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diginthedirt17

Any new remedies for keeping rabbits out of the garden?

diginthedirt17
13 years ago

Hello everyone,

Just wondering if there are any new ideas for keeping rabbits out of the garden; already they have chewed everything that had popped up even a little. SO frustrating.

We have a farm field behind our house, and the rabbits have holes dug all around our fence back to the field. I'm hoping to put chicken wire up along the fence, but I'm sure they will find a way in. Plus they eat everything on the sides and in the front.

I saw an animated owl at the hardware store the other day; has anyone had luck with that type of deterrant? I hate to put chicken wire along the garden since it's right next to the patio and is so unsightly.

Any fresh ideas?

Comments (85)

  • hairmetal4ever
    7 years ago

    I'm *this close* to heading off this problem Ted Nugent style.

  • norar55
    7 years ago

    I have not have a rabbit problem in my old house. However, I'd already seen a rabbit or two in the backyard of our new house, where I'm planning a garden to plant.
    Since I'm relatively a new gardener, I'm addicted to reading everything about gardening.
    The two anti-rabbit warfare recipes I read about, but did not see above(sorry if I missed a post) are:
    1. spreading blood meal around the plants
    2. spreading crushed boiled eggs and leaving them to rot.
    I would like to hear if somebody tried these remedies and with what results.
    Thank you.

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  • romy718
    7 years ago

    I've tried the Blood Meal years ago without success. I've had great luck with Deer Off for both rabbits & deer. I reapply when there is a significant amount of new growth. Not something I'd want to spray on edibles as it smells awful, like rotten eggs. I spray it, strip my clothes off in the garage & head to the shower. Once it dries, there's odor on the flowers.

  • marshallz10
    7 years ago

    Cocoa mulch is poisonous to dogs and perhaps other canines. And very attractive to them as well.

  • caryltoo Z7/SE PA
    7 years ago

    I wouldn't have the heart to hurt them either, but I'm about ready to do in the one that ate two of my bean plants to the stem and disappeared two entire pepper plants as well.

    We will be putting out a havaheart trap and relocating them if it works. The one dog loves chasing them off, but she can't catch it (too old and slow) and they keep returning.

  • brunsgardens
    7 years ago

    I love the picture of the bunnies! We have two bunnies as pets (in the basement where the dog never goes) so it is hard to want to get rid of the outside ones. But I have tons of lilies, so I use Liquid Fence's deer and rabbit repellant spray on the flowers once a week, and it has worked really well, although it stinks badly. My dog is getting too old to catch the bunnies, but if she finds their nest, it is all over.
    Funny story: I put chicken wire around a rugosa rose bush so the bunnies wouldn't eat all of its leaves. When I removed the wire, there at the base of the plant was a perfect bunny nest. The mom must have decided that was a well protected spot !

  • jonijumpup, Mich Z5
    7 years ago

    Hey Baditude, chicken wire fencing should be good enuf to keep rabbits out shouldn't it?

  • yardenman
    7 years ago

    1 - Cats (love catching baby bunnies)
    2 - Have-A-Heart Traps and then drowning the little suckers
    3 - Enclosed garden.

  • Acadiafun
    7 years ago

    Chicken wire for my blueberry plants. The rabbits or deers have eaten some of my Hostas to the ground. I too do not have the heart to kill bunnies or any critters outside. My neighbors had four baby foxes in their yard this spring. I can only hope that they have survived and will do what foxes do. Then I can remain blameless....

  • dirt_cred
    7 years ago

    My damage stopped when I started spreading dog hair in and under the mulch. I have a poodle who grows me a plentiful supply and try for dirty hair but can't say for sure that matters. (Small city garden, cat savvy rabbits as plentiful as dog hair.) If you don't have a dog or as much hair as a poodle provides you could try begging from a groomer.

    The rabbits also don't seem to bother anything around the wild geraniums, either. They can be a little invasive but aren't that hard to control. Strongly scented. Mine are pinker than the ones usually pictured but I'm sure that's what they are.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Wild geraniums

    This post was edited by dirt_cred on Sun, Jun 29, 14 at 23:55

  • MarjorieinArlington
    7 years ago

    I'm thinking of trying a raised bed to plant Ky Wonder green beans. The rabbits devour them. But I'm puzzled that no one mentions raised beds as a way to fool the rabbits and save the veggies they love.

