Ever thought about all the other uses for your precious herbs? One of the reasons why so many people plant them is because they’re natural rodent repellents. Of course, herbs alone can’t hold a candle to the best rabbit repellents on the market, the ingredients of which are often carefully selected and tested.
Whether you prefer liquid or granular repellents, there are some products that are quite superior to the rest. In this article, I’ll go over some of the finest brands in the business as well as the more useful products that can keep rabbits at bay and stop them in their tracks before they get near to your plants.
Best Rabbit Repellents - My Top 8 Picks
- Best Rabbit Repellents - My Top 8 Picks
- 1. Nature’s Mace Rabbit Treats
- 2. Liquid Fence Rabbit & Deer Repellent
- 3. Enviro Pro 11006 Rabbit Scram Repellent
- 4. Nature’s Mace Deer & Rabbit Mace
- 5. Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Granular Repellent
- 6. Ortho Deer B Gon
- 7. Plantskydd PS-VRD-3 Granular Repellent
- 8. Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent Concentrate
- Best Way to Use Rabbit Repellents
- Odor vs. Contact Repellents
- Common Ingredients
A single 2.5lbs jar of Nature’s Mace Rabbit Treats can protect over 2,500 sq. ft. of land against rabbits. This is a granular repellent that’s easy to spread and quite effective too. It also has good weather resistance and can last up to three to four weeks.
It’s recommended that you reapply at least once after the first use. Especially in areas that rabbits seem to favor. If there are lots of rabbits in your area, you may also want to reapply the pellets after a snowfall. Since they are weatherproof, all you’d have to do is remove the snow in affected areas before spreading the granules.
Because this is a potent formula, you may want to be extra careful. It’s recommended to not use this around children and to keep skin contact to a minimum. It’s one of the least smelly odor repellents, which is nice because it’s not going to stink up the joint.
These shaker treats are available in 2.5lbs jars and up to as much as 25lbs, should you need more. What’s also great is that they are designed to also deter deer from rummaging freely in your garden or on your lawn. They may not always work for deer though. As you may know, whether it’s deer repellent or attractant, it usually comes down to the individual deer.
Among the most notable ingredients are putrescent whole eggs, garlic powder, peppermint oil, and dried blood meal.
You can get a gallon of the Liquid Fence Rabbit & Deer Repellent for pretty cheap, and it really works. The scent alone is enough to keep hungry rabbits away from your precious edible or ornamental plants.
Perhaps what I like the most about this product is the built-in dispersal mechanism. The container comes with its own sprayer. You can grab onto the hose tip after removing the sprayer, pull it to extend the coiled tube, and then stick the hose tip into the cap.
Once you hear a snap, you’re ready to spray. The nozzle also comes with different spray patterns so that you can disperse the formula more economically or in more concentrated batches. It’s recommended that you do so along a perimeter and not so much on the plants themselves as you might taint them.
I should also mention that this formula is best-suited for dry seasons. Or, at least consider spraying when it’s not pouring or snowing. This product is not the most weatherproof option out there. But its effectiveness, when used properly, makes it a top contender nonetheless.
Enviro Pro is a brand that many homeowners turn to when they want to get rid of rabbits, moles, snakes, and other outdoor pests or dangerous critters. The granular 11006 Rabbit Scram comes in 6lbs or 25lbs containers.
It doesn’t require mixing with water or any other type of special preparation. But it does respond better to humid climates. For that reason, the manufacturer recommends using this formula more often if the weather is very dry or if your land is exposed to too much sunlight.
Just scoop and sprinkle to apply. You’ll probably get more out of it if you use it around the bed edges or drip lines of your endangered plants. An 18” wide strip should be enough but if you have a more serious infestation, 24” might be more appropriate.
Assuming that the weather cooperates, the strips should last you a good month or so. But with rainfall, you may have to reapply more often. As always, it’s best to avoid skin and eye contact.
The Nature’s Mace Deer & Rabbit Mace liquid spray comes in various sizes, with the 1-gallon container probably being the most economical. This should be enough to treat around 5,600 sq. ft. of land, more than enough for the average household.
One of the formula’s best features is its rain resistance. This means that you can use it all year-round. The liquid is quite odorless, at least for humans. Rabbits won’t like it one bit. You can even use it if you have a nighttime irrigation system in place, which makes it that much more valuable.
This liquid formula is also ready to use. It doesn’t need any water added in order to work. Among the list of ingredients, you’ll find white pepper, mint oil, putrescent whole egg, garlic, sodium lauryl sulfate, citric acid, and others.
Although concentrated and effective, the Deer & Rabbit Mace ready-to-use formula is quite odorless. It can also be applied on plants too since it has taste components, but it’s generally more effective when used to create a barrier around plants.
Another reason why I recommend this is because the container comes with its own sprayer. This will make the application as well as storage easier.
Liquid Fence packages its granular rabbit repellent in 2, 5, and 40lbs containers. Unless you’re trying to treat acres of land, I’d suggest the 5lbs container as the best deal overall for a typical household. Precautionary but not too expensive either.
This is a scent repellent, which means that you won’t have to treat your plants with it, just a perimeter around your plants. It works for both edible and ornamental plants and can protect your land from more than just rabbits, obviously.
The granules have good water resistance and should handle both snow and rain. At least as long as it doesn’t rain immediately after dispersing granules on the ground. You should avoid watering for a few hours after application.
Another positive aspect is the height protection. Even when placed on the ground, the granules should offer protection for up to 24” in height. They are also long-lasting, which I managed to confirm, since you won’t have to reapply for a period of four weeks or so. Needless to say, excessive rainfall may shorten that period.
