Home Remedies for Wild Rabbits

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Throughout the United States and Canada, wild rabbits wreak havoc on gardens and flowerbeds, especially the wild cottontail species. Because they have a greedy appetite for leaves, vegetables, flowers, and even grass, they can turn a beautiful garden into a war zone. In order to protect your new growth, home remedies for wild rabbits can help.

wild rabbits

Background on Wild Rabbits

Many people make the mistake of referring to a rabbit as a rodent. They actually belong to their own order of animals called lagomorphs. In the United States, there are 14 species of true rabbits, such as the eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) [1]. Cottontails vary in color, but they are mostly gray or brown. Their large hind feet allow them to cover long distances and their ears work to regulate their body temperature.

Wild rabbits are most active at dusk and dawn, preferring to stow away in brushy hedgerows and close to wooded areas. Their diet consists of leafy plants during the growing season and the buds and bark of woody plants in the wintertime. Because of the number of predators that a rabbit of the outdoors faces, they only live between one and two years in the wild.

Wild Rabbit Home Remedies

Since rabbits are known for causing a great deal of damage to vegetables, flowers and other plants in a garden, it’s a good idea to learn how to effectively keep these critters away. Become familiar with home remedies for wild rabbits to get the most out of your outdoor garadening:

a) Ground Pepper:

Since rabbits are constantly sniffing around, they tend to inhale whatever they come in contact with. You can repel rabbits by using red pepper, black pepper, cayenne or paprika that is spread around your garden. Once they take in the offensive pepper, they will certainly think twice about pestering your plants.

b) Cat Urine:

If you have a cat, why don’t you put that kitty litter to good use? Spread used litter around your garden to trick rabbits into thinking a predator is in the area.

c) Human Hair:

Wild rabbits are fearful of humans. Leaving behind hair places the scent of ‘predators’ in your garden, which works as a repellent.

d) Used Shoes:

Another way to deter the presence of wild rabbits is to conceal old shoes around your garden to give the impression that humans are in the vicinity. Choose worn out leather footwear for the best results.

e) Tabasco and Egg:

Prevent a rabbit from munching on your tree trucks by painting the base with a mixture of one well-beaten egg, ½ teaspoon of Tabasco sauce, and one gallon of water. Don’t worry; this home remedy for rabbits will not affect your trees.

f) Marigolds:

Since rabbits aren’t too fond of marigolds, plant a few in your garden to discourage their presence.

g) Vinegar:

Soak corn cob halves in vinegar for 24 hours before placing in your flower bed. The smell is a natural rabbit repellant. Don’t forget to replace this home remedy every two weeks.

h) Hot and Spicy Deterrents:

It’s no fun to munch on a garden that burns the mouth and tongue. Use home remedy rabbit deterrents, such as Tabasco and hot sauce, by leaving behind the hot stuff around plants and flowers. When it rains, make sure to reapply.

i) Garlic and Onion:

Repel rabbits by using kitchen items that send cottontails running, such as garlic and onion, which act as natural turn-offs.

j) Elmer’s Glue:

When you need help protecting your plants from rabbits, choose Elmer’s glue as a way to keep repellents on flowers and plants. For example, combine two tablespoons of ground red pepper (or Tabasco sauce) and one tablespoon of Elmer’s white glue with one quart of water. Spray the solution as needed. Do not use the remedy close to the time of harvesting or picking plants, as it can be difficult to wash off of produce and flowers used for arrangements.

k) Burlap:

Protect your trees from rabbits by wrapping the lower parts of the trunks during the fall season with tree guards, such as old burlap sacks or tin foil. If you live in a location that sees snowfall, make sure the wrapping is 2 inches above the height of the deepest snow expected, as rabbits can easily reach sections when the snow is high. When spring arrives, remove the wrappings.

l) Rose Bush Clippings:

Rabbits will think twice about entering a garden that puts a hurting on their feet. Spreading the clippings from thorny rose bushes around your garden makes it uncomfortable for rabbits to walk about your plants.

m) Choose Your Plants Carefully:

Luckily, there are some plants that rabbits don’t take much interest in [2]. Some gardeners will concentrate on these specimens to deter rabbit activity. These include hearty geraniums, peonies, daffodils, perennial salvia, moss phlox, potatoes, tomatoes, and summer squash – to name a few.

n) Cow Manure:

For those of you living on a farm, put your cow manure to good use by mixing the bovine waste with water until it creates a soupy mixture. Some people actually pour the watery manure directly over the plants they wish to protect. Arrange the manure mix around the perimeter of your garden.

Resources

[1] http://www.hsus.org/wildlife/a_closer_look_at_wildlife/rabbits.html

[2] http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/2002/6-28-2002/rabbitdamage.html

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  • Dorothy

    I highly recommend a spray repellent called Defence. It’s really effective and easy to use, plus it lasts a really long time. It’s the most effective thing I’ve found.