Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail may be awfully cute, but they also wreak havoc on the garden, nibbling away at vegetables, flowers, and shrubs. While Mr. McGregor’s solution of baking them into a pie is one option, there are more humane ways of keeping rabbits out of the garden—rabbit repellents.
Rabbit repellents include sprays that use foul-smelling organic material such as rotten eggs and garlic to ward off rabbits and granules of dried blood and urine from predators to scare them away. There are also physical options, including motion-activated sprinklers that spray unsuspecting rabbits with water, ultrasonic devices that deliver painful high-pitch frequencies, and even plain old chicken-wire fencing.
This guide will explore all the humane options for protecting a garden from rabbits while reviewing some of the best rabbit repellent options on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent Concentrate
- RUNNER-UP: Plantskydd Animal Repellent
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Nature’s Mace Deer & Rabbit Repellent 40oz Spray
- BEST TASTE-BASED: Ortho Deer B Gon Deer and Rabbit Repellent
- BEST SCENT-BASED: Enviro Pro 11025 Rabbit Scram Repellent
- BEST MOTION-ACTIVATED: Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler
- BEST PHYSICAL: Amagabeli 48×50 Hardware Cloth 1/2 Inch Chicken Wire
- BEST ULTRASONIC: Carestar Solar Ultrasonic Repellent Defender
- BEST NATURAL: Safer Brand Critter Ridder Rabbit Repellent
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Rabbit Repellent
Rabbit repellents range from sprays to ultrasonic devices to motion-activated sprinklers. Ahead, learn about all options available for repelling rabbits as well as the important factors you should consider when shopping for one.
Rabbit repellent comes in a variety of forms, ranging from physical fencing to sprays that scare rabbits away with the smell of predators.
- Odor and taste: Odor and scent-based repellents come in sprays and granules that emit an odor that is either unpleasant to rabbits or that mimics the smell of a predator. When a rabbit smells or tastes the repellent, it hops away. Odor- and taste-based repellents typically work with deer as well as rabbits.
- Motion-activated: Motion-activated rabbit repellents consist of a garden sprinkler with a motion sensor. When the rabbit trips the motion sensor, the sprinkler comes on, spraying the animal with water and scaring it away. The motion sensor uses a battery or solar cell for power and is typically sensitive enough that only small animals can trigger it.
- Ultrasonic: Ultrasonic repellents consist of a small box attached to a stake that sticks in the ground. The repellent periodically releases a tone that is inaudible to humans but irritating to rabbits, driving them away. These repellents typically have a solar panel that charges the battery that powers the device. These units will also work against other four-legged pests, including moles.
- Physical: Sometimes a good old-fashioned fence is what is needed to keep rabbits out of the garden. Chicken wire is one of the best fencing options. Since rabbits are capable of squeezing through tight spots, chicken wire with small holes is necessary to keep them out. Rabbits can also burrow, so a fence typically must be buried in the ground at least 4 inches to prevent a rabbit from digging its way into the garden.
Taste- and odor-based repellents come in various forms, including spray, granules, and concentrated liquid. Sprays present the most convenient option as they are ready to use and don’t require mixing. Simply point and spray to treat the area. Granules typically come in shaker bottles that make them also easy to apply. While both sprays and granules are water resistant, granules typically hold up better under wet conditions. Concentrated repellents require mixing; however, they offer much greater coverage and typically are a better value than ready-to-use granules or spray products.
Common ingredients for liquid and granule-based repellents are garlic, putrescent egg solids, white pepper, and even animal urine granules. Ingredients such as garlic and white pepper are foul-smelling and foul-tasting to rabbits, causing them to look elsewhere for a meal. Other ingredients play on a rabbit’s primal fears. Solid egg ingredients smell like a decaying animal that signals to a rabbit that a predator may be close, triggering its instinct to flee. Granules work similarly, using dry animal blood and urine that smells like predators to keep rabbits away.
All rabbit repellent products are designed to be humane and environmentally friendly. The substances used in spray, concentrated, and granule products consist of natural ingredients from plants, such as pepper and garlic, and animals, such as dried blood and urine. While one wouldn’t want to spray these repellents directly on edible foods, they are nontoxic, which makes them safe to treat the ground around these plants.
Nonchemical products such as sprinklers and ultrasonic repellents may cause distress to an animal, but they do not hurt rabbits, making them a humane as well as an environmentally friendly option for repelling these floppy-eared invaders.
Our Top Picks
The list below narrows the field to some of the best rabbit repellents by type. They include both spray and physical options. Any of the products below will help keep those rascally rabbits out of the garden.
Spray repellents offer one of the easiest solutions for keeping rabbits out of the garden, and this product from Liquid Fence is one of the best. It uses a mix of egg solids and garlic, two ingredients that rabbits can’t stand, to drive them away. Once dry, which takes about 6 hours, the scent is no longer detectable to humans but remains pungent to animals.
Liquid Fence resists rain and works for about 3 weeks before it needs to be reapplied. It’s also a versatile option as it will also keep deer, another common garden intruder, from munching on the veggies or flowers. This concentrated formula comes in a 40-ounce bottle, which is enough to cover about 6,000 square feet.
Not for the faint of heart, this repellent uses dried cow and pig blood to trick rabbits into thinking that predators are near, causing them to flee. In addition to being effective, it’s also easy to apply, thanks to a shaker-style 3.5-pound bottle, which is enough to treat 1,750 square feet. Simply shake around the base of plants that are 2 feet tall and shorter.