This formula uses putrescent whole eggs, garlic, potassium sorbate, thyme oil, and a few other ingredients that rabbits find objectionable. Did you know that rabbits and deer aren’t crazy about thyme oil? I didn’t either. Live and learn!
The Deer B Gon granules are only available in 2lbs containers. However, one container should be enough to cover around 1,440 sq. ft, which is pretty good for the money. Besides, the effect is fairly long-lasting and you may not need to do it again for around three weeks.
You can use the Deer B Gon container like you would a salt shaker. A few shakes per patch of grass should keep you covered and rabbit-free for a good amount of time. You may also notice that the formula is quite odorless. Even though this may imply a lack of potency in some products, it’s not the case here.
In fact, there’s enough cinnamon and clove oil, along with putrescent whole egg solids, in the Ortho formula to keep more than rabbits away. This combination of ingredients should also take care of mice, deer, and other bothersome animals.
The granules aren’t infallible though. The efficacy stops at around 12” in height. This doesn’t mean that your taller ornamental plants. Deer (since they keep their noses low to the ground) and any non-flying creatures should hit the 12” tall barrier and keep out. Creating a continuous barrier around the targeted area is very important if you want to stop rabbits in their tracks.
Here’s an organic alternative for those of you who are more environmentally cautious or distrustful of synthetic chemicals. The Plantskydd PS-VRD-3 works on rabbits, voles, moose, deer, beavers, and even porcupines (or at least that’s what the manufacturer claims).
It’s an interesting formula that relies solely on dried blood to get the job done. It’s highly concentrated though, and you can get it in 3.5lbs or 8lbs containers, depending on how serious your problem is.
I also like that his works on low-lying plants as well as the taller ones. The PS-VRD-3 should help you protect plants up to 2ft. tall, which means that it’ll protect against creatures that don’t or can’t climb. Another reason why I recommend this product is the ease of use.
Having a shaker head is a great feature. You’ll be able to avoid product waste and maintain a consistent amount.
You may also appreciate the fact that one application, if properly done, can last up to six or more weeks. That’s almost double compared to the competition, which also makes this one of the more affordable options.
The Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent Concentrate is a more powerful liquid formula that you may have to resort to if your situation is dire. It contains almost twice as much putrescent egg solids than other similar formulas, which makes it more pungent and potent. It’s effective but humans will be able to smell it too.
It also lasts longer and fares better in wet areas. It’s suitable for any season, as long as you prepare your soil for application, such as shoveling snow out of the way.
Although deemed harmless to plants, this is not a solution that you’ll want to spray on your edibles. You’re better off creating a barrier.
This formula is not ready to use. It’s a concentrate, which means you’ll have to dilute it in water before spraying. The instruction is 12.8oz of concentrate per gallon of water. It’s highly soluble in water. This means that it’s easy to dilute but also easy to run off when it rains
Therefore, you will get more out of it if you spray it when the weather and soil are drier.
Best Way to Use Rabbit Repellents
Before exploring in further detail how to compare and pick rabbit repellents, here are some tips on how to use them safely. It’s important to understand that some repellents may be toxic to your plants.
Even those that aren’t toxic may still pollute your plants and make them taste and smell off. If you want to avoid tasting repellent in your salads or ruining your entire batch of pickles, you might not want to apply directly on the plants. Create a repellent barrier around your yard instead.
Apply the repellent along your fence line or wherever little rodents come from. You might be able to repel the rabbits before they even enter your domain.
Odor vs. Contact Repellents
Contact repellents are not used as often as odor repellents. Also known as taste repellents in some circles, these products are generally applied directly to the plants that you want to protect. Rabbits will then avoid touching them, after the first nibble of course.
These types of repellents typically contain foul-tasting stuff (to rabbits) like hot pepper sauces, fungicides, or putrid eggs. This won’t be a problem for you if you use them on ornamental plants. But for your edible plants, you’d have to clean them thoroughly before eating, if it’s even possible to remove all traces.
For the above reason, odor repellents are often preferred. These come in spray or granules for distribution around the plants, preferably together with the garden fence, and sometimes directly on plants. They contain a variety of natural substances that smell awful to rabbits.
Some of them can leave a strong smell for the first few days. Fortunately, the human olfactory sense is not that great, so you usually won’t be able to smell it after a few days. But rabbits and rodents would often be able to smell it for weeks after that, depending on the formula and application.
Putrescent whole egg solids and dried blood are often used in combination to create rabbit repellents. These formulas usually contain other stuff too.
For example, herbal oils such as peppermint oil are known rodent repellents. Cinnamon oil and clove oil are the other ingredients that you might come across since their odor is quite powerful and easily detected by hungry rabbits and deer.
Not all manufacturers use the same formula or ingredients. It’s not uncommon to find repellents that rely on one ingredient either.
Pure dried blood repellents are quite common and preferred by some for environmental-friendliness.
Two other things that I look for in rabbit repellents are ease of use and lasting effect. If a container of repellent comes with a shaker top or with its own spray nozzle, they’ll probably score higher in my book, assuming all else equals.
Concentrates may be preferred by some. It’s easier to store concentrates and they’re always cheaper on a per volume basis after dilution. It’s like buying a powdered drink in a small box compared to buying a 12-pack of the same drink.
Repel Rather than Trap
A lot of people probably still use traps to get rid of a few rabbits. Others may resort to homemade repellents. But the more humane way of tackling this issue will always be a specialized repellent which you can use to create a barrier around your edible and ornamental plants.
You’ve probably noticed by now that rabbit repellents can be quite different from each other. But I’m confident that you can’t go wrong with any of the above.