How to Keep Rabbits Out of the Garden

Rabbit in Montana
Rabbit in Montana | Source

How to Repel Rabbits

Peter Rabbit decided my garden was his salad bar this year. Saying his adventures haven’t made me happy is understating the problem by a long shot. My search on how to get rid of rabbits has been extensive ever since.

The bunny caused more problems than just eating my veggies. One morning one of our dogs chased him through the garden and ran through the plants as the bees were pollinating them. Poor Elsie had a reaction to the bee stings and we ended up with a $50 vet bill. It could have been more expensive. Thank goodness that is all our vet charged. By then I could have shot the rabbit, I was so tired of him. The only animal I've ever killed was a sick bat and a snake and that made me feel terrible enough. I couldn't kill a bunny! So on my search I went.

It turns out the carrot munchers aren’t a problem when the plants are older. They like the soft and tender new sprouts of plants. If you can get through this, you may not have to worry about them after the early summer. For me this was true because my beans grew back even after he had eaten the blossoms and baby beans and he never touched the second growth. He had no interest in the broccoli once the leaves were more mature. Peter was out munching on the neighbors grass every evening when I thought he’d be going for better fare.

Rabbits stand still so predators don't notice them. This rabbit doesn't seem to think it is in trouble.
Rabbits stand still so predators don't notice them. This rabbit doesn't seem to think it is in trouble. | Source
Baby Rabbits in the Nest
Baby Rabbits in the Nest | Source

How to Keep Rabbits Out of the Garden - What I learned

1. Rabbits don’t like dog or human hair, because they smell the scent and think they are near. I am going to spread all of the dog hair I get when I brush them and empty dog hair on the garden all year. The hair contains nutrients that are good for the soil, so this one is a good idea.

If you don’t have a dog, you should be able to get human hair from your beautician or barber.

2. Don’t plant marigolds. It turns out this is an old wife’s tale. The rabbits love the marigolds. You’ll find photos all over the internet of rabbits munching the flowers.

3. Use a fence around the garden. We have a chain link fence and it didn’t work, because Peter Rabbit would run right under it. It need to have holes as small as chicken wire and reach deep enough into the ground to prevent the rabbit from tunneling.

4. Rabbits are not supposed to like Gopher Bane or Artesimesia. I haven’t tried this, but you are suppose to surround the plants you’d like to protect with these flowers. If it doesn’t work, they will look pretty anyway.

5. You can buy Liquid Fence at a garden center. I didn’t do that this year, because I didn’t want to spend the $7 or so. Afterwards I wished I would have. The Liquid Fence will need to applied after every rain. If the dog hair doesn't work, this will be my next approach.

6. Get a cat that is a good mouser, just don’t watch when they catch the bunny. They’ll cruelly play with them just like a mouse.

7. Someone suggested a rubber snake. I tried this once to keep birds out of my strawberries. The birds weren’t afraid at all. The only thing I scared was my Granddaughter that screamed so loud, the entire neighborhood was alerted.

9. You can get animal urine at a sporting goods stores. Coyote urine is suppose to be best, but will need to be reapplied every time it rains.

10. Get a wire box trap. Lure the rabbit in with some lettuce or carrots. Once he's inside you can let him out somewhere miles from your garden.

11. Spread blood meal all around the perimeter of the garden. Squirrels and rabbits don't like it. Reapply every time it rains. The blood meal is good for your garden and isn't expensive.

12. As a last resort, shoot the rabbit and have some meat for supper. The bunnies feed in the early morning and early evening hours, so you just need to watch for them then. I just can't shoot something as cute as a bunny.


How to Repel Rabbits in the Vegetable Garden

How to Get Rid of Rabbits

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Comments 15 comments

PETER LUMETTA profile image

PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

Good advise and a lot of good ways to keep the bunnies at bay. Thanks, Peter


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

I just love rabbits but when they rip apart your garden it's not funny at all. I can't say I've ever had any experience with them because most of our here in Jamaica are imported pets.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

Peter Lumetta, Thanks for reading my hubs.

Cardisa, I would love to visit Jamaica, but I'm sorry to hear that you don't have native animals there. Watching them can be fun. Most of our animals like rabbits and squirrels can be real pests, but life would be a little less without them too.


snoblet profile image

snoblet 5 years ago from New York

I never had the issue since I live in NYC but I guess it isn't so nice to have rabbits chewing all that you grow and I hear people in other areas I know complain about it. Great tips on keeping them out though


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Hi Barbara - great tips, thanks for sharing.

Cloverleaf.


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

We have lots of bunnies in the yard but thank goodness, they haven't bothered my flowers & veggies. I do spread dog, cat & people hair all around, so maybe that really does help. Thanks for the great info.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

Cloverleaf and Esmeow12, Thanks for reading. Esmeow, I wouldn't be surprised if your cats help. We didn't have the problem back when we had cats. I will try spreading the dog hair around though.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

I think I'll have to consider dog, cat and human hair. We all shed a lot. I would have trouble hurting the bunny!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

By the way -- I meant to tell you that I just loved the picture you chose to go with your article. It makes me smile every time I look at it. And smiling is always good! Thanks!


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

I agree about hurting the bunny. My husband isn't a hunter either, so he wouldn't either. I'm happy to hear that the photo made your smile. Thanks for your comments.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

I so Enjoyed reading your Hub Barbara. Actually living on an Island surrounded by the Bay and the Ocean, you wouldn't think that we have Rabbits here, but we do! Our saving grace it the big white fence...so far so good.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

b.Malin, I hope your big white fence continues to work. This summer I've only had the one bunny to deal with. I wonder what happened to the rest of the litter.


MercyGrace profile image

MercyGrace 5 years ago from USA

I like that you didn't shoot the rabbit. I have rabbits, deer and raccoons all over the place in the summer but I leave them alone. I just leave food for them far away from my garden and it has worked. I do understand your frustration though. Hear a bang on the deck at midnight and look out to see raccoons eating corn, sitting on the chairs on the deck. That's a bit nervy. They are pushing their luck.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

MercyGrace, I wish I had the space to use a decoy of lettuce for the rabbit, but I don't. Thanks goodness we don't have raccoons here. My sister has terrible messes made by them when they play in her pots of plants. Thanks for commenting.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 months ago from Northern California, USA

Great article! I have a couple of rabbits in my garden and like you, I don't want to harm them, but they need to go. I will try a couple of your techniques to thwart them. Hopefully something will work. It is comforting to know that they don't particularly care for the more mature vegetation.

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