Rabbits may be cute, but they’re also stubborn and devastating garden pests that eat flowers, vegetables, trees, and other plants. Many people use fences to repel rabbits, but there are other natural and chemical repellents you can use to control the rabbits that live in your area.
How to keep rabbits out of the garden without a fence? To keep rabbits out of your garden without a fence, you can use traps, odor and taste repellents, plants such as tomatoes and daffodils, human hair, homemade chili-garlic rabbit repellent, and Irish Spring soap.
This article will discuss the simplest and most effective ways to keep rabbits out of your garden, yard, and car. We’ll also give you some pro tips on repelling rabbits using items you already have at home so that you’ll never have to deal with them eating your plants again.
How To Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden?
Most people know that rabbits reproduce very quickly. Therefore, if you see one rabbit in your garden, there are likely many more hiding in the bushes, ready to eat your crops. Controlling rabbits can seem like a challenge if you don’t know what works, but that’s why we’re here to help.
To keep rabbits out of your garden, you don’t necessarily need to build a fence. Instead, you can set up traps to catch them or use chemical or natural repellents.
Let’s talk more about each of these options so that you can know exactly how each one works.
The first thing to consider when trapping rabbits is whether you want to trap them humanely or use traps that’ll kill them.
Using a humane trap won’t harm the rabbit, and you can release it somewhere else, such as in a forested patch near your area or a botanical garden, nature preserve, or park.
If you want to humanely trap your rabbits and release them somewhere away from your home and garden, using a cage trap like HomGarden Cage Trap is recommended. It’s big enough for larger rabbits but still works well for small rabbits, too.
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Inhumane traps are a bit more gruesome since you’ll have to remove the dead rabbit from your garden and reset the trap. Still, experts from the University of California recommend a conibear trap, a body-gripping trap that clamps on a rabbit’s body.
Rabbit repellents don’t work as well as rabbit fencing since they usually only last a few months. Still, repellents are some of the easiest, safest methods for getting rabbits out of your garden.
Depending on your rabbit problem and how long you want the repellent to last, you’ll need to decide between a natural or chemical product.
It’s important to note that most rabbit repellents are odor repellents. That means they smell unappealing to rabbits, which discourages them from eating your plants. Taste repellents are another option. They’re not poisonous to rabbits, but they taste bad.
How To Keep Rabbits From Eating Plants?
If rabbits keep eating your plants, there are a few tips and tricks to repelling them humanely. These are:
- Plant rabbit-repellent flowers and plants near vegetables and edible flowers.
- Use repellent sprays, powders, or pellets.
- Use natural repellents like human hair, chili powder, garlic, and Irish Spring soap.
- Set up traps around your garden or near plants that rabbits like to eat.
- Use noisemakers like wind chimes and reflective lawn ornaments to scare rabbits.
So, let’s go in-depth and talk about keeping rabbits off some of the most common plants they eat.
How To Keep Rabbits From Eating Flowers?
Here are ways on how to keep rabbits from eating your flowers:
- Scatter human hair beneath the flowers to scare off rabbits.
- Set up some wind chimes near your flowers.
- Plant some daffodils, sweet alyssum, or fragrant herbs like lavender, catnip, or mint near your flowers to repel rabbits.
How To Keep Rabbits Out of Your Strawberries?
Here’s how to keep rabbits out of your strawberries:
- Hang strawberries in baskets if possible.
- Use a fine-mesh sun cloth or rabbit cloth to cover your plants.
- Scatter human hair beneath strawberry plants.
- Spray the soil around the plant with chili-garlic spray (keep reading for the recipe).
How To Keep Rabbits Out of Tomato Plants?
Generally, rabbits avoid eating tomato plants, but sometimes, they’ll try them if they haven’t had them before. Tomatoes are toxic to rabbits, giving them a stomach ache that can sometimes result in death.
Here’s how to keep rabbits out of your tomato plants:
- Sprinkle the soil around your plants with human hair or chili-garlic spray.
- Use a tomato cage or trellis to encourage your tomato plant to grow taller so rabbits can’t reach them.
- Set up wind chimes near your plant to scare off rabbits.
How To Keep Rabbits From Eating Your Grass?
Rabbits love to eat grass, clover, and many common weeds that grow in yards. These plants will attract rabbits and cause them to eat your other plants.
Here’s how to keep rabbits from eating your grass:
- Keep your yard mowed and clear of debris.
- Plant some of the rabbit-repellent vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
- Use reflective lawn decorations and wind chimes.
- Use a chemical rabbit repellent.
How To Keep Rabbits Out of Your Car Engine?
Rabbits have been known to nest in car engines where they chew wires and tubing, damaging the essential parts in your car. If you want to keep them out, you may need to take some steps to repel them.
Here’s how to keep rabbits out of your car engine:
- Keep your vehicle in a garage.
- Set up rabbit traps around your car.
- Keep pet food, plants, and seeds far from your vehicle.
- Keep your car interior clean.
- Drive your vehicle frequently.
- Make loud noises and bang on your car hood before driving.
If you find a rabbit under the hood of your car, the best removal method is to leave the hood open and let the rabbit come out on its own. However, if you scare it too much, it may crawl deeper into your car, where it could get stuck.
What Keeps Rabbits Away?
Repelling rabbits is an excellent way to keep them from invading your car, garden, and home. Many repellents work against rabbits, and most of the time, using several of them simultaneously will eliminate your pests.
