How To Get Rid Of Rabbits In Your Garden Naturally

When it comes to having garden pests, some species are more different than others. Deer, for example, are a clear threat to your gardens as well as a potential cause of a car accident late at night. Animals like raccoons might be a major cause of trash being scattered throughout your yard. 

MUST READ: 10 Surefire Tactics to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden Without Killing Them

MUST READ: Top Plants That Repel Mosquitoes and Fleas

At first glance, having rabbits in your yard might not seem that bad. Unlike raccoons or bats, they aren’t really known for carrying rabies. They also have a cute appearance and are relatively quiet. What’s the worst that could happen?

Well, though they are cute and fluffy, they still can be pests. Rabbits love to eat flowers and raid vegetable gardens, which is exactly why most farmers might want them out of their homes. Thankfully, removing rabbits from your garden doesn’t have to be too difficult. This guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Rabbit Removal: What You Need To Know Before You Start

When people find rabbits in their garden, they may get a little worried about how they can be removed. There’s some fairly good news about this:

  • You don’t have to get rid of your garden or plants to make them leave. Worried about your tulips and petunias going missing? This actually isn’t something you should be concerned with.
  • While poison is an option, you shouldn’t go for it. A lot of people who have rabbit problems in their yards tend to use poison to do so. Though it’s a viable method, you don’t use this route—nor should you, since animals that might eat the dead rabbits could get sick from it, too. 
  • Poisoning rabbits is illegal in most jurisdictions. Due to the risk it poses for other wildlife, poison is a strict no-go in most areas. If you insist on killing rabbits, shooting them or using kill traps are your only real options. 
  • You also don’t need to go for lab chemicals to fix the issue. There are plenty of organic options you can use, which translates into less chances of getting sick from chemicals.

How Bad Can Rabbits Be For Your Yard?

Though they might be cute and small compared to other wildelife, rabbits can wreak a surprising amount of damage to a person’s yard. It’s not uncommon to hear of massive vegetable gardens or fruit gardens getting almost entirely eaten by rabbit families. 

The gardening aspect alone is enough to get most people concerned about their rabbit issues. However, if you’re a fan of trees, things can get even worse. Rabbits love to eat bark from trees, especially during the winter. It’s not unheard of for rabbits to eat enough bark to cause permanent damage to trees in yards. At times, trees can even die as a result of multiple “rabbit raids.”

Can Rabbits Destroy Manmade Items?

While it’s not exactly the norm, there have been many complaints featuring tales of rabbits chewing through PVC piping and destroying garden decor. However, these are relatively unusual claims.

How To Get Rid Of Rabbits In Your Yard: Different Methods To Use

When it comes to rabbits, the best thing that you can do is to make your garden inhospitable for them—and maybe just a little inaccessible, too. Rabbits don’t want to be in a place that doesn’t make them feel safe or doesn’t have access to things they enjoy. These tips below will help you make your garden less rabbit-friendly. 

Fence It In

The easiest way to decrease the number of rabbits in your yard is to install a barrier fence. Rabbits can’t clear high fences and won’t be likely to dig tunnels underneath. When choosing a fence, make sure that it’s not a chain link fence and is at least three feet high. 

Fences deter new rabbits from coming in and also will help reduce the rabbit problem by encouraging them to leave when gates are open. Rabbits don’t enjoy being penned in.

Let Your Dog Roam Free

If there’s one thing that will quickly reduce the amount of bunnies in your yard, it’s the presence of predators. This is especially true when it comes to loud predators like dogs. Giving your pupper time in your yard every day is a great way to reduce the appearance of rabbits permanently. 

Rabbits will run at the first sign of a dog in the yard. Many won’t bother coming back. If your dog is a yappy one, they basically will hightail it out of there and never come back.

Add Some Fake Predators

If you don’t have a dog, don’t worry. You can still use rabbits’ fear of natural predators to make them go away. Farmers have been using fake owls, rubber snakes, and even aluminum plates hung up on strings to get rabbits to go. 

Depending on your luck, this might be all you need to do in order to get your rabbits to leave. That being said, there are some anecdotes about rabbits ignoring fake predators, so it’s good to try to go with a more realistic option.

Pinwheel It

Rabbits are generally afraid of the unknown and wary of anything they can’t recognize. That’s why many gardeners have been able to keep them at bay by getting colorful pinwheels installed near their yards.

Strange as it may sound, this decoration is surprisingly effective at startling them.

Fill Burrows Up

When a family of rabbits decides to start making themselves at home, they’ll begin to dig holes in your yard where they can sleep at night. The easiest way to make them realize they’re no longer welcome is to refill the holes they’ve dug up. 

