How to Keep Chipmunks & Rabbits Away From My Tomato & Flower Plants

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Things You'll Need

  • Hardware cloth, minimum 30 inches tall

  • Sturdy fence posts, minimum 30 inches tall

  • Fence clips or ties

  • Hammer

  • 1 pint water

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 hot pepper

  • Blender

  • Strainer

  • New water bottle

  • Dish washing detergent

  • Vegetable oil

Chipmunks are appealing, unless they begin to destroy your plants.

Chipmunks and rabbits might be cute, fluffy little critters, but when they decide to invade your garden they can also be the most devilish, persistent pests you can imagine. They can go over, under, around or through most kinds of barriers, and commercial repellents rarely keep these guys away. Despite their persistence, you can keep them out of your garden and away from your plants if you get a bit creative and put in a little extra effort.


Step 1

Remove any debris or unwanted bushes from the planned fence line. Chipmunks will use these as a means of getting over the fence, so clear everything back at least a foot so that they can't jump or climb in.

Step 2

Dig a narrow trench, at least 6 inches deep, completely around the area to be protected. Rabbits and chipmunks will try to dig under, but usually won't go under a fence buried at least 6 inches deep.

Step 3

Hammer posts into place along the trench. Line up the posts so that the fence, when attached, will fit down into the trench. Space posts about 6 feet apart.

Step 4

Attach the fence to the fence posts with clips, placing the fence down into the trench as you go. Make sure the fence line is tight and that the attachments are snug, so no animals can squeeze through. Also be sure the fence goes completely around the area and back to where it started, and is securely fastened.

Step 5

Fill the trench back in, packing down the soil to discourage digging. The fence is now complete, and should work to keep both rabbits and chipmunks away from your tomato and flower plants.


Step 1

Mix a clove of garlic and a hot pepper with 1 pint of water in a blender. Run it through a strainer to remove any solids.

Step 2

Pour the liquid into the spray bottle. Add a drop each of dish washing detergent and vegetable oil to the mix and shake well.

Step 3

Spray the mixture on all plants to be protected. Get all areas where the rabbits and chipmunks can reach.

Step 4

Repeat the treatment often. Rain and sprinklers can wash off this repellent or reduce its effectiveness.

Step 5

Sprinkle garlic or baby powder on and around plants to further discourage these pests. Rabbits in particular will avoid anything with garlic or baby powder on it.


You can use live traps to catch chipmunks, but they must be taken 20 miles or more away before they are released, or they will find their way back to your garden. Trapped and released rabbits will not travel so far, but still should be taken 5 or 10 miles away, to reduce chances that they will return. Deer repellent often works to keep rabbits and chipmunks away from the garden, if you don’t want to make your own mixture.


Mothballs or moth flakes are sometimes recommended to discourage all kinds of garden pests. But these are toxic to humans, pets and wildlife and should not be used as a repellent.


Cindy Quarters

A recipient of a business and technology degree from the master's program at West Coast University, Cindy Quarters has been writing professionally since 1984. Past experience as a veterinary technician and plenty of time gardening round out her interests. Quarters has had work featured in Radiance Magazine and the AKC Gazette.