  • jwr6404
    7 years ago

    Last February I rescued a Dingo 'aka' Taiwan Mountain Dog from Taiwan. He is 6 months of age. His presence, I believe, has greatly reduced the Rabbits interest in my garden. Now if I can get my 11 year old American Bulldog and 9 year old Cattle Dog to accept his Hyperactive Puppy exhuberance..

  • carol23_gw
    7 years ago

    I have no problems if I spray with Rabbit Out. It works well in my garden. This year there is a bumper crop of rabbits as they are running everywhere. I purchased the concentrate Rabbi tOut and use it in a spray bottle with the nozzle wide open so it does not clog.

  • dirt_cred
    7 years ago

    About raised beds: my disabled sister gardens in pots that are about 30" high. Last spring we found the furry remains of a rabbit nest in one. I think the buns are willing to jump for food.

  • jadeite
    7 years ago

    Rabbits can easily jump 30". We have a wall around our back garden. It's about 30" to 36" high. Rabbits soar over it to eat everything in sight. I've found them curled up on the lawn, fast asleep with full bellies.

    Cheryl

  • maow
    7 years ago

    I was told to grate Irish Spring soap or Zest soap around the plants, if the scent is too strong the rabbits get discouraged. I just did that today, will see how it goes.
    I used the course grater and grated the soap directly around the hardscape mostly, just a little bit around the plants, didn't want to worry about too much soap leeching into the soil. Hope this helps.

  • morpheuspa (6B/7A, E. PA)
    7 years ago

    I just repelled a bunch of incredibly voracious rabbits with a recipe I found online.

    Roughly, in a 1 gallon sprayer:
    0.5 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
    A little liquid soap to make it cling better
    0.25 teaspoons Elmer's glue (optional) (to make it stick)

    So far, the zinnia have gone from eaten to the ground to now regrowing for the fifth day.

  • davidrt28 (zone 7)
    7 years ago

    Yes if you want a "kind hearted" approach capsaicinoids are probably your best bet. Fencing that can stop rabbits is ugly and a nuisance to maintain for an ornamental garden; though probably essential in many places for a vegetable garden.

    I'm not "kind hearted".

    This post was edited by davidrt28 on Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 7:23

  • rodericky
    7 years ago

    I am using Liquid Fence. First off 1 week after the first application then monthly or after a very heavy rain. So far my new Knockout double red hedgerow is safe. It is pricy, $34 for 40 oz. The application rate is 8 oz/ gallon of water. One gallon covers all 24 plants. The 5 applications should last the season. I will try the tabasco and the garlic also.

  • jadeite
    7 years ago

    I make up a repellant from a recipe someone gave me. She got the recipe from the link below. Basically you mix eggs, water, garlic powder, cayenne (or any hot pepper), and wilt-pruf. The important part, not clear in the recipes, is to let it stand in the sun for about a week. The eggs should be very smelly.

    Supposedly rabbits and deer will not approach plants smelling of rotten eggs. The wilt-pruf helps the mix to stick to the plant leaves. If animals are desperate enough to try eating the plant despite the smell, the hot pepper and garlic should deter them.

    The mix will not go through my sprayer. It clogs no matter how much I blend the ingredients. I use a watering can on a calm day. Once the stuff dries, it's good for a few weeks. It's a lot cheaper than the liquid fence or deer off commercial sprays. It smells ghastly, really gagworthy, for a couple of hours. Then I can't smell it, but the animals can.

    I'm pouring it on everything that's been eaten by the rabbits. The deer are satisfied eating all our fruit and so far leave the plants alone. I don't think it works for our pack rat problem, but nothing does.

    I'm also sprinkling used cat litter and using chicken wire cage on the most desirable plants. It doesn't make for the most appealing garden, but if I can get my plants through the young tender stage, I hope the older leaves aren't so attractive. We can only hope.

    Cheryl

    Here is a link that might be useful: homemade repellant

  • kitchendetective
    7 years ago

    So much for the dog suggestion. My Great Pyrenees loves bunnies.

  • MissStrawberry
    7 years ago

    Here is a method that works well for about two weeks or more, then reapplication is necessary according to
    your rabbit population. Using these ingredients is relatively inexpensive and safe. The urine may
    deter some, but I consider fresh human urine a free fertilizer. All three of these ingredients have a
    powerful smell sending the rabbits hopping. After trying commercial products and wasting my
    money have settled on this method:

    Keep a container with a flip-open spout filled with garlic powder, ground Thai Hot Ornamental Peppers
    and water. Any extremely pungent pepper will work. You need not have a high concentration, just a smelly
    one. Store this tonic outside, e.g., garage or potting shed or the smell will knock you dead inside even will a sealed
    flip top. Add a little of this mixture to a container of urine and drizzle on affected plants and grass. It may take a
    few applications but works like nothing else. Again, this is not a permanent solution, you may need to reapply in a few
    weeks.

