Mothballs To Deter Rabbits - Knowledgebase Question

Waterford, CT
Question by mbusca
July 16, 2000
I recently put mothballs around ther perimeter of my vegetable garden & in a few of the rows to deter rabbits. I wake up to see rabbits around my garden so I'm beginning to doubt the effectiveness of using mothballs. My question: are the mothballs dangerous? Do they release harmful chemicals into the soil? Is a fence the best deterrent?


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Answer from NGA
July 16, 2000

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Mothballs are not recommended for garden use due to the chemicals in them and the risk of accidental poisoning to pets and children. There are commercial animal repellents for rabbits as well as various recipes for homemade sprays based on garlic and/or red pepper; these need to be applied to the plants and reapplied as needed such as after rain. There are some gardeners who report success using predator urines, blood meal and so on as repellents. However, in my sad experience, the most reliable protection is indeed a fence.

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