Does human urine deter rabbits

Asked April 1, 2020, 2:29 PM EDT

And if so will it change ph of soil and should it be diluted?

Ottawa County Michigan

3 Responses

HI!
Human urine could potentially deter animals (e.g. deer, rabbits) that have been conditioned to fear the scents of predators like coyotes. Coyote urine has been shown to be effective in some commercially-made animal deterrent sprays - but I am not positive human urine would be as equally effective. You can certainly try.

The problem that you will run into with any kind of liquid repellent (urine-based or not) is that it doesn't last forever and needs to be applied repeatedly, especially after it rains.

As far as the effect of urine on plants, it has been touted (but with limited scientific backing) to be a source of nutrients for plants; however, it is very high in salts and can therefore burn plants and kill them (think about those dog stains in lawns). As for pH, urine is slightly acidic. Whether that impacts your soil acidity may depend on the soil pH you have to begin with, how much you actually pee into the soil, and how much the urine gets diluted via precipitation.

To have the greatest impact on rabbits, I would imagine you would want to not dilute the urine (predators don't dilute theirs), but that means you risk damage to plants from salts and slight changes in pH depending on factors mentioned above.

I teach a lot of classes on deterring animals from the garden, and, ultimately, the best deterrent is physical barriers. For rabbits, chicken wire right over the tops of new seedlings is a good start. Feel free to reach out to me for additional ideas or questions at rautio@msu.edu.

Thank you. That was very helpful Sarah!