Rabbit Problems In The Garden - Knowledgebase Question

Carol Stream, IL
Question by burger4
May 24, 2001
What would you suggest to discourage the neighborhood rabbits from reducing my garden plants that range from oriential lilies to grapes and peppers down to a stem stub sticking out of the ground? I have seen powders that can be applied to the ground near the plants (I assume it burns their feet) but I assume the powder is short term solution that must be constantly reapplied. My neighbor seems to trap an endless supply of rabbits in live traps but after several years this seems to be a fruitless effor. More dramatic solutions in general are not permited since I am in a suburban residential neighborhood west of Chicago.

Answer from NGA
May 24, 2001


There are a number of animal repellent sprays that would help deter rabbits from eating the flowers. Try 'Get Away' or 'Deer Away' available from Burpee. 'Deer Away' is efffective in deterring deer and rabbits and lasts 7-10 days without washing off. Natural scent repellents such as coyote and fox urine are also available from Burpee. Fencing can deter rabbits; a 1" chicken wire fence needs to be 2 feet high and buried at least 6 inches deep around your flowers. Consider also interplanting your flowers with garlic, onions, Mexican marigold or Dusty Miller. Bunnies tend not to like their aroma. Also, you can make your own animal repellent mixture by mixing a few teaspoons of cayenne pepper, and a dash of soap in a quart of water. Spray on the plants you want to protect. You can try to scare rabbits from your garden by burying empty pop bottles with the tops poking up a few inches above the ground. The eerie whistle that results when the wind blows can scare them away. Sprinkling blood meal, ground hot peppers or human or dog hair around plants is also sometimes effective. Best of luck!

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