With its all-natural ingredients, it’s safe to use on fruit and vegetable gardens as well as flowers and shrubs. This repellent is versatile, too. In addition to rabbits, it will also repel deer, elk, chipmunks, and other creatures interested in nibbling on garden plants. Plantskydd is also available in 8-pound bottles, is water resistant, and lasts up to 8 weeks before needing a reapplication.
This simple spray option from Nature’s Mace combines the ease of a ready-to-use spray bottle with a low price, making it a great affordable and easy-to-use option for solving one’s rabbit problems. It uses a mix of garlic, egg solids, white pepper, and peppermint oil to create a formula that repels, using both taste and scent.
To use, simply spray it around the base of plants—a 40-ounce bottle is enough to treat up to 1,400 square feet. Its nontoxic ingredients make it safe to use around pets and children. After two applications 1 week apart, the spray works for up to 30 days and won’t wash off with rain or irrigation.
With a recipe that includes clove oil, egg solids, and cinnamon oil, this concentrated mix creates a taste and smell that is unpleasant to rabbits and other animals. And while the smell is also unpleasant to humans when first applied, once dry, humans can no longer smell it.
Ortho Deer B Gon is also one of the more versatile repellents on the market, as it comes in a concentrate, granules, and a hose-end sprayer. And it also works on deer. The concentrate comes in a 32-ounce bottle that covers 10,000 square feet and will last for 30 days before requiring reapplication. This product is all-natural but should not come into contact with vegetables or other edible plants.
This granule-based repellent is loaded with ingredients that rabbits simply don’t like, including dried blood, white pepper, clove, meat meal, and garlic, all of which produce an odor that drives rabbits away. To repel the cute but pesky creatures, simply sprinkle it around shrubs and gardens that rabbits are invading.
The pellets do not give off a harsh odor to humans, they resist rain, and they will not harm animals or the environment. Rabbit Scram comes in 25-pound tubs, which is enough to cover about 28,000 square feet, making it an ideal option for those with a big rabbit population to contend with or who need to treat a large area.
This repellent uses the power of water to drive rabbits and other animals from the yard. It pairs a powerful sprinkler with a motion detector that scans the yard day and night. When it senses motion, it unleashes the sprinkler, hosing down the intruder and causing it to flee.
With a 120-degree viewing angle and range of 40 feet, this sensor can pick up movement over an area of 1,600 square feet. The motion detector, which has an adjustable line of sight, can also discern between movement from animals and blowing trees and plants, eliminating false triggers. A long spike keeps the sprinkler firmly rooted to the ground. The Yard Enforcer uses four AA batteries and attaches to a standard garden hose. In addition to repelling animals, this model also doubles as a sprinkler with a programmable 30-minute timed watering cycle.
Sometimes the best way to keep rabbits out of the garden is by placing a strong physical barrier between them and the plants. With its small ½-inch holes, this chicken wire is ideal for creating a fence around a garden, keeping even the smallest bunnies out.
A 19-gauge thickness makes it durable while still being thin enough to cut with wire cutters for installation, and a 4-foot height makes it tall enough to keep out even larger rabbits. It comes in 50-foot and 100-foot galvanized rolls that are rust resistant. For best results, bury the fence 4 to 6 inches into the ground to prevent rabbits from burrowing under it.
While other repellents target a rabbit’s sense of taste and smell, this repellent creates a frightening display of lights and sound to send Peter Rabbit packing. The unit consists of a box that includes ultrasonic speakers, bright LED lights, and a motion detector that can cover 120 degrees. Movement from small animals triggers the motion detector, causing the lights to flash and the alarm to go off. While the sound is irritating to rabbits, it is emitted at such a high frequency that it’s nearly inaudible to humans.
A large solar panel on top of the unit charges a battery that powers both lights and sound, or the battery can be charged via a USB cable. The unit has multiple mounting options, and it can be inserted into the ground or attached to a wall or fence.
This all-natural product uses a mix of taste and smell to keep rabbits and other pests out of the garden. Its main ingredients are garlic, which tastes foul to rabbits and deer, and putrescent egg, which puts off the scent of a dead animal, indicating to a rabbit that a predator may be near. Though the spray’s smell is noticeable when applied, after a few hours, it dries and is undetectable to humans.
The formula is weather resistant and works for up to 90 days, making it one of the longest-lasting repellents on the market. It’s available in a 32-ounce ready-to-use spray bottle that covers up to 500 square feet.
FAQs About Rabbit Repellent
If you have questions about how to apply rabbit repellent or when to use it, then read on for answers to these and other commonly asked questions about these products.
Q. Can I use rabbit repellents in the winter?
Yes. In fact, rabbits remain active during the winter, which means they may still be chomping on trees and shrubs even after they’ve lost their leaves. Most rabbit repellents will work in cold or warm weather.
Q. Do I have to reapply repellent after it rains?
Most repellents are resistant to rain. However, that resistance is limited. Spray and granule repellents may begin to lose their efficacy after a heavy rain, requiring reapplication.
Q. What’s the best time to apply the repellent?
Most rabbits do their feeding at night, so apply the repellent toward the end of the day when rabbits are getting ready to emerge to feed.
Q. Are rabbit repellents harmful to animals?
Since rabbit repellents have no synthetic additives, they won’t harm rabbits or other animals, including pets. That said, avoid applying the repellent to edibles as it may negatively affect the taste.