Do squirrels eat flower bulbs? That’s the million-dollar question! As a nature lover with years of experience observing and interacting with squirrels, I can tell you that unfortunately, yes, they do. But don’t despair – there are ways to protect your flower bulbs from these mischievous creatures that don’t involve drastic measures. In this blog post, I’ll share how to stop squirrels from eating your flower bulbs.
Squirrels will target flower bulbs if they are hungry. They can be very destructive, especially during the winter when food is scarce. By consuming the bulbs, squirrels prevent them from flowering in the spring. Fortunately, there are ways to protect flower bulbs from being eaten by squirrels, such as covering them with chicken wire or using repellents.
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Do Squirrels Eat Flower Bulbs?
Squirrels are omnivores and will eat just about anything if they are hungry enough. Flower bulbs are no exception, as their high-calorie content makes them especially appealing to these scavenging critters. Unfortunately, since flower bulbs need to remain intact to germinate properly, squirrels can quickly damage or eliminate an entire garden full of bulbs.
What is a Squirrel’s Diet?
Squirrels feed on buds, nuts, fruits, seeds, fungi, insects, and even eggs in the wild. A typical squirrel diet also includes barks, roots, buds and occasionally bulbs. Squirrels love to eat flower bulbs because they can be quite nutritive and contain many essential vitamins and minerals.
What Attracts Squirrels To Bulbs?
The taste and scent of the bulb can attract squirrels to the area. Some types of flower bulbs have a milky sap that emits a sweet fragrance that repels some animals but entices squirrels. Additionally, most bulbs are easy to dig up with their sharp claws and squirrels find them easy to consume.
What Other Foods Do Squirrels Eat?
- Nuts: Nuts such as acorns and walnuts provide essential fats for healthy growth for these small rodents.
- Fruits: Apples are popular with squirrels, along with various berries like blueberries or raspberries.
- Stems: Squirrel often nibble on the stems of various plant species.
- “Salad”: Squirrels enjoy consuming flowers petals, leaves and stems form certain flowering plants.
- Bulb Vegetables: They partake of bulb vegetables like garlic or onions found in gardens.
What Damage Do Squirrels Do To Flower Bulbs?
When it comes to complicated gardening tasks such as planting flower bulbs correctly, little things matter. Digging up your freshly planted bulbs is just one of the things that can happen when you have a hungry neighborhood rodent looking for food. Due to the nature of the task of digging up your flower bed or freshly planted containers, damaging your newly planted bulbs is unavoidable.
How To Stop Squirrels From Eating Flower Bulbs?
Protecting your flower bulbs from pesky critters such as squirrels can be difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to deter them! Here are a few tips that may help:
- Physical barriers such as chicken wire or hardware cloth can be effective in protecting bulbs.
- Delaying planting time until later in the season can discourage critters from digging up your bulbs.
- Plant bulbs among other plants that squirrels don’t like to camouflage them and reduce predation.
- Avoid feeding squirrels in your yard, as it will bring more of them around.
- Bulbs with poisonous ingredients or milky sap are less attractive to squirrels.
Cover Your Bulbs
Protecting your flower bulbs from pesky squirrels doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are several steps you can take to ensure your bulbs stay safe. Start by using physical barriers like chicken wire or hardware cloth to deter them. Delay planting until later in the season and plant bulbs among other plants that squirrels don’t like. Avoid feeding squirrels, as this will just draw in more of them! Finally, use bulbs with poisonous ingredients or milky sap as these are less attractive to squirrels.
Avoid Smelly Fertilizers
Using smelly fertilizers is not advised when it comes to discouraging squirrels from snacking on your flower bulbs. In fact, using this type of fertilizer can attract more critters looking for a tasty snack. Instead, opt for an organic option since it won’t have any strong aromas that could attract pests.
Plant Your Bulbs Among Other Plants
One way to protect flower bulbs from being eaten by squirrels is to plant them among other plants that the rodents don’t like. For example, marigolds and lavender give off aromatic scents that repel squirrels, so planting those herbs near your bulbs might help camouflage them and reduce predation. Additionally, it’s a good idea to position your tulip and other bulb-producing plants in an area surrounded by taller plants or shrubs.
In addition, you can interplant other edible vegetation throughout your garden. This will provide the squirrels with another food source and help keep them away from your flower bulbs. Planting thicker beds and mounds of perennial flowers with different textures can provide a safe habitat for many small animals that could potentially help ward off pests.
Use Natural Repellents
Using natural repellents such as coyote urine or predator poop is another option for deterring squirrels from eating flower bulbs. The scent of these natural deterrents is enough to send them running away from the area; however, some are more effective than others, so make sure to do your research before investing in one.
Alternatively, commercial repellents may be used on the soil around the flower bulbs to discourage squirrels from digging there in search of a snack. However, it is important to remember that these products must be reapplied regularly as they tend to lose their effectiveness after a short period of time.
Add Sharp Gravel
Adding sharp gravel around the perimeter of your garden bed is one way to deter squirrels from digging up your bulbs. When they attempt to dig, the sharpness of the gravel will irritate their paws, making it difficult for them to continue. You can also mix cayenne pepper with birdseed and spread it around the edges of your garden bed; this will have a similar effect as the sharp gravel.
In conclusion, do squirrels eat flower bulbs? Yes, but fortunately there are ways to protect them from being eaten by using repellents and chicken wire. With these measures in place, your garden flower bulbs can be safe from the hungry squirrels in your area.
Taking action now is the key to protecting your flower bulbs from squirrels. Implementing repellents or fencing in vulnerable areas with chicken wire can help keep those beautiful flowers blooming in the spring time!
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