How to Stop Rabbits from Digging

Published: July 15th, 2023
Last Updated: September 21st, 2023
Written By: Bradly Spicer
Stop rabbits from digging

Your rabbits digging habits can wreak havoc on your garden & home. Understanding why rabbits dig and how to prevent it can save you much time and frustration. This article will guide you through understanding and preventing rabbit digging.

You’re in the right place if you’re tired of finding holes in your lawn or witnessing your cherished plants being uprooted. We will also go over tips on keeping your rabbit from digging up your home if they are an indoor rabbit.

This comprehensive guide will explore various techniques to deter rabbits from digging and help you regain control over your indoor & outdoor space. With natural & safe remedies to rabbit-proof fencing, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and learn how to stop rabbits from digging!

Understanding the Rabbit Digging Behavior

Rabbits are natural diggers. They dig to create burrows for shelter, to escape predators, and sometimes just for fun. Understanding this behavior is the first step in preventing it. In the wild, rabbits live in burrows. A warren is a group of connected burrows that a rabbit colony lives in.

When we see rabbits digging, we usually imagine they are trying to construct a burrow. However, there are other reasons that rabbits dig – to uncover food, to expose cool earth to rest on, to try to escape or to try to get attention.

Carpet that a rabbit dug up

How to Stop Rabbits from Digging

Rabbits can be quite resourceful when it comes to digging, but with the right strategies, you can protect your garden from their destructive habits. Here are some effective methods to keep rabbits at bay:

1. Identify Rabbit Activity Areas

Before implementing any preventive measures, it’s crucial to identify the areas where rabbits are most active. Look for signs like chewed plants, dug-up carpets, burrows, or droppings. You can target these specific areas with appropriate deterrents by understanding their preferences.

2. Create Physical Barriers

Installing physical barriers is one of the most reliable methods to prevent rabbits from digging. Here are some options to consider:

  • Rabbit-Proof Fencing: Surround your garden or designated area with rabbit-proof fencing. Ensure the fence is at least 2 feet high and extends a few inches underground to prevent rabbits from burrowing underneath.
  • Chicken Wire or Hardware Cloth: If you have specific plants or small areas to protect, you can use chicken wire or hardware cloth to create makeshift barriers. Secure the wire or cloth around the plants or the designated area, ensuring it extends a few inches into the ground.

3. Utilize Natural Deterrents

Rabbits have a strong sense of smell, and certain scents can act as natural deterrents. Consider the following options:

  • Predator Urine: Predator urine, such as that from foxes or coyotes, can help deter rabbits. Apply the urine around your garden perimeter or near areas prone to digging. However, this can cause predators to appear more often in your garden.
  • Spicy Repellents: Rabbits dislike spicy scents. Sprinkle chili powder or cayenne pepper around your plants, or mix it with water to create a homemade spray. Reapply after rain or as needed.

4. Opt for Companion Planting

Companion planting involves strategically placing plants that naturally repel rabbits next to vulnerable plants. Consider the following rabbit-repellent plants:

  • Marigolds: These vibrant flowers emit an odor that rabbits find unappealing. Plant marigolds around your garden or intermingle them with susceptible plants.
  • Lavender: This is a bit hit and miss; whilst rabbits have been seen nibbling on Lavender, they’ve also been seen avoiding it. Not only does lavender add a pleasant fragrance to your garden, but it also acts as a natural deterrent for rabbits. Plant lavender near areas where rabbits are likely to dig. But it isn’t a guaranteed solution.
Domestic Rabbit in garden
Photo by Maxi on Unsplash

5. Create Distractions

Offering alternative spaces for rabbits to dig can help divert their attention from your garden. Consider the following distraction techniques:

  • Digging Boxes: Provide a designated digging area by placing a shallow box filled with loose soil. This can be a great alternative and encourage your rabbits to dig there instead of in your flower beds as they make it their territory.
  • Mulch and Ground Cover: Spread mulch or ground cover in areas where rabbits are prone to dig. This creates a less appealing surface for them and can deter their digging instincts.

6. Remove Attractants

Reducing the appeal of your garden to rabbits can discourage digging. Here’s what you can do:

  • Remove Excess Vegetation: Clear away tall grass, weeds, and overgrown plants. Eliminating potential hiding spots makes your garden less attractive to rabbits.
  • Keep Your Garden Tidy: Regularly clean up fallen fruits, vegetables, and other debris that might entice rabbits. Maintaining a clean and tidy garden reduces their motivation to dig.
Rabbit Dig Up Carpet

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I train rabbits not to dig?

Rabbits are instinctual diggers, so training them not to dig is challenging and basically impossible. Focusing on preventive measures like physical barriers and deterrents is more effective.

Can I use mothballs to deter rabbits from digging?

While mothballs may have a strong odor, they are not recommended for deterring rabbits. Mothballs contain toxic chemicals that can harm wildlife and pets if ingested.


Dealing with rabbits digging up your garden can be frustrating, but by implementing the right strategies, you can protect your plants and landscaping from their destructive habits.

Remember to identify rabbit activity areas, create physical barriers, utilize natural deterrents, opt for companion planting, create distractions, and remove attractants. Combining these methods can create an environment that discourages rabbits from digging and restores harmony to your indoor and outdoor space. So, say goodbye to unwanted rabbit holes or dug-up carpets and hello to a beautiful, intact garden!

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