Use odor repellents, taste repellents, flowers like daffodils, vegetables like onions and potatoes, and herbs like catnip and mint to keep rabbits away.
Let’s talk about these in a little more detail.
Plants That Keep Rabbits Away
Some plants are unattractive to rabbits. Usually, these plants are poisonous to rabbits or have a noticeable smell that is unpleasant for them.
Here are the toxic plants that repel rabbits:
If you don’t want to poison the rabbits but just repel them, here are non-toxic plants that you can use:
- Wax Begonias
Best Garden Rabbit Repellents
Here are the best garden rabbit repellents available on Amazon that you can use:
- REPELS DEER AND RABBITS: Deer and rabbits don’t have to eat...
- SPRAY ON PLANTS: Use to treat landscaped ornamental gardens,...
- RAIN RESISTANT: Ready-to-use liquid formula starts to work...
- HARMLESS TO PLANTS AND ANIMALS: Won’t harm plants and animals...
- APPLY YEAR-ROUND: No need to rotate with other repellent brands...
Liquid Fence is one of the most reliable outdoor repellents for rabbits. This spray is recommended for gardens without vegetables or fruits since it’s not safe for consumption. The smell of this product keeps bunnies out for months at a time.
- SPECIFICALLY TARGETS RABBITS – This repellent was formulated...
- PROTECT YOUR LAWN & GARDEN – Safe to spray directly on grass...
- PLEASANT MINT SCENT – Don’t be fooled by the fresh mint...
- FORMULATED TO LAST LONGER – Contains strong natural sticking...
- SAFE FOR PETS & POLLINATORS – Made from natural ingredients and...
This spray is a go-to when treating a vegetable or food garden for rabbits. It’s made from concentrates of the plants that naturally repel rabbits so that it won’t hurt anyone, including you!
Will Mothballs Keep Rabbits Away?
Mothballs won’t keep rabbits away. In addition, mothballs are harmful to pets and humans, so keeping them near your fruit, herb, or vegetable gardens isn’t a good idea.
The chemicals in mothballs are incredibly poisonous, and they could kill dogs, cats, and children. When you put mothballs near edible plants, you risk poisoning yourself, your family, and other beneficial wildlife. That’s why it’s illegal to put mothballs outside.
How To Keep Rabbits Out of Garden Using Home Remedies?
When repelling any pest, you don’t always need to invest in chemicals to get the job done. You probably already have something in your home that can deter and scare off rabbits.
To keep rabbits out of your garden using home remedies, you can use chili-garlic spray, human hair mulch, and Irish Spring soap. These homemade rabbit repellents are easy to make and use, so you’ll always have a simple method for deterring pests no matter what.
Chili-Garlic Rabbit Repellent Spray
Chili peppers are toxic to bunnies, and garlic is an excellent repellent with its pungent smell. When combined, these two ingredients make a powerful, all-natural rodent repellent that also deters wasps, aphids, and other insects from your garden.
To make a rabbit-repellent spray, mix in a clean spray bottle the ingredients below:
- 3 tbsp (42.52 g) of chili flakes or chili powder
- 3 tbsp (42.52 g) of garlic powder
- 2 tbsp (28.3 g) of onion powder
- 2 cups (473.18 ml) of water
You can spray this mixture directly on your plants and the soil around them, and it’ll keep rabbits from turning your garden into a buffet.
Human Hair Plant Mulch
If you’ve recently had a haircut, you are in luck. Rabbits can smell human hair, and placing hair underneath and around plants tricks rabbits into thinking that a human is nearby.
Sprinkle hair around your plants and in flower beds. Then, repeat the process every time you get a haircut to keep bunnies at bay.
Irish Spring Soap Sachets
Irish Spring Soap smells terrible to rabbits, so keeping some small bags filled with Irish Spring shavings will repel them.
- Helps skin retain its natural moisture
- Invigorating scent
- Long lasting fragrance
- Country Of Origin: United States
To make some soap sachets, you’ll need some soap and some small fabric bags. If you don’t have bags, you can use rags, cheesecloth, or small fabric scraps and string to tie the soap into a make-shift bag. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Cut one bar of Irish Spring soap into small, ¼ inch (6.35 mm) cubes.
Step 2: Place four cubes into each bag and tie them tightly.
Step 3: Tie or staple the bags to garden stakes, the borders of flower beds, trellises, tomato cages, or any other place where rabbits have eaten your plants.
The soap will slowly wash away and drip into the soil around your plant, repelling rabbits and other rodents for months.
Repelling rabbits from your plants is simple, and there are plenty of tips and tricks that’ll help you get the job done. Rabbits dislike the smell of human hair, Irish Spring soap, and chili peppers, so you can use these common ingredients to make your own repellents.
You can also use plants that rabbits dislike, like daffodils, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, catnip, and mint, to repel and banish bunnies from your garden.
List of Sources
Salmon, T. P., Gorenzel, W. P. (2010). Rabbits. University of California.
Price, L., Frey, N. (2017). Animals In Your Car. Utah State University.
Mengak, M. T. (2012). Repellents and Wildlife Damage Control. The University of Georgia.
Vantassel, S. M., et al. (2010). Manage Rabbit Damage. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.
Ober, H. K., Kane, A. (2012). How to Use Deterrents to Stop Damage Caused by Nuisance Wildlife in Your Yard. University of Florida.