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Do Squirrels Eat Dahlias? and 14 Ways to Protect Your Plants!

As a nature lover with years of experience observing and interacting with squirrels all around the world, I’m here to answer one of the most frequently asked questions: do squirrels eat dahlias? To protect your plants, find out the surprising answer right now!

Squirrels definitely enjoy snacking on flowers like dahlias. They can eat both the petals and the bulbs when they’re underground, but may find some petals too tough to chew. Squirrels usually forage for food on the ground and in trees, so it’s likely that some of them would eventually come across dahlias if there are any growing nearby.

Do Squirrels Eat Dahlias?

Squirrels are often associated with scavenging for nuts and acorns, but they also love to snack on flowers. It may come as a surprise, but this includes dahlias. Do squirrels eat dahlia tubers? Although they rarely eat the tubers or bulbs, squirrels can be observed munching away on the petals of the flower.

When it comes to feeding habits, these rodents are mostly found foraging for food on the ground and in trees. This means that if there is a dahlia patch nearby, it won’t be long before some curious squirrels stumble upon it and start snacking on the petals.

What’s The Squirrel Diet?

It’s certainly true that squirrels have a varied diet, including seeds, nuts, fungi, fruits, and even insects. But what about Dahlias? Do squirrels eat dahlia bulbs? The answer is yes – squirrels love the bulbs and tubers of these beautiful plants! To protect your Dahlias from pests like chipmunks and groundhogs (who also enjoy feasting on them), it’s best to use integrated pest management techniques.

Do Squirrels Prefer Dahlias?

In short: yes! Squirrels love to munch on dahlias just like other popular flowers such as daisies or sunflowers. Additionally, since these flowers usually have larger petals, it makes them easier for these critters to handle compared to smaller wildflowers. Dahlias also provide a sweet snack for any nearby wildlife creatures.

Can Squirrels Damage Dahlia Plants?

The answer is yes and no. If a squirrel were to feed on a dahlia plant too much in one sitting then it could cause significant damage and potentially kill the plant altogether. However, in most cases, they will not severely harm your flower patch as long as you take steps to protect it.

How To Tell If A Squirrel Ate Your Dahlias?

If you think a squirrel has been munching away on your precious flowers then there are several telltale signs you can look out for. Firstly, observe if some petals have been chewed off or torn apart; this is usually an indicator that a hungry visitor has passed by recently (the edges tend to look jagged and uneven). Secondly, check if there are paw prints around the base of the flower; this is usually another warning sign that could suggest that something or someone has been digging through your garden soil.

What animals eat dahlias?

Do animals eat dahlias? While dahlias are not typically a preferred food source for many animals, there are a few that may occasionally snack on them. So, what eats dahlias? These animals include:

  • Deer: In areas where deer populations are prominent, they may feed on dahlias, particularly if other food sources are scarce.
  • Rabbits: Do rabbits eat dahlias? When given the opportunity, rabbits may nibble on dahlia plants, especially young shoots and tender foliage.
  • Groundhogs/Woodchucks: These herbivorous rodents may occasionally browse on dahlia plants, particularly if they are easily accessible.
  • Squirrels: While squirrels do not usually have a strong preference for dahlias, they may occasionally sample them if other food sources are limited.
  • Slugs and Snails: These garden pests can damage dahlias by eating the leaves and flowers, especially during damp conditions.

It’s worth noting that not all of these animals will necessarily eat dahlias, and the extent of damage may vary depending on factors such as the availability of other food sources and the local wildlife population. Implementing appropriate deterrents or protecting dahlias can help mitigate any potential damage caused by these animals.

14 Ways To Protect Your Dahlias From Squirrels

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If you have dahlia plants in your garden and want to protect them from being eaten by squirrels, there are some things you can do. Here are the most effective ones:

1. Interplant With Repellent Plants

Interplanting with a variety of plants that are known to repel squirrels is one way to protect your dahlias from these marauding creatures. Some great options include onions, garlic, chives and lavender. The strong odors released by these plants naturally repel the wildlife, so planting them around your dahlias can act as a natural deterrent. Not only will it keep the squirrels away, but it will also add a wonderful aroma to your garden!

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mint
  • Chives
  • Lavender

The Anti-Squirrel Plants

2. Use Urine Or Vinegar Sprays

Another way to keep pesky squirrels away from your dahlias is by using a urine or vinegar spray repellent. These sprays contain ingredients such as garlic or pepper that can help make the area unappealing for any curious visitors. You should try to apply the repellent every few days for maximum effectiveness.

When using this type of spray, remember to exercise caution and wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses since it could irritate eyes and skin if exposed directly.

3. Remove Attractions

It’s important to note that an essential part of protecting your dahlias from being eaten by squirrels is simply removing any potential attractions they may be drawn too. This means trimming tall trees close to the flowers and ensuring that food sources like birdseed are not easily accessible.

Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

4. Create A Physical Barrier

The most effective way to keep squirrels away is to install a fence around the plants and flowers you want to protect. The fence should be about 4-6 feet high and buried at least six inches into the ground. For extra protection, electric fences are available that provide an additional shock to keep the squirrels from jumping over or climbing the fence. This can be especially helpful if your area has particularly persistent and determined squirrels.

