Rabbits, although adorable, can wreak havoc on a garden. Rabbits love to chew on shrubs, young trees, flowers and vegetables. The trick is to keep the rabbits out of the garden without harming or trapping them. Commercial products are expensive, so try these all-natural homemade rabbit repellents instead. They are safe for rabbits, safe for the environment and safe for you and your family.
Homemade Rabbit Repellent: Hot Peppers
Rabbits and other garden pests are repelled by spicy peppers. You can use cayenne, jalapeño or habanera peppers for this all-natural homemade rabbit repellent. Wear gloves when preparing this recipe and do not touch your face. The North Dakota State University Extension Service recommends blending three peppers in a food processor and adding water to create a liquid. Strain the liquid through a cheese cloth to remove the particulates, or they will get stuck in the spray gun. Put the liquid in a jar and add two tablespoons of vegetable oil, a squirt of white glue and a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid. Shake the jar to blend. The additional ingredients help the liquid cling to the plant and to the rabbit. If this does not dissuade the rabbits, make a more concentrated solution, up to 30 per cent, and add some raw garlic cloves to blend with the peppers. Reapply every two weeks, to new growth and after heavy rain.
Homemade Rabbit Repellent: Blood Meal
Blood meal is dried blood from cattle slaughterhouses. It is a viable natural alternative as a homemade rabbit repellent, according to University of Illinois Extension Service. To protect your garden, sprinkle dried blood meal around the edge. You must reapply it often. Prolonged use can cause a nutrient imbalance in the area where it is applied.
Homemade Rabbit Repellent: Linseed Oil
Another homemade rabbit repellent involves linseed oil. According to Karen Armstrong, an extension agent in North Dakota, you simply mix 85 per cent raw linseed oil with five per cent detergent and 10 per cent water. Apply to trees and shrubs in the affected areas with a sprayer or a house-painting brush. Re-apply after heavy rain.
Homemade Rabbit Repellent: Habitat Control
Changing the environment in your garden or landscaping that is attracting the rabbits, can be the most effective rabbit repellent. Brush piles are an attractive shelter for rabbits. Remove them from your property or burn them, when and where it is permitted. Another easy habitat-control option is to trim shrubs of small branches at least 1.5 feet from the plant base.