How To Get Rid Of Rabbits Under Deck, Shed, Porch or House

Spotting a cute, fluffy rabbit in your yard isn’t usually a red flag. After all, rabbits have a reputation for being sweet and gentle, so much so you may want to show your kids the next time one comes out. But the problem is, rabbits can be incredibly destructive to gardens and landscaping. Plus, they breed so fast, your property may soon be overrun. They can carry diseases, too.

There are many potential options for how to get rid of rabbits under decks, sheds, porches, or houses. Catch and release, scent-based deterrents, and motion-activated spray devices are all solid choices. With those, no harm comes to the rabbits, but they’ll get them off of your property.

Which option is best may depend on the size of your issue, where the rabbits are staying, and your preferences. If you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of rabbits under a deck, shed, porch, or house, here’s what you need to know.

How To Get Rid Of Rabbits Under Deck

How to Determine If Rabbits Are the Problem

Before you worry about how to get rid of rabbits on your property, it’s wise to make sure that rabbits are actually the issue. In some cases, it’ll be incredibly obvious. If you keep seeing rabbits head under your deck, shed, porch, or house, it’s likely safe to assume they’re the problem. The same goes for the presence of clear tracks.

However, if you haven’t actually spotted rabbits or tracks on your property, a bit of due diligence is a must. Look around the area you suspect is now housing rabbits and see if you can find any droppings. Generally, rabbit droppings are typically small, hard, round balls that are green or yellowish-brown in color. In most cases, the droppings are clustered together, too.

You can also look for bits of rabbit fur. Matted rabbit fur in the area could mean that you have a nest under your deck, shed, porch, or house. However, you may not find fur if rabbits temporarily take shelter on your property, so keep that in mind.

If you think rabbits are damaging your plants, look at the ends of broken twigs. With rabbits, the ends are usually neatly clipped. If the edges look ragged, you may be dealing with deer or another animal.

Are Rabbits Dangerous?

Are Rabbits Dangerous

In most cases, the biggest risk wild rabbits pose to people and household pets is disease. Wild rabbits are prey animals, so they aren’t typically aggressive toward people, dogs, or cats. Instead, they’ll usually favor running away over a confrontation, barring if they’re cornered or physically grabbed.

Even though they’re more likely to run than fight, diseased rabbits can pose a risk. They can pass along potentially fatal illnesses – such as rabies – to people or household pets, particularly if handled, grabbed, or bitten. They may also carry parasites, which can be present in their droppings, potentially transmitting to any person or animal that comes in contact with the feces.

Since that’s the case, it’s best not to handle wild rabbits. Additionally, it’s wise to figure out how to get rid of rabbits on your property. That way, you can reduce the overall risk to yourself, your family, and your pets.

It’s also important to note that rabbits can be incredibly harmful to certain plants. Along with eating many smaller garden plants in their entirety, rabbits may gnaw at the bark of trees or shrubs. If they do enough harm, it could kill the plant.

What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Rabbits?

Best Way to Get Rid of Rabbits

Generally speaking, the best way to get rid of rabbits is to use deterrents to encourage them to leave the area. With that approach, you don’t have to handle the rabbits, reducing your risk of disease and parasite transmission. Once they’re gone, you can take preventative measures to keep the rabbits out long-term.

However, the above approach typically works best if there is a nearby property that can serve as a home for the rabbits. If you live in a populated area without suitable open space, you may be better off with a catch and relocate approach. That creates an opportunity to move the rabbits outside the neighborhood or town.

How to Get Rid of Rabbits Under Deck, Shed, Porch, or House

1. Catch and Relocate

ANT MARCH Live Animal Cage Trap 32''x11.5'x13' Steel Humane Release Rodent Cage with Gloves for Rabbits, Stray Cat, Squirrel, Raccoon, Mole, Gopher, Chicken, Opossum, Skunk, Chipmunks, GroundhogDepending on the number of rabbits on your property, you may be able to catch and release them. Look for humane cage traps. If you’re setting it at the entrance of a hole, a single-door version is fine. If you’re putting it on a runway, use two-door versions. That way, there’s a clear sightline all of the way through, increasing the odds that the rabbit won’t view it as a threat.

Once you find suitable options, place carrots, apples, or similar foods inside that rabbits enjoy, ensuring they’re positioned to cause them to hit the pressure plate. Set the trap carefully, and place it in a high traffic area.

After setting the trap, you need to check it at least twice a day. In most cases, once in the morning and once right before nightfall is best. That way, if you catch a rabbit, you can handle the situation in a timely manner. Plus, you can refresh the food as needed or figure out if you need to relocate the trap to catch the rabbit.

Once you’ve caught a rabbit, you’ll need to take precautions before handling the trap. You may want to cover it with a heavy blanket, as well as put on gloves. That way, you’re protected against bites or scratches.

