What (Natural) Smells Keep Rabbits Away?

They may be cute and fluffy as they hop around your yard with their cotton-puff tails, however, rabbits are to your garden what a hurricane is to your shed.

Rabbits have a very keen sense of smell and the smells that repel them the most include the musk and urine smells from animals that rabbits consider to be predators, as well as ammonia, garlic, crushed red peppers, and vinegar. You can also grow geraniums and wax begonias in a protective radius around your garden.

So how do you keep them out? What smells keep rabbits away? Check out the most effective rabbit repellent on Amazon now!

What Smells Will Repel Rabbits?

They’re not up there with dogs—in terms of their abilities to smell—but rabbits have a very sharp and complex sense of smell. They use it to hunt for forage and to sniff out and avoid potential predators. It’s both a defensive asset and a primary tool for finding food and survival.

So one of the best ways to get rid of rabbits, or to simply repel them from your property, is to use their sense of smell against them. You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Predator urine or musk
  • Garlic, sulfur, or ammonia scents
  • Spreading chili powder
  • Grow geraniums and wax begonias
  • Use blood meal

A great, natural repellent is one that either replicates or uses the real urine or musk from a predator. Coyote Urine is one such product that you can spread around the edges of your lawn once every two weeks to effectively repel rabbits and other pests.

Garlic, Sulfur, and ammonia are also excellent rabbit repellants that you can spread around the yard. You have to be careful, however, as these can be damaging to the plants in your garden as well.

One great idea that will repel rabbits and bring more color and vibrancy to your garden is to grow geraniums and wax begonias. Both plants are beautiful, don’t affect the other plants in your garden, and rabbits absolutely hate them.

A blood meal is a less savory repellent, regardless of how effective it is. If you use it, make sure it’s out of the “smelling” range of your patio.

What Are Good Homemade Rabbit Repellents?

You can make homemade rabbit repellents out of so many ingredients, for cheap, and with multiple dispersion methods.

  • Homemade Rabbit Repellent Spray
  • Homemade Rabbit Repellent Spread
  • Cayenne Pepper recipe
  • Bone meal recipe
  • Odor barriers

Of course, that’s just a few of the options at your disposal and all of the above are incredibly easy to make. The dried mixtures—if you make them small enough—can be spread with a traditional spreader while the liquid mixtures can be dispersed with a cheap spray bottle.

Repellent Spray

  • Mix Tabasco Sauce, crushed garlic, water, and dish detergent
  • Chili powder, raw eggs, black pepper, and water
  • Raw eggs, milk, water, and chili powder
  • Linseed oil, water, and dish detergent

Spreader Repellent

  • Crushed/powdered Irish Spring Soap Bars
  • Cayenne Powder and Bone Meal
  • Bone Meal alone

Another effective and natural barrier is to just grow your geraniums and wax begonias in a protective radius around your primary garden. All of the ingredients from above are effective repellents because of their smell.

You will have to reapply them each time that it rains or once every couple of weeks. There are a lot of ingredients in these lists and one important factor to understand is that rabbits hate the smell of these ingredients at an individual level.

That means that you are free to experiment as much as you want. No matter the combination you come up with, it will have an effect and experimentation is no more than finding the mixture that lasts and is the most effective.

What Is The Most Effective Rabbit Repellent?

One of the most consistently, highly rated rabbit repellents on the marketplace is a deer repellent as well. It’s called Nature’s Mace and it is extremely effective at keeping rabbits out of your garden and off your lawn.

The greatest benefit that Nature’s Mace offers is that it doesn’t harm the plants, flowers, vegetables, fruits, or anything else that you are trying to grow in your garden. You can’t smell it either, as our noses are nowhere near as sensitive as a rabbit’s.

As a runner-up, predator scents are also extremely potent rabbit repellents. The major problem with using them, however, is that you have to use them often or the smell dies off, especially after a good, solid rain.

Does Vinegar Keep Rabbits Away?

Vinegar is a much-hated smell for rabbits and it definitely keeps them away. The challenge with using vinegar is to get the smell to stick around.

The best way to distribute it is to spray it in places where it can stay for a little while, such as concrete patios, wood, rocks, driveways, or decks. Spraying it out on the grass will ensure that it loses its efficacy quickly.

If you decide to use vinegar, that’s fine, you just want to make sure you spread a good volume around and place it strategically in places that will last for as long as possible. Any good rain will wash most of it away, so apply it after a rain as well.

Will Mothballs Keep Rabbits Away?

Mothballs have zero effect on rabbits and will do absolutely nothing to keep them from straying into your garden. Rabbits may not appreciate their smell but that’s not going to stop rabbits from just ignoring them and moving onto the appetizing aspects of your garden.

In fact, mothballs are the worst response to a rabbit invasion that you can come up with. Mothballs are chemically harmful to the environment. They’ll kill anything that they’re near, including your grass, flowers, and other plants.

If it rains on them, they’ll partially or wholly dissolve into the ground, damaging, spreading, and killing root systems before they can potentially reach and pollute the underlying water table.

All Things Considered

Thankfully, mothballs aren’t necessary because there are so many effective solutions available. You can repel rabbits effectively and in the long term just with things that you probably have in your cabinet right now.