How to Get Rid of Rabbits

A rabbit in a garden

How to get rid of rabbits munching on your garden and lawn? Home remedies include Irish Spring soap shavings, spicy foods and red pepper. You also can purchase repellents and fencing. One other option? Add some garden plants that are pungent to rabbits as a natural deterrent.

But that’s hopping to the good stuff. Let’s start with your rabbit problem…

Even bunny lovers have bad hare days. You know, when you walk outside and see rabbits tearing through your yard and garden with the speed of the Energizer bunny. The cute fluffy tail is suddenly an aggravation; the long ears are your biggest foe.

With powerful hind legs and a 24-inch vertical, wild rabbits are as elusive as Bugs Bunny. But instead of impersonating Elmer Fudd, there are a few simpler ways to prevent Bugs from making your garden his buffet.

If you’ve seen one rabbit in your yard, you probably have a dozen. Your neighborhood may be home to hundreds of hares. Wild rabbits breed with speed, giving birth to as many as 50 kits each year. If you see one noshing on your lawn, the rest of his family is nearby.

If you haven’t seen Thumper with your own eyes, investigate to be sure he’s the one destroying your herb garden. Before you comb the yard looking for stray hares, look for clean-cut damage.

Unlike other animals who leave jagged edges behind, rabbits are quite tidy. The majority of their damage will be within 2½ feet of the ground. You’ll notice branches, vegetables, and flowers will have a clean cut with sharp edges.

You’ll also notice brown spots where the rabbits have feasted. What their foraging doesn’t kill, their urine will.

How to Get Rid of Rabbits Naturally

Natural rabbit repellents can be found around your home. For example, sprinkle sulfur or plain talcum powder on your plants to keep the rabbits at bay. There are also various rabbit removal home remedies you can mix up and spray on your plants.

Other natural deterrents:

Red pepper

Rabbits also dislike spicy foods, so red pepper flakes also work as a deterrent.

Irish Spring soap

Some gardeners find that Irish Spring soap shavings also work. Fill small drawstring bags with the shavings and hang them throughout your garden.

Pungent plants

Besides carrots, bunnies love flowers, berries, most vegetables, and woody plants. While rabbits aren’t picky eaters, there are certain plants they’re less likely to chew on.

Plants with a pungent scent tend to be on the “yuck” list. Plant onions, garlic, and peppers to create a perimeter that keeps bunnies away from tastier options in your garden. For flower beds, natural ways to repel rabbits include planting sweet alyssum, salvia, and marigolds.

Store-Bought Rabbit-Removal Remedies


The most fail-safe way to keep Peter, Thumper, and Bugs out of your garden is simple fencing. Chicken wire is a cost-effective way to do this.

You’ll want to place the fencing about 4-6 inches deep, and have it about 3 to 4 feet above ground. Bend the top foot of the fencing away from your garden, much like a security fence. This will stop rabbits from jumping or climbing over the barricade.


Your local nursery or home and garden store carries repellent to encourage the bunnies to move on. And when you’re pulling out your hair over all those hares in your yard, it’s time to call a pest control expert near you for professional help.

Send Rabbits an Eviction Notice

No matter what remedy you choose, the best way to keep the rabbits away is to close down their hotels. Rabbits burrow and stay relatively close to home at all times. Look for abandoned burrows, piles of leaves and brush, or cozy spaces beneath pine trees. Clean these up as best you can to prevent rabbits from nesting and breeding.

Without a place to give birth, you’re less likely to have any inn-grown hares.

Main image credit: Tony Alter / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Alison Hoover

Alison Hoover

Alison is a Midwesterner through and through, and loves to spend her time baking and reading. Always at home in the dirt, as a kid, Alison raised a vegetable garden with her dad, and flower gardens with her mom.