13 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Rabbits

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get rid of rabbits

Rabbits bring mixed emotions for many people. On the one hand, they are cuddly, fluffy pets to millions of children and on the other, they are the scourge of gardeners and farmers, causing millions of dollars of damage across the US. [1]  While slugs may munch the edges of your lettuce row, a rabbit infestation will leave nothing in its wake.  Their burrows can damage your lawn as much as moles or gophers and they can even spread disease. If you have a rabbit infestation and you want to keep rabbits away from your plants and flowers, then read on. Our home remedies tell you how to get rid of rabbits from your yard or garden and keep them away for good.

What Kind of Damage do Rabbits Cause?

Rabbits can live in both suburban and urban areas. They are harmless but cause problems when the population explodes.

When this happens, rabbits can ruin landscaping, gardens, berry plants, trees, and grasses. Garden plants that are usually eaten by rabbits are carrots, lettuce, beets, beans, and peas.

Ornamental bushes and trees are damaged when rabbits start chewing on the bark. They may even strip the tree completely.

Another problem caused by rabbits is tularemia. [2] Both animals and humans can be affected by this disease. It can spread by the bite of an infected tick, deer fly or simple contact with an infected rabbit. [3]

Rabbits will not travel far for food and will tend to reside where food is in abundance.

The majority of the rabbits live in burrows. But there are also some who will choose to make a home above the ground. Areas with thick vegetation, bushes or with a lot of debris are likely to be colonized.

There are many ways to get rid of rabbits without having to pick up a gun or set up any lethal traps. Try some of our personal favorite home remedies to get rid of rabbits. They will make your life easier and will save the lives of rabbits too.

how to get rid of rabbits

How to Get Rid of Rabbits

  1. Mow your Lawn

Do you have unnecessary tall grasses and small bushes or shrubs in your garden?  These tall grasses and bushes not only make your garden unattractive but also are the perfect habitat for rabbits.

Getting rid of extra vegetation is among the most effective home remedies to get rid of rabbits and prevent any damage caused.

If you want to keep your shrub and bushes, try trimming the bottom and low-hanging branches. It is the bottom of the shrub or bush that is used a cover.

Additionally, make sure to clear plant debris on a daily basis. Accumulation of thick debris gives further cover to rabbits.

A clear and neat garden is not attractive to rabbits.

  1. Seal the Holes

Rabbits dig burrows under sheltered places such as stairs, sheds, and decks. If you find rabbit holes, cover them. You can use chicken wire as well as wood or rocks to seal the holes.

Check the coverings ar basis. Make sure the seals are still in place and that the rabbits have not dug alternative entrances.

  1. Removing access to water sources

Rabbits are will infest an area with a plentiful supply of food, water and, shelter.

If your property is near a pond, stream, or creak, rabbits are likely to form their habitats close by.

Consider securing a fence around the water source. This is among the most convenient home remedies to get rid of rabbits.

You should also bury the fence at least eight inches deep to stop rabbits from sneaking under and ensure it is two or three feet high.

Fences tend to fail over time which can allow the rabbits to find weak spots. Therefore, maintaining the fence is quite important.

  1. Rabbit-deterring Plants

If you are wondering how to get rid of rabbits naturally, this home remedy is just for you!

There are only a few plants that are unappealing to rabbits. Some plants, though, are so detested by rabbits that they act as a deterrent. [4]

Growing undesirable plants is among the best home remedies to get rid of rabbits. These plants may include verbena, goatweed, bougainvillea, and perennials like honeysuckle and echinacea.

Rhododendrons are another great home remedy to get rid of rabbits as they are quite toxic to the species. They are also beautiful plants and look good in any garden.

  1. Rabbit deterring trees

If you think your garden could use more trees than plants, the go for rabbit-deterring trees.

Rabbits will strip the bark of most trees. However, planting birch and alder trees will keep rabbits away from your property.

  1. Hardware Cloth

Rabbits are well-known for chewing the barks of trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants. It is better to prevent damage in the first place. Wrap a hardware cloth around the bases of the trees and shrubs. Use this remedy particularly for the trees with a higher risk of being attacked by rabbits.

As repairing the damage caused by rabbits can be costly, it is better to prevent damage in the first place. Wrap a hardware cloth around the bases of the trees and shrubs. Use this remedy particularly for the trees with a higher risk of being attacked by rabbits.

Wrap a hardware cloth around the bases of the trees and shrubs. Use this remedy particularly for the trees with a higher risk of being attacked by rabbits.

Hardware cloth is actually a galvanized wire screen. It is a great way to protect plants, trees, and shrubs.

