I have heard urine will scare rabbits away
from the garden. Is this true? If not, what will work to
keep rabbits away?
Now just think this through.
You're a hungry rabbit and you see a tasty plant to
eat. As you approach it, you smell a predator
mark, let's say a fox. Are you surprised to smell
a fox? Not at all - you expect that foxes will be
marking their range. Are you deterred? Maybe
a little, but you'll eat nonetheless.
You are going
to be very wary of actual foxes that may be about.
If none show up, you're fine.
I know from Roddy that he always expects to be eaten
on every day, but it has NEVER slowed down his
Actually, rabbits use their hearing sense to detect
real predators more than they use any smells that may or
may not mean a predator is actually in the area.
They have excellent hearing.
Urine is used by species as territorial boundries
within their species. If predator
urine actually chased away prey, all the prey within
predators territory would leave, and the
predator would starve.
Given all this, are you surprised this doesn't work
Rabbits do have a sense of taste, BTW, so spraying
plants with distasteful materials will deter them IF
they are not too hungry and IF there are other (more
pleasant) food sources nearby. Smells which really
do repel rabbits are blood and mothballs, but
mothballs can be toxic to other animals, so don't use
them. But urine simply does not trigger the alarm
response in prey.
Now, how do you fix the problem?
A major deterrent to the rabbit population is to get
rid of their natural cover. Keep grass mown, clear away
any brush and cut any unwanted shrubbery. With no where
to hide, these creatures will usually find a safer place
Some avid gardeners swear by these methods, others
scoff, but as most are free they are worth a try.- A
piece of plastic hose laid on the ground to mimic a
snake, a bowl of water because it is believed that
rabbits are afraid of their own reflection, noise makers
like chimes, tin foil or tin cans tied together. Last
year we tried cayenne pepper. Although this method was
initially successful, the need to reapply due to the new
growth and moisture caused it to be more trouble and
expense than it was worth.
Good luck to you with your rabbits. Keep in mind, in
some cases it is better to make your peace with the
creatures and co-exist. They can be wise in their own
way, and make great friends if you can get past the
initial irritation. At least that is the way it worked
with my old pal Roddy.