Rabbits, although adorable, can wreak havoc on a garden. Rabbits love to chew on shrubs, young trees, flowers and vegetables. The trick is to keep the rabbits out of the garden without harming or trapping them. Commercial products are expensive, so try these all-natural homemade rabbit repellents instead. They are safe for rabbits, safe for the environment and safe for you and your family.

Cottontail rabbit on grass
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Natural repellents help keep gardens free from rabbit damage.

Hot Peppers

Rabbits and other garden pests are repelled by spicy peppers. You can use cayenne, jalapeno or habanera peppers for this all-natural homemade rabbit repellent. Wear gloves and goggles when preparing this recipe, and do not touch your face. Blend three peppers in a food processor and adding water to create a liquid. Strain the liquid through a cheese cloth to remove the particulates, or they will get stuck in the spray gun. Put the liquid in a jar and add two tablespoons of vegetable oil, a squirt of white glue and a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid. Shake the jar to blend. The additional ingredients help the liquid cling to the plant and to the rabbit. If this does not dissuade the rabbits, make a more concentrated solution, up to 30 percent, and add some raw garlic cloves to blend with the peppers. Reapply every two weeks, to new growth and after heavy rain.

Blood Meal

Blood meal is made out of dried blood from cattle slaughterhouses. Rabbits naturally avoid the product, so it makes a viable natural rabbit repellent. To protect your garden from rabbit damage, sprinkle dried blood meal around the edge. You must re-apply it often, especially after rain. Prolonged use can cause a nutrient imbalance in the area where it is applied.

Linseed Oil

Another homemade rabbit repellent involves linseed oil. Mix a linseed solution of 85 percent raw linseed oil, 5 percent dishwashing soap and 10 percent water. Shake to mix well, and then apply the solution to trees and shrubs in rabbit-affected areas with a sprayer or a house-painting brush. Re-apply after heavy rain.

Habitat Control

Changing the environment in your garden or landscaping that is attracting the rabbits, can be the most effective rabbit repellent. Brush piles are an attractive shelter for rabbits. Remove them from your property or burn them, when and where it is permitted. Another easy habitat-control option is to trim shrubs of small branches at least 1.5 feet from the plant base.