  • jonijumpup, Mich Z5
    7 years ago

    so the aged urine etc will not harm plants like petunias or hosta??

  • KHzGarden
    7 years ago

    Why some of my Tomatoes plants leaves curing from top and some other which are planted 50' away from the first set are turning yellow? Please let me know,

  • Kathyxyz
    7 years ago

    I just picked up a container of Animal B Gon 2 lb. All-Purpose Animal Repellent Granules by Ortho. I'm on the board of a 424 condo association with lots of greenbelts and the rabbits have been having a ball! It is made with essential oils and is safe for people, pets and plants. Delivers long-lasting and rain resistant performance. It sure is potent! Contains the oils of and smells like cinnamon, rosemary, Eucalyptus, peppermint and actually smells good! I'll report back after about 30 days and let you know how it works. I got mine at Home Depot, but am sure Lowes and other home and garden supply stores carry this also. $13.92

    Here is a link that might be useful: Ortho Animal B Gon at Home Depot

  • poppyjane
    7 years ago

    Does the animal B Gon really work?

  • tresbelle3
    7 years ago

    Trim a thorny bush and put the clippings around the plants they are eating. The thorns stick them and they don't like it so they move on. Works for me. : )

  • Raptor666
    7 years ago

    There used to be a family of foxes that lived in the field and woods behind us, and I NEVER saw a groundhog and only rarely glimpsed a rabbit. Sadly, they disappeared about 2/3 years and since then we've been over-run with both; a groundhog even had the audacity to move in under the front porch even with my dog (a border collie) barking from the window at it everyday. I let him pee at the entrances, spread his hair and poop around, sprayed fox pee, garlic/onion oil, ammonia-soaked rags in cans, spread mothballs... tried everything, and absolutely nothing could get it to leave! As it turned, he was a she, and had had babies, so that could have been why she stuck around. Once the babies were old enough she left and never came back.

    Everything I mentioned is supposed to work on rabbits, but if they are really determined they're ignore it. My dog's killed groundhogs (and mice, a raccoon, possum, possibly a squirrel...), but the last one I called him off (a mistake on my part, he probably wouldn't have gotten scratched in the face if I'd not distracted him) and I let the groundhog go. It took it a couple of months, but now it's back digging under the fence again. To stop it, I put my dog's poop in the hole which seems to work. I've also been peeing in a cup and splashing in along the fence >_> which gets my dog to mark his territory there as well (prey species supposedly don't like ammonia, after all). It's also been working for the rabbits that were digging under the opposite corner of the fence. Mylar balloons and those shiny kid's windmills are supposed to work too, but looks kind of tacky.

    My dog ain't just a hounddog, he ain't never caught a rabbit and he's still a friend of mine... but he's sure come close though, because he doesn't play their zigzag game and runs straight after them instead. Thankfully he leaves toads, snakes (

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9
    7 years ago

    I'm afraid shooting the rabbits is a lesson in futility; if it worked we wouldn't have a coyote population that is constantly increasing in spite of the numbers shot. Using a product that includes fox urine is very inhumane for the foxes used.

    I grow mostly roses and use the method cremin mentions. It works very well and keeps the young plants safe. I know some rose lovers have their husbands urinate around their bushes (hopefully in the dark of night) and that seem to work.

    I have another method that works, probably because the rabbit population is also kept down by the local coyotes. The ones that remain I feed dog food and rabbit food and they prefer that to the plants. They also always have a fresh water supply. They've become very tame and come running when they see us coming. We also have ground squirrels and they also are fed by us, and we have the fun of getting to know them without them destroying my plants. It may sound unorthodox, but the combination of thorny barriers and feeding them, along with predation by coyotes and botcats, has solved the problem. Obviously this is a solution for more rural areas where there are natural predators, unless you have a gung ho cat or dog.

  • wiscgardener58
    7 years ago

    Over here in Wisconsin we run into rabbits all the time and I have had trouble finding a fence that is visually appealing, maintenance free, easy to install, and affordable. A few years ago we decided to create 17 raised beds in our garden, and the original idea was to place chicken wire directly around each raised bed, but based on past experience I knew that having the fencing so close to the garden area makes working in the garden difficult and inefficient. Based on this I decided to enclose the entire garden area with a rabbit fence, leaving a 24â walkway between the beds and the fence allowing for greater mobility when working in the garden.

