabbits. This is the bestselling fox urine on Amazon.
Although rabbits can become accustomed to the scent, so you may want to sporadically change up the animal urine scent you use. Coyote and wolf urine is another good option, depending on what animals are native to your area.
6. Avoid plants they like
The number one reason rabbits are attracted to your yard is because it’s a good food source for them. Rabbits need to eat a lot every day and so a lovely landscaped or vegetable garden is ideal for them to stumble upon.
There are certain flowers that rabbits are more attracted to. The best way to keep them away is not to entice them into your yard with these tasty offerings.
Plants that wild rabbits like are:
- Sweet peas
This is just a small selection of flowers that rabbits love to eat. Even ‘rabbit-proof’ plants such as marigolds aren’t safe. If you want to plant these but also keep the rabbit away, then use the plant protection methods we discussed above.
7. Plant things they hate
This one is a great gardener-friendly way to keep rabbits out of your yard. You can use your garden landscaping skills against the rabbits.
Rabbits really do not like very strongly scented herbs or plants. These plants can be planted in front of your more prized plants to keep rabbits away. The smell of the good plant is masked by the scent of the strong herbs.
Plant to deter rabbits include:
- Bee balm
It’s important to remember that although these plants generally keep rabbits away, a starving rabbit may be a different story. If a rabbit needs to find a food supply it’s going to do what it needs to do to find something to eat.
8. Use Plant fertilizers
There are a few gardening fertilizers you can use to keep rabbits away from your yard. Not only do rabbits hate the taste but they also can’t stand the smell of these.
The three types you can try are:
- Blood meal
- Epsom Salts
You can check out what brand of fertilizers I would recommend. These fertilizers are fantastic for keeping rabbits away but also for fertilizing your soil. That means your plants stay healthy from good soil and also because rabbits aren’t stripping them down.
Sprinkle these fertilizers around areas you find that the wild rabbits attack the most. I’d also recommend using them at entry points or common rabbit trails in your yard for the greatest effect.
These fertilizers may take some work, especially in rainy weather. However, if you’re a keen gardener it takes only a few minutes to replenish what’s been washed away.
9. Use spices
Rabbits don’t like spices as they can irritate their sense of smell. If their sense of smell is affected it can put them in danger of detecting predators and they won’t want to hang around.
An easy way to use this against rabbits is to sprinkle some spices around your yard or near your plants.
Spices that rabbits don’t like are:
- Hot Chilli flakes
- Cayenne pepper
- Black Pepper
Hot pepper sauce can also do the trick. Really any spice with capsaicin will keep rabbits at bay.
The good news is that this technique won’t harm your plants. It also won’t cause any physical harm to the rabbits other than irritating their nose.
10. Use cleaning products
There are a few cleaning products on the market that you can use to keep rabbits away. You may even have these already lying around your house and can use them straight away.
The first product is Irish spring soap. This method has been passed down for generations as a great way to keep rabbits out of the garden.
You can hang the soap as whole bars in mesh bags at various points around your yard. Another method is to crumble the soap into smaller pieces or grate it to create shavings and sprinkle these around your yard.
Cleaning ammonia is another great product that can be used to deter rabbits. You can spray it around your yard in areas of high traffic from the rabbits.
Both of these methods work due to the strong smells of these products. Like the other smell methods, these will irritate the rabbit and they won’t want to stay and feed.
You may have noticed that physically removing rabbits by shooting, trapping or pest removal services isn’t on the list.
That’s not because these techniques don’t work. The problem is they only work for individual rabbits. You’ll remove a few rabbits this way, but there will be plenty more to replace them.
The best way to keep rabbits out of your yard is to make it unattractive or uncomfortable for them to be there in the first place. If your garden isn’t seen as an easy food source, they’ll go seek food elsewhere.
Deterring rabbits is easy to do once you know-how. There are a lot of natural methods, you can use. These will help to keep the rabbits safe but also deter them from your yard and being a nuisance.
You need to use methods that will make your yard uncomfortable and annoying for them rather than harming or physically removing them.
All the methods in this article can be easy to put in place and need minimal maintenance when up and running.
I highly recommend combining a few of these techniques for the best results.
Once these are used regularly you’ll have a rabbit-free yard in no time.