The Best Squirrel-Proof Barriers

5. Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Another great way to discourage unwanted visitors is by using scarecrow (motion activated) sprinklers in your garden. These motion-sensitive sprinklers emit a sudden burst of water when they detect movement, providing an unpleasant surprise for animals looking for a snack! If you don’t want to invest in one of these devices, you can always rig up a homemade version with some household items.

6. Ultrasonic Devices

Ultrasonic devices emit sound waves at frequencies beyond our ability to hear that have been shown to be effective at keeping many pests away from gardens. While these devices may work on smaller animals like mice and voles, larger animals such as squirrels tend to be more resistant. However, some homeowners have reported success with ultrasonic devices, so it might still be worth trying out.

The Best Squirrel Repellent

7. Large Decoy Statues

Large decoy statues can be used to scare off squirrels from your yard. The presence of the statues may make the squirrels feel they are being watched and thus deter them from approaching the plants and flowers. However, it is important to remember that this is not a fool-proof method, as the statues need to be placed strategically and periodically moved around, in order to effectively frighten off the little critters.

8. Coffee Grounds

Squirrels don’t like the smell of coffee grounds, so why not mix your used coffee gronds with the soil around your plants and flowers? This will make the surrounding environment less pleasant for squirrels and make it less likely for them to decide to stop by for a snack.

In addition, if you are environmentally conscious, consider that this will also reduce waste, be better for the environment and provide some nutrients for your plants.

9. Hard Ground Cover

A hard ground cover can be an effective way to help protect flowers and plants from squirrels. By placing a dense, thick ground cover near the plants, it will create a physical barrier that squirrels may find uncomfortable to traverse. This can range from mulch and wood chips to gravel or rocks. This will also make it more difficult for them to bury and stash away food, so the area will become less appealing to them.

10. Provide A Feeder

If you want to keep squirrels away from your flowers without resorting to fencing, consider placing a squirrel feeder in your yard. Fill the feeder with seeds and nuts that the squirrels enjoy, and they’ll help themselves while staying away from your plants. That way, you can protect your plants and flowers while still letting the pesky critters enjoy a tasty snack.

11. Encourage Natural Predators

Encourage natural predators to visit your garden to help keep squirrels away from your flowers. Install bird feeders, and houses and plant flowers that attract birds and other wildlife. Additionally, an owl or hawk decoy may be helpful in deterring squirrels. Be sure to check local laws and regulations before doing so.

12. Grow Plants That Squirrels LIKE

Grow plants that squirrels are likely to enjoy. Plant a variety of nuts, and berries that will attract them. They will be more likely to snack on these than on your beautiful flowers. Be sure to include sunflower seeds, peanuts, hickory nuts, safflower seeds, and mulberries. If you want to make the environment even more inviting for these critters, create a water feature in an open area for them to cool off and drink in the summer months.

13. CDs or Aluminum Pans to Reflect Light & Sound Away from Plantings

Another way to protect your garden from animal intruders like squirrels is by using materials that reflect light and sound away from their location. Repurposing old CDs as pinwheels suspended near your flowers can work well for this purpose. Their movement creates flashes of sunlight which startles away walking and flying critters including those looking for a quick bite.

Shiny aluminum pie plates hung around plants also create sudden flashes reflected off the surrounding terrain whenever wind gusts stir up their motion; this serves as an effective deterrent against unwanted visitors.

14. Delay Planting Time

As last resort measure try delaying the planting season until late summer, after the majority of young squirrels have grown up and left their mother’s nest before considering re-planting in early spring again, when feeding behaviors become stronger amongst adults during mating season.

Will Squirrels Dig Up Dahlia Tubers?

Dahlia tubers are often targeted by squirrels looking for a snack – after all, they contain lots of energy-rich carbohydrates and starch! To prevent them from digging up these underground roots, consider planting dahlia bulbs beneath wire mesh or chicken wire fencing.

How To Stop Squirrels From Digging Dahlia Tubers

Squirrels can be a real nuisance when it comes to digging up dahlia tubers. To protect your garden from their attention, you can use a variety of techniques that target the animal‘s behavior and biology.

To start, you can reinforce the perimeter of your garden with low-lying fences or barriers to make it harder for squirrels to access the area.

Wrapping the bulbs in two-inch wide chicken wire with 1/4 inch mesh should give enough protection from any hungry visitors. Alternatively, applying a thick layer of mulch to the ground is also effective at dissuading foraging animals.

Additionally, you could create a noise deterrent like wind chimes or loud music to discourage them from entering the space.

Finally, using an hot pepper or garlic repellent around your plants is another way to stop squirrels from chasing after the dahlia tubers!


So, do squirrels eat dahlias? The short answer is yes. But it’s not a widespread problem, because they usually feed on other things first. However, if you have dahlias growing around your home or garden and don’t want them to be nibbled by furry critters, there are some simple measures you can take to deter squirrels from snacking!

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