How To Keep Rabbits From Destroying Your Garden

If you often have rabbits roaming your yard, you are probably familiar with the large amount of damage they can cause. Despite their innocent and gentle appearance, Critter Control claims that rabbits can cause a variety of damages to your yard or garden, especially when foraging for food or a home. For example, they can dig burrows in your yard or feed on flowers, vegetables, or plants you are attempting to grow.

Rabbits can quickly become major pests to you and your garden, which are usually handled through the acts of killing or harming. But unlike other types of pests, it may not feel morally right to kill or harm rabbits, even if they are infesting and destroying the outside portions of your home. Luckily, House Digest is here with a wide variety of ways you can effectively keep rabbits out of your yard and keep them from damaging your garden and other areas in your yard. Here are eight ways to keep rabbits from destroying your garden without resorting to violence.

1. Physical barriers

Rabbits are very sneaky creatures, which means your average picket fence is not the most effective tool when keeping them from destroying your garden. PetNPat shows some great options for fencing that has small enough gaps in the barrier to keep rabbits out, much like chicken wire. 

That being said, if you already have a fence around your yard or garden, you can easily line the lower portions of your fence with chicken wire or other rabbit fending to rabbit-proof your yard. Without a fence, you can also line smaller portions of your yard or garden or keep rabbits out of these specific areas, as well. Keep in mind, however, that rabbits also have a habit of digging; therefore, if you choose to protect your garden with barriers, like chicken wire, they need to be dug at least 6 inches into the ground in order for them to be effective.

2. Plants unliked by rabbits

Filling your garden with plants that rabbits dislike munching on is also an effective way to naturally keep rabbits out of your garden. Peta states that naturally, rabbits enjoy eating plants like grass, clovers, wildflowers, and a variety of vegetable plants. Instead of filling your garden with these desirable plants, you can switch it up with other plants that are just as delicious and beautiful but don't attract hungry rabbits.

Garden Know How gives a wide variety of examples of plants you choose from that will keep rabbits disinterested in your yard. For perennial plants, consider plants like Adam's needle, peonies, or primroses. Woody plants, like butterfly bushes, boxwoods, or tulip trees, can also be planted, along with annuals, like pot marigolds, spider flowers, or vincas. Bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths, and Persian onions can also be beautiful anti-rabbit garden additions. Finally, vegetable plants, like asparagus, leeks, and onions can also be planted without attracting rabbits to your garden.

3. Natural rabbit repellant

Aside from physical barriers and changes that can be made to keep rabbits out of your garden, homemade toxin-free repellents can also be applied to keep rabbits out of your garden. Premeditated Leftovers states that one of the best-tested rabbit repellents includes garlic cloves, crushed red peppers, water, and dish soap.

To make this repellant, take an empty milk judge and fill it up with water. Then, add in five garlic cloves, a teaspoon of crushed red pepper, and one tablespoon of dish soap. When the mixture has been well shaken, let it sit out in the sun for a couple of days or until the water has absorbed all the smells and flavors of the garlic and red pepper. Finally, spray the mixture on the plants you don't want the rabbits to eat or areas you do not wish for the rabbits to go and watch the mixture work its magic.

4. Electronic rabbit repellent

If you don't wish to fill your yard with an intense smelling liquid, you can also repel rabbits away with the help of technology. There are all sorts of ultrasonic outdoor animal and pest repellants on the market that are deemed a safe, easy, and inexpensive way to repel rabbits, as well as other animals and pests, away from your yard or garden. After setting this gadget up in your yard or garden, you can keep rabbits out of your garden without even a touch of a finger. Rabbit Remover has a list of different ultrasonic repellers that are worth trying out in your yard.

According to the same site, the ultrasonic outdoor animal and pest repellants work by sending out when rabbits or other animals are within a certain distance of the device — these sounds are bothersome to the critters and chase them away. Many of them have a variety of frequencies to choose from, depending on the strength of protection you need for your particular garden.

5. Scare rabbits away

Rabbits are very skittish animals. Their main defense is a quick flight response that keeps them safe from harm; therefore, just like scarecrows scare crows away from corn fields, a similar system can work to keep rabbits out of your garden. Just like a pet rabbit can be skittish due to sudden movements or large objects and predators, according to PetPlan, wild rabbits can be scared away with much the same tactics. You can try using things like scarecrows, fake owls, and rubber snakes, though these are not an effective way to keep rabbits out of your yard for long periods of time because although they may initially be scared of these structures, they will quickly get used to them until they have no effect at all.

Instead, consider more unpredictable objects, like shiny objects and objects that blow in the wind, which are better equipped for scaring more often. Shiny objects can include mirrors, CDs, and tin cans. Objects that blow in the wind can include kites, pinwheels, or even a combination of shiny objects that are dangled from a nearby tree or structure.

6. Outdoor pets

If you happen to already have pets, like cats or dogs, in your home, letting them into your garden more often is also a great way to keep rabbits off your property, especially when it comes to cats and dogs. Many common house pets are natural predators of rabbits and will be more than happy to chase rabbits out of your garden when they spend some time outside.

After one frightening experience with your pet, rabbits will most likely steer clear of your garden. When letting pets into your garden, however, you must ensure the area is safe. For example, some plants that you have in your garden can be toxic to your pets and need to be either removed to blocked off so your pet does not accidentally come into contact with them. ASPCA has information on different plants that pose harm to pets. Other hazards might also be in your garden that should be removed or carefully watched to avoid unwanted harm to your pet, such as gardening tools.

7. Trapping

Havahart explains that trapping and relocating is one of the best ways to remove rabbits from your yard. This may not be the easiest technique, and a rabbit in a cage is at risk until you find a new place to let it back into the wild. You can purchase live traps at almost any farm store and watch videos online that will help you determine how to get those rabbits to enter the cage.

Havahart's Easy Set One-Door Cage Trap For Squirrels and Small Rabbits is available on Amazon for a little over $40 and is an excellent choice for controlling those rascally rabbits. Amazon further explains that this trap is made with smooth edges inside the cage to prevent any injuries or harm to the caught rabbit. The cage is also very easy to use for first-time trappers and includes a level that allows you to easily release the caught rabbit into a safe environment far away from your garden.

8. Embrace the rabbits

Although rabbits can be a menace to your garden, having rabbits around your home might not be such a bad thing. Rabbits have the ability to easily bring a smile to your face with their many cute and cuddly features, and their especially cute to watch hop around. Leaf Score says that, when not overgrazing, rabbits are essential workers in your garden by munching away the weeds and helping the composting process. They also help aerate the soil with their digging!

To keep rabbits in your yard yet still prevent them from overgrazing, consider setting out vegetables as well as other plants rabbits like to indulge in to keep them from munching everything in your garden. Placing clovers in your garden will also keep your rabbits indulging in stuff you weren't intending to feed your family, offering the rabbits more plants that they will still enjoy just as much without destroying your entire garden.