Rabbits are cute and friendly, but they can be a nuisance in your garden. If your fruits, vegetables, flowers, or greens are disappearing, then rabbits could be the culprit. Luckily, there are easy ways to use simple sounds and noises to scare rabbits from entering your garden!
Rabbits have an extremely strong sense of hearing and can hear noises from over a mile away. With a hearing range of 360Hz – 42,000Hz, sudden noises from thunder, people, high frequencies, other animals, fireworks, and cars all are effective rabbit deterrents.
In this article, we’ll go over in-depth the different ways to keep rabbits away using sounds and noises. We’ll also go over some basic information on rabbits to help you understand why these tricks work! Let’s dig in!
1. Rabbits are Scared Of Thunder
Most of us get scared when thunder claps over our house. Thanks to modern infrastructure, however, thunder usually doesn’t pose a serious threat. That’s not the case for animals!
Thunderstorms create hazardous conditions. If it rains too much, a bunny’s natural habitat could easily be destroyed. It could also make it more difficult for a rabbit to access food or escape predators. Plus, it’s SO loud!
When thunderstorms come, rabbits will freeze and hunker down. Like us, they try to wait out the storm.
Unfortunately, thunderstorms aren’t a sound you can easily replicate without things getting too loud. There are some other methods to keeping rabbits out of your garden. One way is to use smells that rabbits find repulsive.
There are many scents that rabbits don’t like. Using these can be another natural way to keep rabbits from wandering into your backyard!
2. Rabbits Are Scared Of People
As we mentioned earlier, humans are natural predators of rabbits. It’s only natural that they would be afraid of us!
Since rabbits are one of the most popular domestic pets, you might be wondering how house rabbits aren’t constantly living in a state of fear. Regular and repeated contact with humans reduces a rabbit’s fear level.
Even wild rabbits that have early exposure to humans don’t experience fear around humans. Their brain literally rewires itself not to perceive humans as a threat, as this scientific study published by the National Academy of Sciences proves.
So, if you’re considering getting a pet rabbit, there’s no reason to worry about it being afraid. Of course, when you first get a rabbit, it will be scared! But it will grow accustomed to you quickly.
New environments are frightening for animals, and it takes rabbits time to warm up to people. Don’t be disheartened if your rabbit looks scared!
3. Rabbits Do Not Like High Frequencies
Animals register sound at different frequencies than humans do. Rabbits in particular are good at registering sounds at frequencies much higher than us.
According to information published Louisiana State University, which compares different animal frequency hearing levels, rabbits can hear at a frequency between 360Hz – 42,000Hz.
Even more-so, this means that rabbits can hear things of up to over a mile away!
To put things in perspective, humans hear from 20Hz – 20,000Hz. This means we can hear things on the lower end of the spectrum, but rabbits can hear frequencies over twice as high as humans. So, if you whisper to a rabbit, don’t expect it to hear you.
Before I go too deep on these next few sentences, just know that there’s a lot of skepticism in the ultrasonic repellent industry that there really aren’t many proven studies on if they work. Plus there were some big claims a few years back that put the whole market in perail.
Since we can’t hear in the higher range of frequencies, ultrasonic technology is an ideal way for warding off rabbits. Other potential pests also hear sounds at high frequencies.
Theoretically it can work, but you may find that something like a standard whistle would do a more effective job at suddenly scarring rabbits when you see them. You’ll most likely blow the whistle, have the rabbit stop in its tracks and then the next few steps it will hop away!
4. Rabbits Are Scared Of Fireworks
If you think back to what we said about thunder, it’s not surprising that rabbits are afraid of fireworks. Not only are fireworks extremely loud, but fireworks are also unexpected. They have extremely bright lights that rabbits don’t see on a regular basis.
Obviously, you aren’t going to start setting off fireworks in your backyard just to get rid of rabbits. But you can count on rabbits being less of a problem on the Fourth of July!
6. Rabbits Are Frightened By Pots And Pans
Similar to the hazing of a coyote, loud pots and pans coupled with some yelling are a fantastic quick way to repel rabbits!
This of course is only if you’re actively seeing a rabbit outside in your garden or nearby and you want to keep them away.