When it comes to relocation, you want to head at least five miles away and find a suitable public property. Look for conditions that favor rabbits, such as dense shrubs, tall grass, or similar protective elements. Carefully open the trap, ensuring your hands stay away from the rabbit and that you’re not standing in its path. Then, let it leave on its own.

2. Vinegar and Garlic Spray

VinegarRabbits have highly sensitive senses of smell. Since that’s the case, certain strong or pungent odors can make an area seem less habitable.

One simple option for using scent to get rabbits to leave your property is white vinegar and garlic spray. Take an empty spray bottle and fill it with half vinegar and half water. Add two teaspoons of minced garlic to the mix and give the bottle a shake. Then, you can spray spots in your yard to make the area less attractive to rabbits.

Just be careful not to spray the mixture directly onto your plants, as it can cause wilting or damage. Instead, stick to the edges of structures, mulch, or similar spots if possible.

3. Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey's Premium Clumping Cat Litter Ultra Uncented | 99.9% Dust-Free, Low Tracking, Hard Clumping, Superior Odor Control & Natural IngredientsIf you own a cat, used cat litter can be a surprisingly effective way to get rabbits to leave your yard. Rabbits will recognize the odor as coming from a predator. Since that makes the property seem unsafe, they’ll often choose to relocate instead of risk staying around an area where a cat may be wandering.

Ideally, you want to position the cat litter near the source of the issue. For example, if you need to get rid of rabbits under a deck, focus on spots surrounding the deck. Just make sure that you don’t place cat litter in food gardens, as that isn’t always safe.

4. Motion-Activated Sprinklers or Air Cans

Havahart 5277 Critter Ridder Motion Activated Animal Repellent and Sprinkler - Repel Cats, Dogs, Chipmunks, Groundhogs, Squirrels, Skunks, Deer, and MoreMotion-activated sprinklers or air cans effectively scare animals away. When a rabbit (or another animal) gets close, the sprayer activates, sending out a spurt of water or burst of air. In some cases, the device also produces sounds that annoy rabbits when activated.

The sudden action startles the rabbit, causing them to leave the area. If the device goes off any time a rabbit tries to enter a part of your property that you’d prefer they stay away from, it typically encourages them to leave the area.

5. Chili Powder or Flakes

McCormick Dark Chili Powder, 20 ozChili powder or flakes are irritants to rabbits. While it won’t cause lasting harm, it does inflame membranes in their noses and eyes. By sprinkling chili powder or flakes around your garden or under your deck, shed, porch, or home, you’re making the spot less palatable or comfortable.

You can purchase chili powder or flakes in bulk and sprinkle them around your yard to encourage the rabbits to leave. Alternatively, you could soak sliced chili peppers (like jalapenos) in water or vinegar in a spray bottle and use the spray instead.

6. Onion and Chive Scraps

Both onions and chives are strong-smelling plants that irritate the noses of rabbits. If you use onions or chives in your cooking, sprinkling scraps in areas where you’ve spotted rabbits may get them to leave your property.

With this approach, you’ll want to place the scraps right where the rabbits are hiding. Placing them at the entrance of holes can be pretty effective, though generally spreading them in the immediate vicinity can also work.

7. Predator Scents

Wildlife 523 Coyote Urine, 4-OunceAs with the cat litter, bottled predator scents can convince rabbits to leave an area. Rabbits don’t want to stay in a spot where they feel they’re at risk. By applying predator scents that mimic the smells of a rabbit’s natural predators, they’ll usually head for another property.

Rabbits have many natural predators, including bobcats, coyotes, lynxes, and wolves. Consider which predators live in your area and use that information to pick the right option.

Just be aware that predator scents are quite strong and are unpleasant. Along with being noticeable to people, they may cause household pets distress. If you have a dog or outdoor cat, this might not be your ideal option.

8. Blood Meal

Down to Earth Blood Meal Fertilizer Mix 12-0-0, 5 lbIf you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of rabbits in your yard and also want to give garden plants a boost, a blood meal can be the answer. Blood meal can add nitrogen to the soil, making it a fertilizer.

The scent of blood meal makes rabbits believe that they’re at risk. As a result, they’ll typically leave if the smell remains. Just know that blood meal can wash away with the rain, so you may have to reapply regularly. Additionally, while rabbits usually run from blood meal, dogs may try to roll in it, so it isn’t a great choice if you have a dog.

9. Own a Dog

In some cases, introducing a dog to your yard (if you don’t have one currently) may get rabbits to move out from under your deck, shed, porch, or home. Dogs are predators, posing a risk to prey animals like rabbits. Since that’s the case, you’re effectively moving a potential rabbit enemy into your house, increasing the odds that the rabbits will relocate themselves.

