It’s that time of the year when your pumpkins produce gold in form of fruits for you. Just like every other plant, you might face some challenges when growing pumpkins. One common challenge you might face when growing pumpkins is the invasion of pests such as rabbits.
Do rabbits eat pumpkins? Pumpkins are a favorite fruit of rabbits. Rabbits are disastrous to pumpkin plants as they can eat pumpkin seedlings, leaves, fruits, etc. You will need to take measures to protect your pumpkins from rabbits.
How do you protect your pumpkins from rabbits and how can you tell if rabbits are actually eating your pumpkins? We’ll cover that and more in the rest of this article.
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Rabbits Eating Your Pumpkins?
It can be heartbreaking when you wake up in the morning to find out that your pumpkins have been eaten by rabbits. Rabbits will eat pretty much any type of pumpkin.
Types of Pumpkins That Rabbits Eat
Rabbits eat every variety of pumpkins that you can eat. If you can think of a kind of pumpkin, your rabbit neighbors will enjoy eating it. Rabbits can eat pumpkins in any form, to include:
- Whole Pumpkins: If rabbits have access to your pumpkin fruits, they will eat them.
- Carved Pumpkins: Have you carved pumpkins to decorate your home? Well, carved pumpkins may be beautiful, but they are still food for rabbits.
- Unripe Pumpkins: Is the pumpkin still growing in the plant? So long as rabbits have access to it, they will eat it.
Since it seems that rabbits are disastrous to every type and form of pumpkins, how can you tell if rabbits are eating your pumpkins?
Signs Rabbits Are Eating Your Pumpkins
Just a sight of a single rabbit close to your garden is enough reason to worry because rabbits are fond of visiting gardens (and you don’t want them to).
Visible signs that rabbits are finding and eating your pumpkins are:
- Clean Cuts on Plant Parts: Unlike insects and other pests that leave jagged-edged cuts on leaves and other plant parts that they eat, rabbits leave clean cuts. This means that the cut looks smooth and not bitten.
- Check the Lower Parts of the Plant: As grazers, rabbits prefer to eat grasses and low parts of plants. If clean cuts appear on the lower parts, of your pumpkins, rabbits are munching on the plant.
- Seedlings and Young Leaves Missing: If you can’t find the seedlings of other plants in your garden, it may be caused by rabbits because they love seedlings.
- Burrows in or Near Your Garden: Guinea pigs and hedgehogs can also be culprits, so the best way to tell that rabbits have gained access into your garden is to look for their burrows.
How to Prevent Rabbits from Eating Your Pumpkins
A very effective way to prevent rabbits from eating your pumpkins is by using traps. Since most traps are recently being frowned upon because of animal cruelty, here are other ways to repel rabbits:
1. Sprinkle Repelling Powders on and Around Plants
Rabbits have a great sense of smell, so using powders with a harsh smell can repel rabbits. Examples of powders that you can use in repelling rabbits are:
- Dried Sulphur
- Talcum Powder
- Powdered Red Pepper
These powders are safe for your plants, so you should not worry. Just spray them on and around the targeted plants.
2. Rabbit Cocktail
Grind and mix three large peppers, two onion bulbs, and a bunch of garlic. Keep the mixture in a covered container with water overnight. Mix the semi-fermented products with one gallon of water and then spray it on the plants.
You should spray your plants after each rainfall. This mixture prevents rabbits from eating plants.
3. Grow Seedlings Indoors
Since rabbits love seedlings and can be catastrophic to them, you can instead grow your seedlings indoors or far from the reach of rabbits and only transplant them into the garden when they have 3-5 pairs of true leaves.
4. Block Burrows Near Your Garden
Search for rabbit burrows around your garden and block them. You can mix the soil with a rabbit cocktail to prevent the rabbits from digging it again.
5. Chicken Wire Fencing
Wire fencing is very important when rabbits are near your garden. The wire fence should be buried at least 10 inches deep.
It should be four feet tall and the top should bend away from the garden. Always check the fence for burrows and cover the holes immediately.
It’s best to not just prevent rabbits from eating your pumpkins, you should also prevent them from getting close to your garden.
Rabbits reproduce quickly and eat almost everything, so that can be a major threat to your garden plants if you do not repel them completely.
Other Vegetables and Fruits That Rabbits Eat
Examples of other vegetables and fruits that rabbits can eat are:
Do you want to hear the hard truth? Rabbits eat pretty much all types of plants that you can grow in your garden. They can eat the woody stems of bushy plants, young leaves of vegetables, fruits, tubers, and so on.
Rabbits are cute animals but you don’t want them anywhere near your garden.
Related Questions and Answers
1. Can You Feed Your Pet Rabbits Pumpkins?
You can feed pet rabbits with pumpkins, but just as treats.
While pumpkins are very delicious, they contain a lot of carbohydrates (and few proteins), so you should not give too much pumpkin to your pet rabbits.
2. Do Rabbits Eat Rotting Pumpkins?
Rabbits will not eat rotting pumpkins. Instead, they will look for fresh parts of the pumpkin to eat. Do not feed rotting pumpkins to your pet rabbits.
3. What Should You Do with Leftover Pumpkins?
If wild rabbits ate some parts of your pumpkins, you should not eat the pumpkin as the rabbits may have certain diseases. You should dispose of the pumpkins by either composting them or burying them in the garden soil to act as a slow-release fertilizer.
If you think that the pumpkin is manageable, you can feed it to your farm animals.
4. What Other Animals May Be Eating Your Pumpkins?
Aside from rabbits, here are other animals that may be eating your pumpkins:
- Guinea Pigs
5. What Plants Do Rabbits Hate?
Another effective way of repelling rabbits is by planting various crops that repel them. Examples of plants that rabbits do not like are:
- Persian onion
- Summer squash
- Bush cinquefoil
- Butterfly bush
- Japanese maple
- Tatarian dogwood
- Mountain laurel
- Tulip tree
- Lamb’s ear
- Meadow rue
- Adam’s needle
- Creeping phlox
- Russian sage
- Perennial salvia (East Friesland)
- Sedum (Autumn Joy)
- Spring cinquefoil
- Stokes’ aster
- Four o’clock flower
- Geranium, zonal, and bedding
- Pot marigold
- Mexican ageratum
- Wax begonia
You can plant these crops between your pumpkins or around the garden to act as a backup fence.
Rabbits can eat pumpkins and they can wipe out your crop quickly, so you should prevent them from entering your garden altogether.
Use the prevention tips in this article so that you can enjoy your pumpkins fully.