Michigan State University masthead


Rabbits and woodchucks are eating all my outdoor plants. What can I do to keep them out of my garden?

Rabbits and woodchucks consume edible crop and ornamental plants; may burrow under garages, outbuildings, and homes.

Remedies include:

  • Image of eastern cottontail (baby)Exclusion: (Can be fenced out of small garden/crop areas).
  • Repellents: (Commercial animal repellents such as waxed based "hot pepper" sprays, napthalene, and others are effective on individual plants or small areas, some odor-based ones possibly in or around burrows.)
  • Hunting: (Effective where allowed. Check with MDNR and local government for rules.)
  • Trapping and removal: (Herbivores are harder to trap than predators; for bait try apple slices, carrots, peanut butter on bread;trapping easier early in season before natural food is abundant.Move several miles and release only where they won't bother other gardeners!)
  • Gassing burrows: (Non-lethal smoke bombs may work; using toxic gasses is not recommended, and, if used, certainly only by licensed professionals.)