Take Treats Off The Menu

Rabbits might be petite, but they sure can pack a huge amount of food in those tiny tummies. Among farmers, bunnies are famous for their love of eating. If you want them to leave, it’s a good idea to avoid planting (or use a lot of protection for)  these items below:

  • Berries. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and other similar items are known for being favorites among rabbits. 
  • Lettuces and Leafy Greens. There’s a reason why farmers bait rabbit traps with lettuce. It’s a rabbit’s favorite food. 
  • Beets and Broccoli. Surprisingly, these also are a favorite among bunnies.
  • Pistachios, Almonds, and Beans. Apparently, rabbits love the crunch they offer. 
  • Carrots. Bugs Bunny got this one on the mark. Real rabbits really do enjoy carrots!

Put Some Rabbit Repellers In Your Yard

Much like how rabbits have their own ideal foods to eat, they also have aversions to certain plants. More specifically, rabbits can’t stand plants that have a very distinctive smell. If you want to repel rabbits using plants, consider planting some of the following near your gardens:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Marigolds
  • Geraniums
  • Snapdragons
  • Vincas

Predator Sprays

Rabbits know they’re at the bottom of the food chain. That means that they also know they should avoid predators like the plague. An easy way to get rid of rabbits is to make them believe you have predators through the use of predator urine. 

Predator urine has a distinct smell that triggers a rabbit’s anxiety. The moment they smell it, they leave an area. You can actually buy small spray bottles of predator urine at most hunting stores, making it a fairly natural way to get rid of rabbits without going crazy for DIY solutions.

DIY Rabbit Repellents

Another way to get rabbits to leave your plants alone is to make your own rabbit repellent. Granted, some of these recipes include things like dish soap, so choose one that works with your chemical tolerance:

  • The Spritzer. Mix a gallon of water, hot pepper, chili, and a small dash of dish soap together. Then spray it on plants you don’t want to have eaten by rabbits. 
  • Tabasco Sauce and Hot Peppers. Much like with the original Spritzer, tabasco sauce and hot pepper can be mixed with dish detergent and water to make a spray rabbits won’t touch.
  • Corn Cobs and Vinegar. Rabbits also can’t stand the sharp smell of vinegar. To use that as a deterrent, take some old corn cobs and soak them in vinegar. Then, place the corn cobs around your garden. 
  • Bone Meal. For reasons unknown to us, rabbits can’t seem to stand the smell of bone meal. Simply sprinkling it around your garden is enough to deter rabbits from setting foot near your plants.
  • Chili Powder. Even when it’s just used on its own, chili powder can be an incredibly effective way to get rabbits to stay away from your plants.

Using Live Traps

For the most part, getting rabbits to leave your yard should be done through simple methods that make your yard inhospitable to them. Another good way to get rabbits out of your yard is through a catch and release method.

Here’s how to do this:

  1. Buy live cage traps. Live cage traps are the humane way of trapping rabbits. They will not harm them, but they will trap them and give you a way to get them out of your yard.
  2. Put on gloves, and set up the trap. You should wear gloves because rabbits can pick up on human scents. If they smell your hands on the trap, they’ll avoid it like the plague.
  3. Set up the trap in a nice, shady part of your yard. The trap should be in an area that’s sheltered from sunlight. Add some lettuce and other rabbit-friendly foods to the trap as a lure.
  4. Wait, but check the trap multiple times per day. Rabbits get very stressed when left in a cage for too long. If you see that you have a trapped bunny, it’s time to take him for a ride.
  5. Drop off rabbits a minimum of five to 10 miles away. In order to ensure they can’t get back to your yard, drop your bunnies off at a part at least 10 miles from your home. They’ll find a new place to live there.
  6. Repeat as necessary. It will take quite a few trips to get all those rabbits out of your yard. However, all that effort will eventually pay off as long as you keep it up.

The Importance Of Maintaining Your Garden

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to keep rabbits out of your garden it to have a strict lawn and garden maintenance procedure in place. Many of the things professional lawn groups do makes rabbits uninterested in making themselves at home in a garden. 

 If you want to reduce the numbers of rabbits that you see, these quick tips can make it a cinch:

  • Mow your lawn regularly, and clean up clippings. Lawn clippings are like candy to rabbits. They love to eat them! Reducing the number of clippings slashes their available food by a huge percentage, which in turn, makes your yard less appealing. 
  • Remove debris from your yard regularly. Other debris like twigs and fallen leaves can also act as rabbit food. By clearing away your yard during the fall season, you reduce their interest in staying around. 
  • Maintain your fencing. Rabbits get into yards through holes in your fence. Once a month, check your fences for new holes, as well as signs of burrowing underneath the fencing. 
  • Place netting over any fruits and vegetable beds. Netting is remarkably good at preventing bunnies from chewing on crops. This alone can reduce the appearance of rabbits immensely.
  • Consider putting a rabbit feeder in your yard, while frightening them away from your crops. Believe it or not, rabbits can actually be swayed by the use of feeders, too. If you don’t want them completely gone from your place, it’s a good idea to install a feeder far away from your main garden. 

When To Call A Professional

Like with many other wildlife conflicts, there are some times where trying the DIY route is not going to work. If you have not gotten any results through traditional means, a professional team might be the only way to make sure your rabbits hit the road.

Leave a Comment: