How to Make Inexpensive, Organic Rabbit Repellent

How to make your own rabbit repellent If you have had any contact with me in the last three years, you know that I struggle with rabbits. I have annuals hanging in baskets far out of reach of the rabbits and my vegetables growing safely behind chicken wire, but I really wanted to see some bulbs come up out of the ground unobstructed. When I found bulbs on sale for $1.00 a bag at Walmart last fall I decided to give them a try. As you can see from the above picture, it didn’t start out so well! Then I discovered how to make my own inexpensive, organic rabbit repellent.

How to make your own rabbit repellent - frugal, DIY treatment

How to Make Rabbit Repellent

Items needed:

  • empty milk jug, water
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap


To make the repellent fill an old milk jug with water, add 5 crushed garlic cloves, a teaspoon of crushed red peppers (you can save a packet from the pizza delivery for this) and 1 Tablespoon of dish soap. Shake well; then let it sit in the sun for a day or two to make sure the water is saturated with the flavors and smells. Shake well, then spray or pour on the plants that you don’t want the rabbits to eat.

I had to reapply once a week for a couple of weeks to convince the rabbits that my tulips were never going to taste good again. With my other bulbs I sprayed them as soon as they started to poke through the ground and then reapplied the repellent once a week and after it rains.

How to make your own rabbit repellent Tulips that have been treated with rabbit repellent. I have even had to treat flowers like marigolds and sunflowers that rabbits are not supposed to like with my homemade rabbit repellent.


  1. Alea says

    I also tried blood meal with some success, but it didn’t stick to the plants (that is what the dish soap is for) and it was quite expensive.

  2. Lynne P says

    Anyone hear of using human hair clippings to keep bunnies away?

    I need a suggestion to keep them from chewing the electric wires to the lights I have in the flower bed. They chewed right through them & started on the thicker cord to my water fountain, but gave up (I hope) because it's so thick.

    I have the wires lifted off the ground (wound through stakes that are intended for growing tomatos,) but there has to be something better. I prefer a homemade grannual to keep them away. My sprinkler system would wash off a liquid everytime it waters.

    • Pearl Fournier says

      Lynne, Sorry to say that human hair doesn’t work on rabbits here on Cape Cod.

      I used hair in little pouches made from knee-highs to keep away the deer. That works beautifully especially around all my Hosta which is a “treat” for the deer”.

      It seems the only thing that works on rabbits is a garlic tonic similar the the one posted.

      Good Luck

      Good luck

    • kacy says

      Human hair works pretty good for deer though. My grandma used to give us all hair cuts in her yard whenever the deer would start coming into the yard and tearing it up. But I don’t remember it keeping rabbits away.

  3. Judi says

    Our elderly neighbor had a beautiful garden she tended the old fashioned way, with hoes, maddox (or mattox), etc. and the area just beyond the garden was unkept – grass grown waist high. Her garden was straighter than any I’d seen plowed with more modern equipment and she had the most beautiful rose bed I’d ever seen. Older people used to know how to lessen damage to their crops naturally and she had tricks I’d never seen in my life. She had placed glass gallon jars – (like the smaller jars we use for canning), one sitting upright half full of water between rows , but I cannot remember if there was one per row. When asked what they were for, she said it scared the rabbits away from the garden area and they didn’t raid her garden with those out there. Neat. Worked for her, I’d be interested if it worked for anyone else since I can no longer tend a garden.

  4. Nanci Haskin says

    Is this treatment safe for dogs. I don’t want to use something that will prevent my dog from going in the yard, but he’s taken a liking to eating rabbit poop, which there is plenty of. Any suggestions?

  5. Fran G. says

    I actually suggested to a friend who was having trouble with deer eating her plants that she try this. She only used red pepper flakes steeped in water, but she said it worked!! So I think this is a ‘critter repellent’, not just a rabbit repellent.

    • says

      Good to know! I have a 6 foot high fence around our property that keeps many of the wild animals off of our property, so I haven’t been able to try it out on deer.

    • Bob Shamaert says

      Keeping deer out of my garden was a snap after an old timer up in Montana shared a great trick with me; pound some 4 or 5 foot all stakes in the corners of the garden and then get some clear fishing line. the lighter the better. Tie the line to the stakes as if you are making a 3 strand wire fence. I watched the deer head straight for my strawberries and when they walked into the fishing line the lead deer did a back flip. they stood there with these astonished looks on their faces and stomping their front feet. Another deer in the group of 3 deer there tried it too and when she walked in to the fishing line about jumped out of her hide and all 3 took off like a shot…..never had trouble with deer getting in to my veggie garden again.

  6. Esther says

    Is there something special about red pepper? I have a variety of very hot dried peppers in addition to red in my kitchen, such as ghost and habanero. Would crushing those and adding to the red work as well? The critters in my neighborhood seem to be networking….and seem to have developed quite the appetite over the long winter!

  7. Bobbe says

    I tried the human hair…placed it around a daisy plant. It worked, for about a week. I had my husband go out and….urinate on my flower bed. This worked, for 2 days. I’ve tried the liquid fence…it kind of works…kind of not. So I’m going to try this. Is this necessary to reapply after a rain??

  8. laura says

    Does this work on veggies too (when the plants are first growing abd the rabbits like to eat them, not so much when the veggies are out)? Would it be bad for the plants?

  9. Shelley says

    Thanks for the recipe. I have tried everything to keep the rabbits from eating my flowers besides putting fencing around the beds, which I didn’t want to do because it looks bad. They eat even flowers like marigolds right down to the ground. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on flowers only to have them eaten the day after I plant them. Do you think garlic powder and cayenne pepper would work also? I have them on hand right now, otherwise I have to wait until I get to town to buy the ingredients.

  10. Jo says

    August 9, 2014: liquified some black pepper, paprika, and fresh garlic; simultaneously added a lot of gentle hand soap while putting water in a watering can (for a throng mix) and while adding in the spices. Have a ton of rabbits that like most plantings. Right now it’s the wildflowers they are getting into that we planted. Will let you know in a few days if successful. Note: Will reapply as often as needed the first 2 weeks.

  11. Alison says

    I blend orange peels in water in a powerful blender and scatter this slurry around my tulips. Now we finally get tulips! Works like a charm! And oranges are in season when tulips start poking out of the ground.

  12. Mick Bolton says

    I added a tbsp of cayenne pepper to the recipe and ground Apache chilis. The rabbits completely lost interest in my plants and are probably running arounf frantically searching for a drink of water! :)


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