Rabbits Are Cute for Easter but They Can Wreak Havoc in Your Garden

It’s almost time for Easter, and no icon represents the holiday quite like the cute and cuddly rabbit.

Easter was a pagan fertility ritual long before it became a Christian holiday. And rabbits represent fertility, just like the egg does.

Rabbits may be cute but they can put a hurt on your garden. Lean how to prevent the furry ground rats from destroying your hard work now!

You’ve heard the old phrase”breed like rabbits.” Spring is the time of new birth in nature.

Rabbits can be cute and cuddly in the pet store or when they come in the form of chocolate Easter bunnies in your basket. But if you have a garden, they can be real pests.

They are very adept at eating your tender vegetation and flowers.

The average gardener has long since stopped viewing rabbits as cute little critters with fluffy butts, and now sees them as destructive, oversized rodent pests.

While the determined gardener may experiences success by building a veritable fortress of rabbit-proof fences around their garden, with accents of chicken wire and possibly even high voltage, others are still searching for a more peaceful and aesthetically pleasing solution to rid their veggie patch of these pesky vegetarian thieves.

Rabbits have been known to eat rose bushes, thorns and all. They can eat an expensive flowering plant all the way down to a barely recognizable stub.

Fortunately, there are a couple of ways that you can address the problem.

Perhaps the most barbaric, you can be like Elmer Fudd and get out the shotgun, or resort to harmful traps or chemicals.

But, the rabbits are still kind of cute after all, aren’t they? It would be a shame to rely on these methods. Gardener’s Path understands this dilemma, and brings you the following five tips:

Five Ways to Banish Little Bunny Foo-Foo From Your Garden

1. Repel Them

Unfortunately, neither bad pickup lines nor crude jokes have any effect on rabbits. Instead, plant some naturally repellent plants in and around the rabbits’ favorite victims.

Rabbits avoid foxglove (Digitalis) and monkshood (Aconitum) because they’re poisonous plants.

Other plants simply smell gross to rabbits, or repel them for other reasons. A good bet is to plant some Mexican marigolds, dusty miller, garlic, onions, lavender, yarrow, butterfly weed, Russian sage, Stylophorum (Celandine poppy), and especially catnip!

And if some four-legged furballs are on your side (we’re talking about the pets here), remember that the smell of a garden frequented by a catnip-craving cat will also smell quite foul and fearsome to Bugs Bunny and company.

According to Healthy Planet Magazine, “There are many deterrents available that should be your first line of defense.” First, you can try putting up chicken wire or fencing. (Maybe they should make electric fencing specifically for garden pests…?)

But sometimes they can get around even the best fencing.

Instead, you can get some blood meal and sprinkle it around the plants. It can make a pretty smelly deterrent. But that’s the point.

Something else that you can try if you don’t like the smell of blood meal is a liquid called Plantskydd. It is also blood-based, but the smell dissipates in about a day.

Plantskydd Rabbits & Small Critters Organic Repellant 7lbs.

2. Startle Them

Fill 1-gallon (4-liter) glass bottles with water and set them among your plants. Sunlight bouncing off the glass may startle the bunnies, and send them fleeing. Other types of reflective yard art may do the trick as well.

You can also buy a motion-detecting automatic sprinkling system if you can afford it.

Individual automatic sprinklers are also available less expensively. But, depending on the size of your garden, you might need multiple hoses to make this an effective solution.

ELENKER Scarecrow Solar Motion Activated Animal Repellent Garden Sprinkler – simply hook it up to your existing garden hose.

3. Expose Them

No, you don’t need to shave their fluffy tails or open their tiny trench coats.

Instead, remove brush and keep grasses low, so those timid rabbits won’t have anywhere to hide.

4. Scare Them

Ferrets are skilled rabbit-chasers. If your request to borrow a weasel draws strange looks, wait until you see how they react when you beg for ferret poop instead.

Hopefully a pet shop or ferret-owning friend will stop laughing for long enough to help you out, and you can scatter the droppings around your plants.

If you have a menagerie that includes indoor cats, keep in mind that soiled cat litter from a cat that has killed and eaten wild animals is one of the best organic rabbit repellents around.

If the smell isn’t a nuisance to you, spread the dirty cat litter – while it’s still fresh – around your garden once a week.

Please keep in mind that pregnant women should avoid exposure to cat waste.

5. Attract Them

Attract them away from the garden, that is.

Plant a patch of clover or alfalfa away from your main garden to divert the rabbits’ attention, and satisfy their voracious appetites. If you can’t beat them, feed them the stuff you don’t want.

So, next time these long-toothed thieves encroach on your territory, pull out this tip list and get to work! Or, get a head start and begin accumulating rabbit repellants before spring sneaks up on you again.

Bonus: some of these tips may also work to keep deer from eating away all of your hard work as well.

What will you do to keep hungry bunnies away from your garden patch this year? Let us know in the comments!


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Everybody loves the Easter bunny, right? But it's not quite as cute when rabbits overtake your veggie patch. Learn the top tips to repel these common pests. Read more now on Gardener's Path.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.

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Jeddie
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Jeddie

A well written article! Unfortunately, the buns in our area seem to like the marigolds and dusty miller. We have been successful with 1 tsp hot sauce to one quart of water sprayed on the “No Munch” zone.

T Renner
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T Renner

Thanks for the tips. However, rabbits are not rodents. They are lagomorphs!

Allison Sidhu
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Allison Sidhu

You are absolutely correct! This article’s on our list for an update. smile

Pam
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Pam

I have had success using bamboo sticks and fishing line. I arrange the bamboo sticks around lilies and other rabbit desirables. I tie the fishing line around the sticks in a ladder fashion leaving trailing ends that reach to the ground. I also tie fishing line on the “ladder” in between the sticks and let it wind to the ground. The fishing line moves with the slightest breeze which deters the skittish rabbits and deer. Plus I don’t see it. I live on an acreage and enjoy the wildlife but I enjoy my plants more.