I'm experimenting with a patch of new lawn (different grass type) in the middle of my existing lawn but it must taste pretty good because the desert cotton tail rabbits are eating all the new shoots.

After reading this question's accepted answer: How do I prevent critters from chewing my sprinkler system? I had the idea that I could spray the grass with some chilli pepper oil.

1. Will the chilli pepper oil damage grass when sprayed on it?
2. How do you prevent rabbits from eating your grass?


Chili pepper oil or garlic should work in the short term but you can't be out there applying it every other day. I will admit to buying some fox urine from a hunting supply store and that made them scarce for a while. It too suffers from loosing effectiveness unless reapplied on a regular basis.

I've found that most rabbits will eat a wide variety of plants depending on their personal preferences and how hungry they are.

You could solve your problem by protecting the new growth with chicken wire until it has become less tasty or just give in and plant a grass they don't like.

A working dog makes rabbits more cautious too if you have one.


I had a similar problem, but it was my blueberry bushes the rabbits went for. I bought a roll of 3' chicken wire and cut it in half. Then I pounded stakes into the ground and made chicken wire cages. I haven't had any more problems with the blueberries, but that just made the rabbits move on to other vegetation in my yard. They began chewing the bark off of the fruit trees I had just planted. I eventually fenced those off too.

The best solution I found was to just get rid of the rabbits. Otherwise my entire yard might have ended up with tiny little chicken wire fences around everything. After #7, I haven't seen any more in my backyard. I used a Ruger Blackhawk .177 air rifle, because I live in a surburban area. It's not much louder than a staple gun, but it still packs quite a punch. You can get one for about $100, and it's a lot of fun for plinking when you're not using it for pest control.

I'd just suggest that you practice with it first so you can kill any pests humanely (aim for the head). Be aware of range limitations - usually 30-40 yards is considered the maximum range for a humane shot with an air rifle. Any farther than that and the rifle isn't accurate enough to ensure a kill. As with any firearm, remember to be aware of what's behind your target as well. (As well as always treat it as if it's loaded, keep your finger off the trigger before you're ready to fire, and never point it at anything you're not willing to destroy.)

If you're out in the country, a .22 or .17HMR rifle would work a little bit better and would give you more range.

You should also call the local game warden and make sure you don't need a hunting license for varmint control, and that the rabbit isn't a protected species.


I prefer the electric fence (http://www.pastorelectrico.com/), you don't kill any rabbit and they changes their behavior, so after some time they go away.

  • 2
    Rabbits burrow - so unless you are going underground that won't be effective in the long term in my experience.
    – Tim
    Sep 15 '12 at 4:04
  • That's true, you have to take care with the rabbits holes. Sep 18 '12 at 8:39

If you have a sprinkler system, water at intervals about the time that the rabbit feeds on you lawn. Rabbits hate water and getting wet.

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