The rabbits cannot gnaw and chew through the hardware cloth. You can buy hardware cloth from your nearest hardware stores.

  1. Fencing the Garden

Fencing your garden is one of the simplest home remedies to get rid of rabbits. Make sure to bury the fence at least 5-6 inches into the ground and extend it at least 2-3 feet above the ground.

Make sure to bury the fence at least 5-6 inches into the ground and extend it at least 2-3 feet above the ground.

It is also important to add flashing at the bottom of the gates so that rabbits do not enter from underneath.

  1. Try Motion-activated Sprinklers

Automatic motion-activated sprinklers can help you get rid of rabbits. These work by sprinkling water on any rabbit that comes into the sensor’s range.

Also, there are also some sprinklers that emit a sound. These sprinklers are quite easy to install. They are set up like the standard water sprinklers used to water gardens.

The option of using automatic motion-activated sprinklers is also friendly to the environment. Buy these sprinklers from hardware stores or from online shops. There are band different brands that have sprinklers with even advanced functions.

Buy these sprinklers from hardware stores or from online shops. There are band different brands that have sprinklers with even advanced functions.

  1. Use Commercial Repellents

Many farmers use commercial repellents as an effective home remedy to get rid of rabbits [5]. Despite a variety of commercial repellents, there is not a single one that works for all rabbits. You will have to experiment with repellents a little before finding the perfect one.

You have to be careful in your choice of commercial repellents. Some of the repellents may work but have to be applied more than one time in every season.

Chemical repellents like ammonium soaps have to be used with great caution. Such repellents can deter rabbits, but they might damage plants

Chemical deterrents are especially not safe for delicate plants in the garden. Ammonium soap[6] can also ruin your decorative plants and flowers. So, read the label before buying any repellent.

A repellent containing Bitrex is a common alternative to ammonium soap. It can be used to make sure the flowers and small plants are not damaged.

Yet, Bitrex is not suitable for a garden with other vegetation as it can change the taste of vegetables.

A better and safer alternative is to use blood or bone meal fertilizer. Both of these are great home remedies to get rid of rabbits because rabbits are herbivores. [7] [8]

  1. Get your Hands on Household Repellents

Hesitant to use commercial fertilizers? You can use household repellents as home remedies to get rid of rabbits.

Manure, human hair, dog hair and cayenne pepper can be mixed with fertilizers to deter rabbits. Onions and dried sulfur can also be good repellents.

You can also prepare a mixture of vinegar and water with a hint of hot sauce to spray on the vegetables. This will make the vegetables undesirable to rabbits while not causing any damage.

  1. Keep other Pets

Keeping pets such as dogs and cats are a very simple way to keep rabbits away from your property.Rabbits will avoid cats and dogs

Both cats and dogs will hunt rabbits for fun and as such, rabbits will avoid areas with resident pets.

Small terriers tend to be the best rabbit catching dogs due to their speed and agility. However, cats are much the more the adept hunters, but will often lose interest in their quarry.

If you do not want your pet to kill the rabbits, attaching bells to their collars will give the rabbits ample warning.

  1. Set Live Traps

Live traps are a great alternative to lethal traps or shooting if you are not in favor of killing rabbits. These can, in fact, serve as one of the best home remedies to get rid of rabbits. There are many types of live traps available online and in stores.

You can bait the traps with lettuce, apples, berries, carrots, or Brussels sprouts. Check the traps on a daily basis and release the rabbits as soon as they get trapped.

Release the rabbit at least a mile away to ensure it does not return.  Wear gloves during the whole procedure for safety. Make sure you are aware of the release laws in your state.

  1. Feed the Rabbits

Some people use the contradictory method of feeding the rabbits to keep them away. Building a feeder for rabbits and providing food to them can keep them away from your vegetables.

While this is a very gentle way to deal with rabbits, it might not work for everyone. It can have opposite effects by attracting more rabbits to your property. This method has so far only helped people who were annoyed by one or two rabbits.

Keep in mind that rabbits reproduce quickly. So, feeding them may increase your problems.[9] [10] [11]

Do’s

  • Use a chicken wire or wood board with spacing of no more than 2.5 cm
  • Make sure to cover the entire rabbit hole to stop rabbits from entering your property
  • Install water sprinklers near plants that need water the most
  • Call the pest control service when the situation gets out of hand

Don’ts

  • Make sure to not use ingredients that can attract other pests in your homemade repellent
  • Do not forget to check covered holes and installed fences
  • Be careful with positioning of water sprinklers so that you do not overwater your plants

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