If you stay on the ball just enough, you’ll be able to get the rabbits used to understanding that if they enter your garden, they’ll get the frightening scare of loud noises every time and will decrease they’re willingness to snack on your plants.
7. Rabbits Are Scared Of Other Animals
While we’re talking about other animals, they’re next on our list of sounds that rabbits are afraid of! Just as a refresher, rabbits have many natural predators. They will vary depending on your location.
Some of the main predators of rabbits include coyotes, foxes, owls, and eagles. and noises from their predators will frighten rabbits away. You could even add humans to the list. In many cultures, rabbit stew is a delicacy!
In some states, coyotes are at the top of the food chain. In other areas, owls might be more likely to snatch up rabbits. Do some research on your local wildlife to know what the rabbits in your area are most likely to be afraid of.
If you have coyotes in your area, take a look at our guide on using coyote urine to repel animals (yes, it works.)
If you want to get really dedicated to pest control, consider getting a furry friend of your own. Dogs are great at scaring away just about every single animal, especially if the dog is big.
Your dog doesn’t need to get wild to scare off annoying animals. A dog’s bark is enough to frighten away most animals. It’ll scare off most people too!
Cats aren’t necessarily great at keeping rabbits away, but they will take care of other pests. Cats are natural hunters and will go after mice, rats, and large bugs. If a rabbit is small enough, they might even go after the rabbit.
Large birds will also frighten rabbits away. Even though parrots and typical pet birds won’t attack a rabbit, the sound will scare rabbits.
Rabbits are most active during the day between 5-7am – 6-8pm, making this a great method to implement during the daytime as that’s when most other rabbit predators are around as well (minus owls.)
7. Rabbits Are Scared Of Cars
As a caveat, we should point out that parked cars are not necessarily going to do a great job of keeping rabbits away. Parked cars don’t pose much of a threat and don’t look any different than other human objects to rabbits. In fact, hiding underneath a car could be a good option for rabbits trying to get away from loud kids.
Moving cars will frighten away rabbits. This isn’t that surprising considering cars are loud pieces of moving metal! The fumes will also send rabbits running off. Like we’ve said before, rabbits don’t like strong scents, and gasoline has a particularly distinct scent.
If you happen to be in your car and see a rabbit, flicking on the lights or revving up the engine will scare the rabbit. However, it might not send the rabbit running away. The rabbit might just freeze, and you’re hopefully not going to run over the rabbit.
Cars are not a long-term solution to keeping rabbits away. Besides, unless you live on a giant ranch, you’re not going to be driving your car around your backyard.
On a smaller scale, lawnmowers and other appliances will frighten off rabbits. You’ll probably see fewer rabbits on days that you’re mowing the lawn or using a leaf blower or power tools. Of course, you’re probably not using these on a daily basis. That’s why it’s important to look for more long-term solutions.
How To Get Rid of Rabbits Naturally
There are several other ways to naturally get rid of rabbits that don’t involve loud sounds or lights. These can be cheaper, but they generally require more effort on your part and more attention.
Some of the other ways of getting rid of rabbits include using scents that rabbits don’t like. You can use a pest spray or pre-mixed product like the Deer Repel Deer Repellent. The name suggests that this might only work on repelling deer, but that’s not the case!
Most deer repellents are also effective in repelling rabbits and similar creatures. This is because these animals are anatomically similar. They share some of the same predators such as coyotes and wolves. They need to be alert to the same threats. That’s why they have an aversion to the same things.
Wearing strong perfume is a good way to keep rabbits away, but for that to work you already have to be close to the animal. That’s why repellent pouches are a good option.
Pouches are more weather-resistant than sprays and you don’t have to worry about getting any chemicals in your garden. An alternative would be to mix your own pouches or sprays using scents that rabbits don’t like.
Peppermint, cinnamon, lavender, and sage have very strong scents. Most pests will find these scents overwhelming and stay clear of them.
Some people believe that marigolds can repel rabbits but in reality, they aren’t super effective.
Instead, lining your garden or backyard with an herb garden is a good way to naturally keep animals away. The strong herb scents will cover the delicious vegetable and fruit smells. Herbs are also a great idea because they are super practical plants.
Herbs are a must-have for any serious chef. Even if you don’t like cooking, herbs can be used for a variety of purposes. You can make your own soaps, syrups, and candies! Many herbs can even be used around the house to keep other nasty pests away like spiders.
