Gardening with Rabbits and Other Wildlife Problems

Spring has come and your perennials’ leaves and blooms are beginning to appear. Unfortunately, so may unwelcome wildlife as well.

Choosing ornamental plants that are less palatable to animals is recommended to keep your plants from being on their lunch or dinner menu. However, this is not always enough. Animals choosing your plants are opportunistic feeders. This means despite many plants not being their favorites, they will still make it a meal if it keeps them alive.

As a homeowner, your choice is to let your local wildlife feast or pursues a repellent.

Deer and rabbits may at first be cautious of a new smell or action, but given time and their natural curiosity, they will overcome the fear and move in. Before you start to channel your inner Mr. McGregor, be sure to check out the different safe ways to protect your plants while deterring your Peters and your Bambis.

leftovers of a rabbit’s meal/the remains of daffodils

Choose your formula: Liquid and granular pest repellents such as Natures Mace or Bobbex are just a few environmentally and humane granular and liquid type repellants that are available to use and safe for your plants. Garlic odor clips, by Luster Leaf, is a product that some of our clients have mentioned. There are also different plants and herbs you can plant that will deter the animals.

For ornamental plants only, consider Repellex Systemic Repellent. Plants take up the fiery substance, capsaicin, into their leaves, making plants unpalatable. *For use on ornamental plants only.

Get physical: If sprays and granular formulas aren’t for you, there are still ways to protect your gardens with a little more effort and physical presence.

Fences can be effective, but are not the most aesthetically pleasing and can be problematic for keeping out deer who can leap as high as 9’. Motion activated sprinklers and LED flashing lights can be effective deterents, and Ultrasonic pest repellant like “The Eliminator” or the 6 in 1 Pest Soldier Sentinel Animal Repellant seem to have good results. Never underestimate the presence of a good plastic decoy owl or hawk as well!

Keep them on their toes: Remember to diversify your repellants for the best results. Animals will become comfortable to certain measures you may take. It may take trial and error to find what works best for your gardens and the creatures wishing to peruse them.


Still stumped? Don’t hesitate to give us a call and Harvey can be of more assistance. As always, if you’re looking to install a new project, call our office at 630-365-3210 or send us an email through our website to get in touch.

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