Rabbits are undoubtedly one of the cutest animals around. With their twitchy noses and long ears, you want to cuddle them up. However, that probably only holds if these furballs are your pets.
Sure wild rabbits are adorable as well, but they tend to be annoying and disruptive, especially if you enjoy maintaining your garden. Unlike most animals, rabbits are active all year round. So while the squirrels have stocked up for the winter, the chipmunks have retreated to their homes to hibernate, and most birds have flown away. The only animals that don’t seem to be going anywhere are these pesky rabbits.
You would think that the most threat that these furry friends pose is to your carrot patch. Well, think again. If you asked us to compile a list of things rabbits like to eat, we’d tell you it would be easier to compile a list of foods rabbits don’t like since that will be much shorter. Wild rabbits possess an appetite for just about anything. From woody plants, berries, all sorts of vegetables and perennials, they’ll eat just about anything they can get their paws on.
And it isn’t just their eating habits that are a nuisance. Rabbits reproduce at an incredibly fast rate. They can produce a litter of six babies thrice a year towards northern areas, and towards the south, they can produce six litters with three babies a year. If you don’t nip this problem in the bud, you can end up with a garden infestation and, in no time, no garden at all.
So for the million-dollar question:
How can I keep these furry friends away?
This isn’t an easy task. Rabbits have to be sneaky to survive. Their main goal is to eat without ending up eaten since they are prey to over two dozen different kinds of predators. And since there is a constant threat to their lives, they have developed sharp senses. While their sense of sound and sight is sharp as a knife, it’s their sense of smell, which is the strongest, which is evident from their twitching noses. It’s their sense of smell that alerts them of predators nearby, and they avoid that area.
So while the sense of smell is their most significant advantage, you can use it as yours. There are several scents from everyday objects you find at home that rabbits detest, and if you sprinkle them in areas of your garden you wish to protect, rabbits will stay away.
Smells Rabbits hate
- Rabbits cannot stand the smell of sulfur. Try sprinkling it on or around your plants.
- Similarly, they also don’t like the smell of onions. Consider planting them in your vegetable patch to deter visits from rabbits.
- Talcum powder is another common household item you can use to keep rabbits away. Sprinkle a bit of plain talcum powder onto your plants.
- The strong smell of red pepper powder does appease the furry friends and is a good deterrent.
- If you like the smell of Irish Spring soap, chances are rabbits will not enjoy a cuddle from you. Use that to your advantage and keep shavings of the soap in a small pouch and plant the pouches in different areas of your garden.
- Who says smell alone should be your weapon of choice. Mix it up by making a terrible tasting cocktail by grinding one bunch of garlic, three hot peppers, and three big onions. Add water to the concoction and leave it in a closed container overnight. In the morning, strain it out, add more water enough to make around a gallon of the cocktail and then spray it around your garden. We don’t blame the rabbits one bit for disliking the smell!
- Another homemade mixture can include one gallon of water, adding one teaspoon of Lysol, and spraying it in your garden.
- Deer repellent also works like a charm for rabbits. Commercially available, these repellents are made up of sulfured eggs, garlic, and dried bovine blood. Excuse us while we gag!
- If you don’t have the patience to make repellents, you can try your hand at commercially available garlic oil.
If you plan on trying the dried blood technique, make sure you keep your dog away from your garden when you do. Dogs might get attracted to the smell and end up digging your garden up, which will be counterproductive.
The wonders of ammonia:
Another powerful rabbit repellent is ammonia. The way ammonia works are that it replicates the smell of a predator’s urine and thus alerts the rabbit to avoid that area altogether. And ammonia isn’t just a rabbit repellent; it also keeps other animals such as deer away from your garden.
There are different ways you can make use of ammonia. Considering how strong the smell of ammonia is, it can be used as a repellent itself. But if you want to look into other forms of ammonia that can be used, there are a few options. For example, ammonium soap, which contains fatty acids, is a viable option. As far as ammonia is concerned, you don’t have to make some complicated concoction. The ammonia found and used at home can be used. It is readily available in the cleaning sections in grocery stores. Just dig rags into the ammonia and place them in various areas of your garden.
keeping rabbits away doesn’t need to be a difficult task at all. The most common everyday items we have at home can be used to keep the pesky animals away. However, don’t be disheartened if the smells don’t work immediately. Patience is key. And if it still doesn’t work, perhaps you can use the deterring smells with other repellents. Other repellents can be planting plants that rabbits don’t like, closing off all points of entry for rabbits, amongst a few other options. Good luck!