Professional Rabbit Control
The best way to ensure that rabbits stay off of your property is to contact a professional pest service. If nothing you’re trying is working, a local pest or wildlife company should be able to take care of things for you.
There are companies that specialize in particular types of pests. If rabbits are your main concern, check with a company that knows about them. You don’t want to have someone come all the way out to your house only to find out that they specialize in insects.
They can also give you more personalized advice. Everyone’s house and property is different. A larger garden is going to need more attention than a smaller one. Some areas might naturally have more of a rabbit problem than others.
Why Do Rabbits Freeze When Scared?
You can tell a rabbit is scared because it will stop moving. The rabbit will hunch into a small ball and move as little as possible. The rabbit’s heartbeat will even decrease.
This might seem like a strange reaction. If someone was chasing after you, you would probably run away!
Freezing is a natural reaction given the type of predators that hunt rabbits. Coyotes, eagles, and other animals cannot see an object that isn’t moving. Their eyes are designed to detect motion.
If a rabbit isn’t moving, a coyote isn’t going to be able to see it. The rabbit knows this and will wait until the coyote gives up.
What Kinds Of Things Attract Rabbits?
If you keep having a problem with rabbits, make sure that you don’t have things that are actually attracting rabbits. It could be that you have rabbit magnets in your yard without even knowing it!
It’s well-known that a rabbit’s favorite snack is carrots. Similar vegetables and leafy greens are other popular rabbit snacks. Rabbits have a very developed sense of smell, so they can sense these delicious snacks from a long way away.
If you have any other pets and are leaving pet food out, this could attract rabbits. Make sure to keep any pet food away from the reach of other animals.
Rabbits are creatures of habit. They like relaxing in an area that they’re familiar with. If your garden has everything they need, they aren’t going to leave. Rabbits need water, food, and a good source of shelter.
Even if you don’t have a pond or fountain, there’s probably more water around your house than you realize. Water collects at the bottom of drains and while you might not want to drink it, a rabbit is not so discerning.
Keeping your yard clean is another way to keep rabbits from wandering about. If your grass is too high, rabbits see a feast. If your grass is well-trimmed, it will be harder for rabbits to eat. So, mow your lawn regularly. Your neighbors will thank you, too!
Are Rabbits Scared of the Dark?
The short answer is no. Rabbits are not afraid of the dark. However, they are more alert during the night because they know they are at a higher risk.
Rabbits do not have the best eyesight. Some of their predators, such as wolves, have excellent night vision. Rabbits have to be on extra alert when there’s not enough light.
Rabbits will also become scared when they experience a sudden flashing light, such as lightning. These are conditions you can easily replicate in your garden by using a pest light like the Lycoming Solar Predator Control Light. These can be easily mounted around the perimeter of your garden.
These lights are motion-activated and aren’t so bright that they annoy people. They are easy to install and don’t take up much room. They will also ward off other annoying pests like coyotes, deer, and skunks.
That’s A Wrap!
Rabbits can be a real nuisance. They dig holes in your garden, eat up your vegetables, and they make a mess. They aren’t something you want hanging around. If you want to keep your garden thriving, you need to invest in rabbit control!
Some of the main methods of repelling rabbits are using motion-activated ultrasonic machines or light makers. These are ideal if you’re going to be out of town for a while and don’t want to worry about reapplying sprays and scents. Scents can be effective in repelling rabbits if you can put in the time. Fencing is another option.
For best results, use multiple methods. If you consistently have problems, check in with a pest control company and see what they advise. They are the experts and give you personalized advice.
That’s about all we have on rabbits for now! In the meantime, good luck on keeping rabbits out of your garden and thanks for reading!
Bilkó, Á., & Altbäcker, V. (2000). Regular handling early in the nursing period eliminates fear responses toward human beings in wild and domestic rabbits. Developmental Psychobiology: The Journal of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, 36(1), 78-87.
Brusini, Irene, et al. “Changes in brain architecture are consistent with altered fear processing in domestic rabbits.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115.28 (2018): 7380-7385.
Jenkins, J. R. (2001). Rabbit behavior. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice, 4(3), 669-679.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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