How to Keep Rabbits Out of the Yard and Garden Without a Fence
Rabbits may be charming and cute, but if you’re a gardener, they’re bad news. They’re notorious for eating all kinds of backyard plants, from peas and cabbages to pansies and petunias. You’ll want to keep them away from your garden, but using methods that will not harm or kill them. Here are some safe, humane products and tactics you can use to deter rabbits.
Like many backyard mammals, rabbits and hares have a very keen sense of smell. You can use their powerful olfaction to keep them away from your garden, by treating the area with odors that rabbits will naturally avoid.
That’s how Nature’s Mace Rabbit Repellent works. It’s completely safe, and does not harm the rabbits. Plus, to humans, it’s actually odorless. It’s formulated with a variety of smelly ingredients that rabbits don’t like, including garlic, bone meal, blood, and the grotesquely named “putrescent egg solid.” Rabbits are prey animals, and the smell of things like blood and bones indicates to them that there are predators around, causing them to flee.
Like many animals, rabbits can hear sounds that humans can’t. Certain frequencies of ultrasound are inaudible to us, but will cause rabbits to avoid an area. This humane pest repellent works well for rabbits, as well as many other common backyard animals that can act as pests.
The repeller can be mounted on top of a fence, or into the ground with the included stake, to keep rabbits away within a thirty foot radius. It’s sturdy and weatherproof, with solar panels that power LED lights that also help repel pests, particularly at night. For times when there isn’t much sunlight during the day, it’s also got included batteries and a USB charger.
Sensory methods like smells and sounds can help keep rabbits away, but another option is to put up a physical barrier between them and your garden plants. This bell-shaped cover, made from sturdy chicken wire, can be placed over a garden plant to keep it protected from rabbits, birds, and other animals. As a bonus, it works great as a trellis for plants like squash and passionflower that have a vine-like growing habit.
How to Keep Rabbits Out of the Garden
Rabbits love to eat all kinds of vegetables, especially leaf vegetables like lettuce. They’ll even eat garden flowers and grass. To avoid losing your garden plants to hungry bunnies, there are some safe and humane tactics you can use to deter them. You can tell if rabbits have been coming around if you notice small piles of little round droppings, uprooted plants, and damaged leaves that look clean-cut, like someone took a razor to them. Sometimes, you’ll even find little clumps of fur.
Here are some things you can do to try to keep the rabbits away during the growing season.
Opt for “rabbit-proof” plants when possible. Rabbits eat a wide variety of different kinds of plants, but there are some that they like more than others. They tend to go for young and tender plants, especially lettuce, beans, and many kinds of ornamental flowers. There are some plants — both edible and ornamental — that they have a natural distaste for. These include rhubarb, garlic, onions, geraniums, and fragrant herbs like basil and rosemary.
Keep your yard and garden tidy. Rabbits love to hide under things, and tidy garden with more open space isn’t as appealing to them.
Use rabbit repellent products. Repellents often use ingredients with odors that rabbits will naturally avoid, like the Nature’s Mace Rabbit Repellent. These can be quite reliable and effective, as rabbits have a strong sense of smell, and a strong survival instinct to avoid certain odors that can signal that there are predators or poison nearby.
Put up physical barriers around garden plants. Chicken wire mesh covers and fencing work very well for keeping rabbits away. For best results, they should be buried at least six inches deep, and should be at least two feet high.
How to Stop Rabbits from Eating Flowers
Rabbits like a lot of the same vegetables that we do, but they also eat all kinds of plants that we don’t find very appetizing. This includes many different types of garden flowers. The same tips we’ve given above, for garden areas, apply to flower gardens as well as vegetables and fruits.
Another thing you can do is try to plant flowers that rabbits will not eat. Many are distasteful or poisonous to them, including marigolds, geraniums, begonias, snapdragons, sunflowers, and salvia flowers.
Repelling Rabbits: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions that people have about keeping rabbits away from their gardens.
Do Marigolds Repel Rabbits?
There’s a common piece of folk wisdom that marigolds repel rabbits, deer, and other backyard mammals that eat garden plants. While there are plants that rabbits don’t like, due to unpleasant smells and tastes, there’s no evidence that marigolds are one of them.
Does Vinegar Keep Rabbits Away?
Vinegar is bitter and acidic, and rabbits want nothing to do with it. One thing you can do is soak old corn cobs in vinegar, then place them around the perimeter of the garden. You can also do something similar with hot peppers or with ammonia.
Do Coffee Grounds Repel Rabbits?
Rabbits and other animals generally hate the smell of coffee, possibly due to the presence of caffeine. After all, caffeine, like many other psychoactive compounds, originally evolved as a pest repellent. It’s also very effective against slugs, snails, and ants.
Do Moth Balls Repel Rabbits?
Moth balls contain naphthalene, which is used as an insecticide and to keep insects away. However, it’s not particularly effective for outdoor use against rabbits or other mammals. It’s quick to dissipate into a gas, so it doesn’t last long. Also, in high enough doses to kill, it causes hemolytic anemia, liver damage, and other effects that really aren’t particularly humane.