Do Rabbits Destroy Lawns? Lawn Protection Strategies for Bunny Owners

HomeBehaviorDo Rabbits Destroy Lawns? Lawn Protection Strategies for Bunny Owners

Rabbits can damage lawns by digging holes and eating plants. Fencing, ditching, sealing plants, and other natural deterrents can help protect your lawn from rabbit damage.

The Damage Rabbits Can Cause to Lawns

Rabbits’ destructive habits can wreak havoc on a lawn, leaving it full of holes and patchy where they’ve been feasting on the plants. Rabbits are notorious for digging holes in search of food or as a way to hide from predators. They also eat grass, flowers, shrubs, and any other vegetation they find palatable. The damage these critters cause can be extensive and difficult to repair.

The best way to deter rabbits from damaging your lawn is by understanding their behavior and taking steps to reduce the attractiveness of your yard. Trimming back overgrown vegetation will help discourage them from snacking in your garden, while fencing off vulnerable areas will give them fewer opportunities to dig holes. Additionally, you can take measures to make your property less hospitable for rabbits such as removing sources of food or water that could entice them into your yard.

If you find that deterrents aren’t enough then there are other methods you can use to keep rabbits away from your lawn such as using repellents or traps. Repellents come in various forms such as sprays or granules that contain natural ingredients like garlic or peppermint oil which rabbits don’t like the smell of so this may help repel them away from certain areas in your yard where damage might occur. Traps are another option if manual removal is necessary; however, since this method doesn’t address the underlying issue it’s important to take preventative measures first before resorting to trapping strategies.

It’s possible to have a healthy lawn without worrying about rabbit damage if measures are taken early on before an infestation occurs. Taking precautions such as reducing attractive vegetation around the perimeter of your property and making sure all possible entrances and exits for rabbits are blocked off can go a long way towards preventing problems with these furry creatures down the road.

Identifying Rabbit Damage

If you suspect that rabbits are responsible for damage to your lawn, there are several signs you can look for to verify this.

You should first pay attention to any digging or other disruption of the soil surface.

Additionally, take inventory of any plants that have gone missing or appear to be chewed on.

By identifying these signs and symptoms, you can determine whether or not rabbits are indeed the culprits.

Spotting Signs of Digging

Unless you’re super observant, it’s easy to miss the tell-tale signs of rabbit digging on your lawn – that’s until you’ve got a full-fledged warren.

There are several ways to spot digging damage caused by rabbits:

  • Uprooted grass and other plants: Rabbits will dig up grass and plants in search of their food source.
  • Disturbed soil or dirt piles: Digging can leave behind mounds of dirt or disturbed soil which can be seen with careful inspection.
  • Tunnels or burrows: Rabbits will create tunnels or burrows in the ground to provide shelter from predators and the elements.
  • Visible tracks: Inspecting for visible tracks left by rabbits is another way to identify potential digging activity on your lawn.

A thorough inspection of your lawn can help you identify any potential signs of rabbit activity before it gets out of hand and causes serious damage to your property. If you suspect rabbits may be lurking around, take steps to protect yourself by installing fencing or traps around your property as soon as possible!

Noticing Missing Plants

Keep an eye out for any plants that have gone missing from your lawn, as this could be a sign of rabbit activity. Rabbits often choose certain areas to feed on, and they tend to follow planting patterns. If you notice that your garden plants or flowers are being eaten in a particular part of the lawn, it may be an indication of rabbit activity. Additionally, rabbits can cause damage by eating roots and other underground plant material.

A second indicator of potential rabbit activity is changes in soil fertility. As rabbits dig for food they can disturb the soil structure, leading to compaction and disruption of nutrient availability. This can result in stunted growth or discoloration of plants in the area where the rabbit has been digging or feeding on plants. Keeping track of your planting patterns and observing any changes in soil fertility will help you determine if there is an issue with rabbits damaging your lawns.

Prevention Strategies

Preventing rabbit damage to lawns requires the use of fencing and barriers, repellents, and natural deterrents.

Fencing or barriers can be used to keep rabbits out of gardens and other areas where they may cause damage. Repellents, such as odor-based products, are also available for deterring rabbits from feeding on plants. Additionally, certain natural deterrents, like garlic oil, can successfully discourage rabbits from entering an area.

Fencing and Barriers

Installing a fence or other barrier is an effective way to protect a lawn from rabbit damage. Fences and other physical barriers can be used to keep rabbits away from gardens, yards, and lawns. When constructing the fence, choose materials that are durable enough to deter rabbits.

Rabbit-proof fencing should be at least two feet high with mesh openings no more than one inch wide. It’s also important to extend the fence underground about six inches deep to prevent rabbits from digging underneath it.

In addition, adding motion-activated devices such as sprinklers or bright lights can help deter rabbits from entering certain areas of your yard or garden. Planting shrubs and tall plants near fences also provides an extra layer of protection against rabbit damage by making it difficult for them to climb over the fence without being disturbed.

Finally, using foul-smelling repellents like ammonia or garlic oil might help discourage rabbits from chewing on vegetation or digging into your lawn.

