With fluffy tails, long whiskers and floppy ears, bunnies can be a delight to watch. But, when a rabbit is nibbling a home garden- eating carrots, munching your lettuce and trampling your herbs, Peter Rabbit stops being cute and starts being a nuisance. Luckily, there are several green methods for repelling rabbits from a home garden which do not involve poison or animal abuse.
Create A Physical Barrier
Installing a fence can keep many critters out, including rabbits, if the right materials are selected and installed correctly. Start with a fencing product, such as chicken wire, that has openings less than one inch wide. Due to their fur, rabbits are actually much smaller than they appear and can squeeze through the openings on most fencing types. When tempted by appetizing vegetables, rabbits will try to burrow and dig under fences. When building a new perimeter, dig down three to six inches and install fencing well below ground level. While many rabbit species do not jump very high, jack rabbits are excellent bouncers and can get over short fences. Stay on the safe side by installing a fence that is at least three feet tall. For added protection, bend the material so that the top five or size inches angle outwards, away from the garden.
Create A Scent Barrier
A rabbit’s nose is in constant motion. All that wiggling and twitching is not an attempt at being adorable; rabbits take in the world around them through smell. Since rabbits are naturally timid and fearful, any scent that they associate with a threat will send them running. When creating a scent barrier, there are a variety of choices.
- Shake Away Fox Urine Granules: Foxes are natural predators of rabbits, so the scent of their urine immediately creates a sense of fear that will get rid of rabbits. This rabbit repellent is 100% organic and safe to use around consumable plants.
- Human Hair: Hair clippings, which retain the scent of their owner, will alert rabbits to human presence in the area and keep them away. Ask a local barber or hair stylist to collect clippings and then sprinkle them amongst growing vegetables.
- Soap: Strongly scented bar soap may also indicate that people are nearby and help repel rabbits. Place unused bars of soap in socks and tie to the fencing, trees or other plants. Dryer sheets are another option.
- Vinegar: Distilled vinegar has an unpleasant smell that can deter rabbits. To use it in a garden, soak corncobs in vinegar and place them throughout the area.
The most important part of creating a scent barrier is keeping it fresh. Anything left in the sun and weather will lose its scent over time and stop repelling rabbits. Be sure to replace the scent barrier frequently.
Alter The Environment
Rabbits are drawn to areas that provide shelter and spots to hide. This can be used to human advantage by altering the area so that it is inhospitable to critters. Remove low hanging vegetation, especially around fencing. Also, seal up openings and cracks on sheds and storage buildings that rabbits can squeeze into. Rabbits often seek out water sources, so be sure that there is no standing water that is accessible to animals.
Finding a safe, green way to repel rabbits from a home garden means enjoying more homegrown produce and sharing less of it with the critters. Whichever method is used, be sure to choose natural, organic products that will keep plants, family and even the rabbits safe and healthy.