    I did some research to try to find a fence that would fit into the visual aesthetic of our garden, and chicken wire was just too unsightly. Picket fences are visually appealing, but I was turned off by the substantial maintenance season after season. I decided to create my own fence that provided the qualities I was looking for: attractive, maintenance free, lightweight, easy to install and affordable. After doing much research I decided to use copper tubing (to avoid rusting and to match other lawn decorations). I also used polypropylene mesh netting that was designed for rabbit fencing. I created 30 panels that were of two different sizes (4âÂÂx2â or 2âÂÂx2âÂÂ). Creating these panels did not take too long and cost much less than what I had anticipated. From there I used rebar poles to easily install the panels around the garden, including the creation of a swing-gate that made accessing the garden easy! Installing the fence took me an afternoon and that included the trial and error of determining the best way to do it.

    Because the fence has exceeded all my expectations, I want to share it with others! I have decided to make and sell the fence panels. Below is a link to the website I have created, and I would love to answer any questions you may have! http://www.deluxerabbitfence.com/

    Here is a link that might be useful: Preassembled Rabbit Garden Fence

  • Raptor666
    7 years ago

    I forgot to say, but if you applied anything chemical, (including garlic oil, blood, amonia, etc) it will get diluted/washed away with rain, so be sure to keep re-applying it.

    Also, it helps to have these guys around:

    {{gwi:203587}}
    (Click to embiggen.)

    Red-tailed hawks and other raptors definitely love rabbits, although you may find yourself pitying the poor things if you ever hear them squeal and shriek and cry as the raptor's talons pierce their flesh. Not something you forget.

  • a2zmom
    7 years ago

    Last summer I saw a hawk swoop down and make off with a young bunny. The hawk enjoyed its meal in the far corner of my neighbor's yard.

    I thought it was fascinating. Circle of life and all that.

  • lacarr
    7 years ago

    Liquid Fence works for me with rabbits in the garden. Only trouble is after rain have to respray.

  • Don
    7 years ago

    Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler

  • exmar zone 7, SE Ohio
    7 years ago

    Scarecrow Sprinkler. I originally put two out for deer and noticed it keeps rabbits, my dogs, etc. out of the garden. It has an electronic sensor that detects movement then activates a "pivot arm" adjustable sprinkler for 8 seconds. All you need is a hose, it is operated by a 9 volt battery which is supposed to last 2 months.

    Just google it, they're available everywhere, Amazon, Ebay, etc.

  • BetsyKristl
    7 years ago

    My neighbor's yard is ground zero for rabbits around here. She works all day so they congregate in her back yard right out in the open. There are many very woodsy areas in my region, so most of the hawks and other predators aren't available for this bunch. Naturally, they do reproduce fast, and a bunch of them moved into my yard a few years ago. My dogs won't chase them, but they'll eat their litters - it's gross, but effective at least in controlling their numbers.

    The front yard is another story. The dogs don't go there and the stupid rabbits are always killing tender young perennials almost the second they come up. I've had some luck with 1" chicken wire, but I have to make rings of it wide enough that the bunnies can't just eat through the spaces. I hold the wire down with garden staples and that seems to work until the plant has grown enough to tolerate some nibbling. It's not a solution, really, but it helps.

  • farmfreedom
    7 years ago

    Interplant your tulips with live garlic cloves 3 inches away from your tulip bulbs in all 4 directions . It stops rabbits and squirrels.

  • Cortland
    7 years ago

    Option 1
    You can take 6 or 8 Habanero Peppers and 2 garlic cloves and mix with a quart of water and liquefy in the blender for 2 minutes. Let this liquid sit for 48 hours; then run through a coffee filter. Mix this 50:50 with apple cider vinegar and also add two cups of castor oil and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Place in a garden sprayer and spray all your plants. This will work for a few day, and must be reapplied.

    Option 2
    Get an appropriate sized have-a-heart trap at the hardware store and bait with corn. Once the rabbit is in the trap pull on welders gloves and remove rabbit from trap by the scruff of the neck. Whack it on the back of the head/neck with a hammer handle you also purchased at the hardware store. Skin, gut, wash, and wrap in butcher paper⦠place in freezer. Rabbit is the leanest non poultry meat!

