Rabbits - Keep Out of Garden
Keeping Rabbits Away
Here is a common question we get: We live in the city limits, on a creek, backing to a golf course and have no dog. We are literally plagued with rabbits, have spent hundreds of dollars buying blood meal and a spray that is supposed to control deer, squirrels and rabbits, in addition to hundreds of dollars replanting jasmine in our flower beds. Now we have found a hole in the scrubs where, we suspect, the rabbits have dug a warren. Since we live in the city a pellet gun is out of the question. And, yes, we have had city owned traps in our yard at length and the rabbits just go around the traps. What can we do to control this situation? Brenda K.
A: Spray the plants with Tabasco sauce at 1 oz. per gallon of water. Research? Yes, the original tests were done on agricultural crops in Amsterdam.
Everyone that is, except for the rabbits, who farmers say jump a meter in the air and run for cover after tasting the spicy sauce. Farmers say its working. And animal protection spokesman Niels Doorlandt calls it a wonderful alternative to the shotgun.
"This initiative is a perfect example of how you can get rid of the problem without killing the animals or harming them in any way," he says. "It could be possible that the lips of the rabbits are hurt by the Tabasco, but the next time the rabbit will think, 'Don't do this again,' so they won't use their teeth to eat our precious crops."
Local farmers tried other remedies first: garlic sauce and Worcestershire sauce. But apparently nothing keeps the rabbits and rodents away quite like Tabasco. So far, it has been used on lettuce, green beans, barley and wheat, with tests under way on young apple and cherry trees. It takes about five small bottles to spray one hectare of crops.
The Dutch distributor says farmers have had problems keeping the spicy sauce on the crops because of the rainy Dutch climate, but they believe they have solved that problem by mixing the sauce with a sticky substance. The concoction is only sprayed on parts of the plant that are not harvested to spare the taste buds of consumers.
There still needs to be more research before Dutch officials give Tabasco use their stamp of approval, allowing distributors to sell it on a large scale. Meanwhile, the Tabasco company is said to be happy, although they are not advertising this latest use of their product, yet. (Lauren Comiteau, October 22, 2004)
Another product available in stores is Rabbit Scram. Rather than spraying, Rabbit Scram is a natural organic granular repellant that is effective and safe to use around children, pets and your vegetables.
Answer: It can be sprayed on any plants and doesn't hurt the growth. If any taste is added, it would be for the better. Tabasco is just peppers, vinegar and garlic. Used at one oz per gallon of water, gardeners have had mixed results. You might also want to try the commercial product Rabbit Scram which works very well. http://www.rabbitscram.com/