How To Handle Rabbits In Your Garden

By John Ehrling Posted on 10/1/2018

For many of the gardeners out there, pests like squirrels, chipmunks, bugs, and rabbits can deal some serious damage to the gardens they’ve worked so hard to maintain. Many of us are familiar with the neighborhood cottontail rabbit that we often spot running across our lawns, digging under our fences, and maybe even chewing on our flowers. While that little cottontail doesn’t mean any harm, they are unaware of the harm that they do to our gardens.

Luckily enough for us gardeners, there are a few ways that we can identify damage from a rabbit, and a handful of ways that we can prevent this damage from happening again – with rabbit deterrent.

Rabbit in grassHow Can I Tell If A Rabbit Has Been In My Garden?

Rabbits often feed on any tender plant that they can find. In terms of our garden, we have delicately laid out a gourmet buffet for wild rabbits to come in, feel welcome, and enjoy some fine plant-like dining. For instance, garden pests like rabbits are drawn to flourishing vegetable gardens and love to feed on berries, beans, and lettuce, as well as herbs like cilantro and parsley. They may even go so far as chewing on ornamental trees and decorative shrubs!

To determine if you have a rabbit problem in your garden, look around for some basic signs like:

  • Rabbit Fur
  • Rabbit Feces
  • Gnawing On Trees/Plants/Fences/Hoses
  • Feeding On Plants

Most often, if a rabbit is feasting on your garden, you may notice things like fur stuck to fences or branches, small pellets (feces) on the ground in and around your garden, as well as gnawing marks on tree bark and other plants. The signs are easy to spot when you know what you’re looking for. And remember, identifying the problem quickly to keep rabbits out of your garden will help you to ensure the safety of your garden for the remainder of the growing season.

What Can I Do If A Rabbit Invades My Garden?

There are a number of different ways to go about eliminating the risk of a rabbit in your garden. These options can range anywhere from a complete garden fencing system, to individual plant fencing, to other solutions like trapping, repellants, and kill traps. Depending on your level of comfort, you may just want to simply repel rabbits, as opposed to setting up traps.

Garden fencing systems are cheap and effective solutions for protecting your garden from rabbits, however there is always the chance that the little neighborhood cottontail will dig right under it! Regardless of your choice, there are tons of viable solutions to this common problem that gardeners face every growing season.

You can also utilize chemical based repellents that are often unpleasant but nontoxic for the rabbits. The taste, smell, or stickiness of the repellent can usually be a strong enough deterrent for the rabbits! We highly recommend you DO NOT use these types of repellants on any vegetables, fruits, or plants any people might consume.

However, more important than any solution is to simply inspect your garden daily for signs of a rabbit invasion. Check regularly for vulnerable plants or vulnerable locations in a current fencing system. Be sure to look for rabbit fur or feces, and consistently inspect nearby trees or fencing systems for signs of gnawing. Spotting these signs immediately will help you to determine the most appropriate solution for ridding your garden of rabbits.

Remaining vigilant is always key to maintaining a healthy and flourishing garden all year long!