    Option 3
    A 96 inch tall raised bed garden, planted indoors⦠behind a fence, a cat, and a dog.

  • Jodie1718
    7 years ago

    Someone told me that if you plant onions mixed in wit the other plants & flowers, that the rabbits & deer will stay away. Has anyone had success with this method?

  • jadeite
    7 years ago

    Rabbits and deer will eat almost anything if they are desperate. Onions and garlic don't deter our wildlife, nor do most of the supposedly rabbit and deer proof plants. We've had rabbits graze garlic chives down to the roots.

    We live on a acre of cactus, yucca, thistles and all kinds of thorny brambles. We also have hawks, owls and bobcats strolling through regularly. We have deer sleeping in front of the house, rabbits hopping from one plant to another, though all the spiky, thorny brush. So don't believe the stories that predators or spiky leaves or smelly plants will protect your garden from wildlife.

    Commercial repellants are all based on bloodmeal or sulphurous eggs, and they are reputed to work, at least for a time. I make my own repellant - recipe is given earlier in this thread. I find this works but must be reapplied about once a month. I also use chicken wire cages around small plants. All of this is necessary when the animals have to eat or starve to death.

    Cheryl

  • mec4u
    7 years ago

    Rabbits are the sweetest and most adorable creatures in my garden. They are quiet, gentle, and never prey on other animals. I purposely grew my veggie garden for them to enjoy, as well as a waterfall to provide fresh water. I could never hurt any animal, let alone these beautiful little guys!

  • donaldl
    7 years ago

    I, too, have rabbit problems. I do not recommend cats b/c if outdoors they are horrendous killers of birds whose populations are under serious threat. Anyone who really cares about the environment - not just their own garden - should keep cats inside.

  • HU-257219
    7 years ago

    For some limited success, go to your barber and get a bag of human hair. It seem to work a few days, but will need redone after a rain. Also, a 2 ft x 2" weave chicken wire works OK for a while but will not stop the babies from feasting. But by that time the beans and okra are a little too tall to matter.

  • exmar zone 7, SE Ohio
    6 years ago

    FWIW, most of the "deterrents" you buy will have garlic listed in the ingredients. That's true, only it's the BULB, the tender green leaves are a favorite of deer here in SE Ohio. :-) As I said earlier, the only relative "painless" thing I've found is the scarecrow sprinkler. If you fence, you'll have to bury the bottom in the ground, trimming grass weeds which grow into it is a PITA as well.

    Anything you spray or sprinkle, etc. lasts only a short time, and if it rains or a couple mornings of heavy dew, it's gone.

    I know a guy who has an old radio which he puts in the middle of his garden under a metal tub. Runs an extension cord to it on a timer. It periodically plays very loud and he doesn't have kritter issues anymore. Like me, he's out in the country so no neighbors to complain.

  • petalique
    6 years ago

    Cute little DEVILS. Those aren't ears.

    We have snowshoe hare and cottontails (and woodchuck). I hope that the coyote and red fox find them soon. I'll fire up the grill for them.

    My newly planted chard and lettuce went missing. Then one sunny morning he was heading towards my campanula. Why won't they help me out and snack on the very mature arugula, or that invasive purple morning glory? Or bindweed or spurge. I'll put a nice vinaigrette on the Russian comfrey for them.



    Perhaps minecraft.


  • dirt_cred
    6 years ago

    I live in the city and we're overrun with rabbits. My friend the farm girl has been complaining about the rabbits eating her garden for years. I've been offering her poodle hair for years though she doesn't mulch. (I tuck it all around in the mulch.) This year she thought she had the answer - a concoction of garlic & cayenne & whatever. I didn't work.

    Finally she took me up on my offer - rabbit problem gone. They Do Not like dog smell and they don't live in my yard.


  • david883
    6 years ago

    I had squirrels eating some of my escarole and I read putting used coffee grounds around them helps. Since I did that the squirrel buffet has closed. Worth a try!

  • HU-257219
    6 years ago

    A 2 ft. chicken wire fence is effective in keeping adult rabbits out. My fence is a 2 inch weave and keeps the adults out for the early crops, but when the babies arrive, they get thru with no problem. A 1 inch weave is really needed.

  • PRO
    Whysall Web
    5 years ago

    Try the garden commander. It's inexpensive, easy installation just place over garden vegetables, and stacks for winter storage. You can see their website here:. Www.gardencommander.com