Repellents and Natural Deterrents

You can naturally deter rabbits from your lawn with repellents such as garlic oil or ammonia. Research has shown these to be effective at least 85% of the time. The scent deterrents are a great way to keep the rabbits away from your lawn. They will not want to come near the area because it is unfamiliar and unpleasant.

You can also modify their habitat by removing water sources and other food sources that might attract them. This will help reduce the number of rabbits in your area and make it less likely for them to damage your lawn. Additionally, you can use natural predators such as coyotes, hawks, and owls to further discourage rabbit presence on your property.

By using these combinations of techniques, you should be able to successfully keep rabbits off of your lawn without harming them in any way.

Controlling Rabbits

Controlling rabbits can be done in a humane way. Trapping is an effective method for removing them from your property, and they can also be rehomed if you’re unable to do so yourself.

However, it’s important to make sure that the trapping methods used are humane. Also, any rabbits relocated should be taken to an appropriate area where they won’t cause damage.

Humane Trapping

Trapping rabbits humanely can be a great way to protect your lawn from further damage. There are several methods of trapping that can be used, such as:

  1. Live traps – These traps allow you to capture the rabbit without harming it and then release it in an area away from your lawn.
  2. Deterrents – You can use deterrents such as motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices to scare rabbits away from your lawn.
  3. Rehoming options – If you’ve caught a rabbit, there are many rehoming options available for them, such as animal shelters or wildlife rehabilitation centers.
  4. Fencing – Installing a fence around your lawn is another effective way of deterring rabbits from entering and damaging your property.

These methods are all humane ways of controlling the rabbit population on your property. They also protect your lawn from further damage caused by their digging and eating habits.


Rehoming is an important step to consider when looking for a humane way of controlling the rabbit population, as it offers them a new home and prevents further destruction of lawns due to their burrowing and consumption of vegetation.

Rehoming can be done through animal shelters or rescue organizations, which require an adoption fee to cover costs associated with caring for the animal, such as veterinary checkups and food. The cost of rehoming rabbits depends on the area and animal behavior; however, most shelters charge around $50-$100 per rabbit.

It’s important to remember that although rehoming may be costly in terms of money, it’s much better than euthanasia or releasing wild rabbits into nature – both of which are illegal in many places. Additionally, providing a better life for the rabbits by finding them homes will help keep lawns safe from further damage caused by them.

Repairing Your Lawn

If your lawn has been damaged by rabbits, you can take steps to repair it. This includes filling in any holes they’ve dug and replacing any plants they’ve eaten.

Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to use a shovel or trowel to fill in the holes and purchase replacements for any plants that were destroyed.

Filling Holes

To prevent rabbits from damaging lawns, filling their holes is essential. Researchers have found that rabbits can dig up to 6 feet deep in a single day!

A variety of mulch methods and planting choices are available to help fill these holes. For example, a layer of mulch on top of the soil can help reduce the amount of time it takes for new grass to grow and fill the hole.

Additionally, planting larger grasses or shrubs around existing plants helps to make them less accessible to digging animals like rabbits. Using techniques such as aeration prior to planting can also help ensure that soil is more firmly packed and less likely to be disturbed by digging animals.

Finally, proper watering practices should also be followed. This will help newly planted seeds or plants become established quickly and effectively fill any rabbit-created holes in your lawn.

Replacing Plants

Replacing damaged plants can be an effective way to deter rabbits from causing further destruction in your lawn. When selecting new plant material, it’s important to choose species that aren’t traditionally eaten by rabbits and are well-suited for the local climate.

Once you’ve chosen the right plants, proper soil preparation is essential for success. Soil should be tilled deeply and amended with organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, before planting. This will help ensure that your new plantings have the best chance of surviving and thriving in your lawn.

Monitoring Your Lawn

Checking your lawn regularly is key to preventing rabbit damage. If you notice any holes, chew marks on plants, or droppings then it’s likely that rabbits are present in the area.

To reduce the risk of attracting wildlife such as rabbits, keep grass short and remove any debris that could provide shelter for them. Additionally, there are some planting alternatives that can be used to deter rabbits from entering your lawn in the first place. Some of these include:

  • Planting shrubs or trees with thorns or prickly foliage around the perimeter of your lawn to make it difficult for rabbits to access.
  • Installing a fence with a mesh size no greater than one quarter inch thick around your garden beds and flower beds so they can’t easily access the plants inside.
  • Sprinkling cayenne pepper flakes over plants that are susceptible to damage by rabbits as they’re sensitive to spicy tastes.
  • Spreading commercially available repellents around areas where rabbit activity is suspected as another deterrent measure against their presence.

Monitoring your lawn for signs of rabbit activity is essential in order to protect your valuable landscape from destruction due to their presence and feeding habits. Taking proactive steps such as planting alternatives and installing fences can help prevent them from accessing vulnerable areas and causing further damage.

By being vigilant about checking for potential signs of harm, you can quickly identify issues before they become major problems and take corrective measures as needed.

Bryan Moore
Bryan Moore
I am Bryan, owner of I love all animals but find myself especially drawn to rabbits. I have been very lucky to be able to turn my passion into my profession, and I am grateful every day that I get to do what I love. It is my hope that through this website, I can help others learn more about these wonderful creatures and provide them with all the information they need to care for their own rabbit. View my Full Author Page Here

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