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How to Protect Your Garden against Rabbits, Rodents, Birds, Vermin and Other Pests

Updated on February 27, 2010

Keep pests out of your garden so you can enjoy your produce!

You can try some easy tips to keep rabbits and other pests out of your garden.
You can try some easy tips to keep rabbits and other pests out of your garden.

Protecting Your Garden from Rabbits and Other Pests

Rabbits and other garden pests can really do a number on your vegetables and even your flowers. Every year I start out strong with great intentions, tons of seedlings, and all the motivation in the world. About midway through growing season, my gardens show signs of being ravaged by rabbits on a daily basis, and I inevitably lose my motivation. Of course, my garden really suffers for that.

To date I've found two techniques that seem to deter the rabbits and other varmints from destroying all your hard work. First is blood meal. Blood meal, also known as dried blood, is a type of fertilizer often used to add nitrogen to the soil. It is also widely known as being successful in deterring rabbits.

The other technique that helps to deter rabbits from eating your garden is placing pieces of human hair around the garden area. Human hair from your brush or from the next time you get a haircut can help to reduce the rabbits' desire to visit your garden. Also, once it breaks down, it can serve as fertilizer for your plants.

This year I am going to try planting a border of marigolds around my veggie garden. I have heard that marigolds may deter rabbits and other pests as well. I also hope to build a small fence around the garden, burying it just a few inches to prevent rabbits from going over or under it.

There are other methods to try to keep rabbits out of your garden, but these are the ones I'm either planning this year or have used in the past. Feel free to share your own tips!

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Do what you can to keep the fruits of your efforts for yourself.
Do what you can to keep the fruits of your efforts for yourself.

Tips to Keep Birds out of the Garden

Birds haven't been a problem for me, but I can see how they could also be a garden pest. We did grow sunflowers about two years ago and the birds did get to many of the seeds before we even knew we could harvest them.

Here are some tips to try to help keep the birds out of your garden:

- Put soda cans or foil pans on sticks that will reflect sun and possibly make noise to scare them away.

- Invest in one of those fake owls - I know they are used in some places to deter pests or other birds like ducks around lakes and docks.

- Try a scarecrow of some sort.

- Put a bird feeder on the other side of the yard to give the birds a distraction they might actually prefer.

- Get an outdoor cat.

Not sure if any of these work with your lifestyle or where you live, but these are the options I would consider!

What Do You Do? (Poll)

How do you keep pests out of the garden?

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How to Keep Vermin Like Rats and Mice out of the Garden

While I've never personally had a problem with rats and mice in my vegetable garden, I would suggest these tips to help deter them:

  1. Try the blood meal technique above.
  2. If you have a cat, place cat hair around the garden.
  3. If you have a cat, place some of the used litter around the edges of the garden,
  4. Consider getting an outdoor cat if it fits with your lifestyle.
  5. Consider poison and traps if you don't have pets that could get hurt or sick from it.
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    • SuperiorInteriors profile image


      6 years ago from San Diego, California

      This info is great! The cat hair idea is really interesting and it makes COMPLETE sense, I can't believe I've never thought about it before - and I have a cat! She's an indoor cat, but maybe it's time to start letting her hair out a little bit...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I bought the MiracleGro blood meal this year and was so excited to actually be able to fertilize my edible plants (b/c we don't like to use chemicals on stuff we eat). However I was disappointed to read that it is really porcine or pig blood. Likely these pigs were not organically fed and probably ate a bunch of stuff I would not approve of, so next year we will be in search of another blood and bone meal for the garden. Thanks for the insights.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The urine thing is so funny and I have been doing that for years,it works.

      I had a friend visit from the Arctic, he had never seen a garden and couldn't believe that things we eat come from the ground.

      We went for a few beer one night and I asked to come with me to pee on the garden, he laughed so hard that I thought he would fall down in his own pee. It still works, just be careful where you do you stuff

    • tmbridgeland profile image


      8 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      My corn was badly devastated by crows. I finally stopped them by cutting the bottoms off of plastic bottles and placing a bottle over each ear of corn.

      There were rats too, but a large, friendly snake came and ate them. I saw it eating one! That snake hung around for two years.

      For bugs I just plant a lot more than I need, and hope some of it gets left.

    • lifelovebeauty profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from PA

      Thanks Everyone! I am so glad if any of my tips are useful to you! Sadly, I have failed again with my own veggie garden. I wasn't expecting the grasshoppers this year and I had no idea how to get rid of them! Anyone have any good tips? They practically demolished my plans - everything is so raggedy.

      Oh and the total drought of a summer didn't help either. Oh well. Hope you all had much more success!

    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 

      8 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      Great hub! I have heard of urine and human hair to keep the deer out. I am more of a flower gardener than veggie one.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I know it might sound gross...but we have a very large garden near a highly populated deer area. After we put the garden in, about once a week my husband will do me the favor of urinating around the perimeter of the garden. Of course, at night. :)))

      This has kept the unwanted guests away from our garden for 15 years!

    • sarahshae profile image


      8 years ago

      Great tips! I would probably stay away from poison, as it could drain into the soil and affect the plants. Electronic traps kill rodents without poison.

      Here's an example of one:

    • AmandaB profile image


      8 years ago from Middletown

      I'm definitely going to try the blood meal this year! Excellent Hub!

    • Butterfly Lady profile image

      Butterfly Lady 

      8 years ago from Broken Arrow, OK

      Love all your suggestions about keeping vermin, pest out of garden. I have a small garden and use only natural ways to garden. Look forward to any and all tips. Good Hub.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 

      8 years ago from The Midwest

      Get about two feet of rubber hose and spray paint it green. Put red eyes on it with a red yarn tongue hanging out. Instant snake and terrified rabbits. Or go to a kids toy store and pay a couple bucks for some rubber fake ones.

      Move it around every couple of days so it doesn't look dead.

    • RTalloni profile image


      8 years ago from the short journey

      These are good tips, especially to keep in mind with spring so close.

      We have found that children's snakes from toy departments are great deterrents for birds. Just be sure and notify your neighbors...we did not think to do so. One came with a hoe while we were away and tried to do us the favor of killing our snake.

    • LeonJane profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      Hi Lifelovebeauty, thanks for answering my question. Some great ideas here that I had never heard of. My biggest problem would be native mice which I think I am going to have to screen my whole vegetable garden with fine mesh. This is probably going to be expensive but I think will be a worry free solution in the long term. (One thing I have to consider is that the mesh has to allow for bee's to enter the garden for pollination)


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