While you may love the look of a snuggly bunny, gardeners know how wild rabbits can be a devastating problem. To protect your yard from rabbits, you first need to identify their presence. Because they often come out at dawn and sunset, you may rarely see them. These are the top signs that you’ve got rabbits:

Plant damage low to the ground, often a few inches above the soil…

– A clean, 45-degree angle cut on the end of stems and leaves

– Woody plants debarked up to 16 inches from the ground

– Piles of rabbit droppings (dark, pea-sized pellets)

– Tracks: Wild rabbits have five toes on their front feet and four toes on their (much longer) hind feet.

Check, check, and re-check. If you do catch a glimpse of the furry intruder, you may be able to identify the most common wild rabbit species. Cottontails are common in North America, identified by their short tail that resembles a tuft of cotton. Snowshoes are typically found in rocky, mountainous terrain, and are identified by their large feet with white fur during winter and rusty brown fur during warmer months. Finally, the speedy jackrabbit is found in the Western U.S., and is known for its incredibly long ears and powerful hind legs.

Once you know you have rabbits ravaging your yard, it’s time to take action. There are a few ways to safely repel them before the damage is done.

Step 1: Build and bury barriers.

Fencing can be an effective way to keep rabbits at bay. If you’re targeting rabbits, the fence only needs to be three feet tall as they are unlikely to jump over it; however, you’ll have to bury the fence underground, since rabbits are experts at burrowing up to a foot below the surface to access a tasty food source.

Step 2: Repel and remove temptation.

Bobbex-R Repellent is all-natural, environmentally-friendly and proven effective at protecting ornamental plantings from small, four-legged garden critters such as rabbits. Usable in any weather, it won’t burn plants or wash off. Use it as a bulb dip to deter underground damage, or spray it at the mouth of burrows to prevent animals from re-entering. It’s safe for humans, pets, birds and aquatic life.

Step 3: Remove the creature’s comforts.

Many homeowners are surprised to find rabbits have made a home under stairs or in a shed. If you don’t want rabbits nesting and raising families in your yard, remove brush and other debris that could provide them easy shelter, and spray a repellent in those areas to maintain rabbit-free hiding places.

These three simple steps will help you safely repel rabbits so you can fully enjoy the beauty and bounty of your outdoor space.