Rabbits are adorable until they are chowing down on everything that grows in your garden, and you can’t find a way to chase them off. Luckily, these animals are highly sensitive to strong smells, including those of household objects and pantry items such as cinnamon.
Here is what you need to know about the effect of cinnamon on rabbits and how to use it to keep them away from your yard.
How to Keep Rabbits away with Cinnamon
One of the defining characteristics of cinnamon is its strong smell. Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde and eugenol, which are two types of chemicals that give the spice its strong, aromatic flavor.
For humans, this is a good thing because it means we can use cinnamon to flavor our food and drinks. These chemicals are how cinnamon gets its warm, welcoming aroma.
That same aroma is far too strong for rabbits, who have much more sensitive noses than we do. Although no scientists have formally done studies on the rabbit-repelling properties of cinnamon, anecdotal evidence from farmers and gardeners supports the idea that rabbits are turned away by this very strong scent.
For rabbits, staying away from cinnamon is a matter of self-preservation. Not only is cinnamon an unpleasantly strong aroma for their sensitive noses, but it can also cause health complications.
Rabbits that inhale cinnamon suffer from respiratory issues and allergies, while those that go as far as eating the bark can experience stomach pains and liver issues. Even touching cinnamon can irritate a rabbit’s sensitive skin.
If you have a pet rabbit, then it’s better to avoid cinnamon for these reasons. However, if the reason you want to know about cinnamon’s rabbit-repelling properties is to preserve your garden, you can weaponize this knowledge to keep rabbits out of your yard.
4 Ways to Use Cinnamon to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Yard
Here is how to use rabbits’ very sensitive noses against them and use cinnamon to keep them away from your yard.
1. Sprinkle Cinnamon Powder Around the Perimeter
The simplest methods of repelling rabbits are the most effective. If you have powdered cinnamon in your pantry for all of your cooking and baking needs, you’re already part of the way toward a rabbit-free yard. Cinnamon powder is not as potent as whole cinnamon, but it can still repel rabbits.
Take the cinnamon powder and sprinkle it around the perimeter of your yard. Take special care to sprinkle it around any garden beds that you are looking to protect. However, you will have to repeat this process fairly often, as rain and wind will wash the cinnamon powder away.
2. Place Cinnamon Bark Around Saplings
If you have young tree saplings that you are trying to protect from gnawing rodents, placing cinnamon bark around the base of the tree will distract pests such as rabbits. You don’t have to reserve this remedy for trees but can use it to protect any plants in your yard that are a target for gnawing pests.
Cinnamon bark is a bit harder to find than cinnamon powder, but it contains a higher concentration of aromatic oils than cinnamon powder. To get rid of rabbits specifically, make sure you place the bark low to the ground so it gets in the way of the rabbits’ exploration.
3. Spray Cinnamon Oil Around Your Yard
Cinnamon oil is an essential oil derived from cinnamon bark. It has a very concentrated aroma because it distills cinnamon down to its essence, making it an effective repellent for rabbits and other pests that are sensitive to smell.
Cinnamon oil is a bit harder to find than cinnamon powder, but many health food stores and retailers that sell essential oils have it on hand.
To use cinnamon oil to repel rabbits, just mix it with some water in a spray bottle to disperse it more efficiently, then spray it around your yard.
4. Create Homemade Cinnamon Diffusers
Cinnamon sticks are often recommended for use in cooking because they are more aromatic than just powder. Since they are stronger in scent for cooking, that makes them more efficient for repelling animals as well.
To create homemade cinnamon diffusers using cinnamon sticks, grab disposable jars and fill the bottom with water or neutral oil. Then, put the cinnamon sticks in the jars and disperse them around the edges of your yard, especially around gaps in fencing that rabbits use to get inside.
A Recipe for Homemade Rabbit Deterrent Using Cinnamon
Cinnamon is such a potent rabbit deterrent that many professional pest deterrents use it as an ingredient. You can make your own deterrent spray using the following recipe.
- 1 gallon water
- 5 garlic cloves
- 10 drops cinnamon essential oil
- 1 pump dish soap
Pour the water into a container with a cap that you don’t mind getting dirty, such as a used milk jug. Add the garlic cloves to the water (crush them beforehand to release the odor, the 10 drops of cinnamon oil, and the dish soap.
Let the mixture sit for 48 hours to become as aromatic as possible, then pour your homemade rabbit repellent around the edge of your yard.
Is Cinnamon Toxic to Rabbits?
Cinnamon is not toxic to rabbits, meaning that a bite will not kill them. If you’re worried about hurting cuddly baby rabbits with your homemade rabbit repellent method, you don’t need to worry about using cinnamon.
However, if you have a pet rabbit, you should still avoid letting it go into the yard after you sprinkle cinnamon around the borders to keep wild rabbits away. If rabbits eat too much cinnamon, they could suffer bad health consequences such as digestive problems.
While cinnamon is not the most popular rabbit repellent out there, it is effective if you use it right because rabbits dislike its very strong scent. Cinnamon comes in many forms, including powder, stick, bark, and essential oil, which you can use around your yard to keep away pests.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.