10. Call a Pro

If you’re dealing with a large rabbit den or colony, hiring a professional may be your best bet. They’ll be able to remove the rabbits safely. Plus, they can provide recommendations – and, in some cases, make repairs – if issues with your structure are part of the equation.

How to Get Rid of Rabbits in Your Yard

How to Get Rid of Rabbits in Your Yard

Rabbits don’t have to live on your property to cause harm. Rabbits passing through can leave droppings, potentially spreading disease or parasites. Plus, they can wreak havoc on your garden or landscaping if they continuously stop by for a nibble.

Fortunately, many of the techniques above can get rabbits to steer clear of your yard. In most cases, you’ll want to start with scent-based options. Vinegar, garlic, chili powder, and onion can all make your yard a less appealing snack bar. Plus, they’re accessible and low-cost solutions. Just keep in mind that household pets may not appreciate those scents either.

If rabbits are heading to a particular spot in your yard, you can add a motion-activated sprayer to the mix. It won’t cause any harm to rabbits, people, or household pets. Instead, the quick burst of water or air is merely startling, but enough so that prey animals like rabbits will view it as a threat, encouraging them to leave.

For rabbits that keep getting into food gardens or landscaping, you can also add some plants that rabbits find unpleasant. While you’ll want to make sure that anything you add is safe for household pets, it’s an eco-friendly approach that can work wonders.

How to Keep Rabbits Away from Your House

Cut Tall Vegetation

Since rabbits are prey animals, they’ll often hide under cover to maintain their safety. By cutting down tall vegetation, you’re making your yard feel less welcoming. The rabbits will have fewer areas that they can use for cover, reducing the odds of making your property a long-term home.

Plant Rabbit Deterring Plants

Rabbits dislike the scents of specific plants. By adding them to your yard or garden, the plants act as a natural deterrent, decreasing the odds that rabbits will move onto your property or harm your garden.

Many herbs make great starting points. Mint, oregano, spicy globe basil, sage, lemon balm, Christmas basil, and chives may all deter rabbits. Vegetables like onions and leeks may do the trick. The same goes for catnip.

If you’d like to add flowers, marigolds, geraniums, snapdragons, lavender, yarrow, poppies, and periwinkle aren’t typically appealing to rabbits. You could also try planting spicy peppers if you want some color in your garden and major rabbit-repelling power.

Which plants work best for your garden may depend on your preferences, the other plants in the area, and whether you have pets that spend time in your yard. If you have a dog or cat that spends time outside, make sure you confirm that any plant is safe for them before adding it to your landscape.

Secure Structures

Rabbits typically look for places where they can hide when they’re choosing a spot to live or rest. If you want to prevent rabbits from moving onto your property, you need to secure any structures that could serve as good den locations.

Check around sheds, decks, porches, and patios looking for holes and nooks. Then, do the same around the perimeter of your house. If you find a possible entry point, closing the gap is essential. You can either repair the structure if that’s the issue or add chicken wire to keep rabbits out.

If you go with chicken wire, it’s wise to dig down a bit. When the fencing does into the soil, it makes it harder for rabbits to dig under it.

Chicken wire is also a simple way to prevent access to garden areas that may serve as food for rabbits. Again, you want to set the edge of the chicken wire in the soil, preferably at least four inches deep. That way, they likely won’t bother to dig under it.

Additionally, make sure the fencing is about two feet tall when measured from ground level. If it’s shorter, the rabbits may simply go over the top, defeating the purpose of the fence.

Remove Water Sources

In some cases, rabbits favor properties with easy-to-access water sources. By denying access to the water, you’re making the property a less attractive home for the rabbits.

If you have a stream, pond, or creek (natural or manmade), you may incidentally encourage rabbits to turn your yard into their home. In most cases, fencing off those types of water sources is your best option, as you usually can’t shut off, redirect, or remove them.

Use the same approach as you would for fencing off other areas to prevent rabbits from moving in. Chicken wire fencing is simple and cost-effective. Plus, if you bury one end and make the fence at least two feet tall, it typically works well.

Also, check your yard for water puddles or containers. If you have an item in your yard that’s at ground level and collecting water, such as a trash can lid, make sure to pick it up. If puddles collect in the same spots, consider filling the hole to prevent pooling.

Conclusion

If you were trying to figure out how to get rid of rabbits, you should have some solid ideas about where to begin. All of the options above are humane. Whether you prefer natural scent deterrents like vinegar, garlic, or onion or would rather try motion-activated sprays or catch and release, you can go with the strategy that makes sense for your property.

Did you find out everything you want to learn about how to get rid of rabbits under decks, sheds, porches, and houses? If so, let us know in the comments section below. Also, if you know of anyone who needs to get rabbits off of their property, feel free to share the article.

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