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Do Squirrels Eat Lily Bulbs? (and How to Keep Them AWAY!)

As a passionate observer and lover of nature, I have spent countless hours studying the behavior of squirrels all around the world. My experience observing these creatures has shown me that yes, squirrels eat lily bulbs. In fact, there are several types of lilies that they particularly enjoy, such as fritillaria, marathon and Turk’s cap lilies. But it’s not just the bulbs they like to eat – they will also munch on the leaves and stems when given the opportunity! In this blog post, you can find out more about whether squirrels eat lily bulbs plus how to keep them away.

Do Squirrels Eat Lily Bulbs?

Yes, squirrels can eat lily bulbs. There are several types of lilies that are particularly attractive to them, including fritillaria, marathon and Turk’s cap lilies. Squirrels also enjoy eating other parts of the plant, such as leaves and stems.

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What Types Of Lilies Attract Squirrels?

Common varieties of lilies that are especially attractive to squirrels include tiger, Easter and Turk’s cap lilies. Other varieties, such as Marathon and Fritillaria lilies, can also be susceptible to squirrel damage.

  • Tiger lilies: These large orange-petalled flowers have long been recognized as a favorite among rodents.
  • Easter lilies: These white trumpet-shaped blooms may be less immediately attractive to squirrels, but they still make an ideal snack.
  • Turk’s cap lilies: With their larger than average petals and bright yellow color, these flowers draw plenty of attention from furry foragers.
  • Marathon lilies: The purple petals and deep red buds on this flower are irresistible to some rodent species.

What Parts Of Lily Bulbs Do Squirrels Eat?

Squirrels typically go after the bulb itself, where all of its nutrients are stored. If a bulb isn’t available or accessible to a hungry squirrel, they may resort to nibbling on leaves or stems in order to keep up their energy levels.

For the most part though, it’s the bulb that draws them in. Many gardeners find that if you dig around your flower bed enough times eventually you will discover evidence of bulb consumption. This is usually evidenced by holes in the ground or simply empty spots where bulbs once grew.

  • Bulb: Leaves & Stems:Without access to a bulb or when energy levels drop too low a squirrel may nibble on these secondary parts of your plants.
  • Leaves & Stems:Without access to a bulb or when energy levels drop too low a squirrel may nibble on these secondary parts of your plants.

Understanding Squirrels’ Eating Habits & Nourishment

Squirrels tend to feed opportunistically throughout their lifetime, so their diet is constantly in flux depending on what is available at any given moment. This can mean they will feed off of whatever edible items they find during the course of their day whether it’s nuts, fruits, insects or even flowers.

Squirrels generally need a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats in order to stay healthy and hearty. They thrive off items like nuts which contain plenty of fat as well as seeds which offer both protein and carbohydrates – making them perfectly rounded food sources for these critters! These dietary staples help with everything from hibernation cycles in the winter months to reproduction during the summer.

How To Keep Squirrels Away From Lily Bulbs

Protecting your lily bulbs from pesky squirrels may seem challenging, but there are measures you can take to defend your flowers. To help deter them, consider using repellents, planting bulb varieties that aren’t attractive, and covering the newly planted area with bark or mulch. Additionally, planting later in the season when squirrels are no longer desperate for food may also help.

Protecting your lily bulbs from pesky squirrels is an important step in ensuring that your garden remains a beautiful sight throughout the summer. Here are some tips to keep them away:

Cover Your Bulbs

The most effective way to protect your lily bulbs it to install a physical barrier. In this way, the squirrels will not be able to touch the bulbs. Here are a couple of effective barriers you can use:

The Best Squirrel-Proof Barriers

Avoid Smelly Fertilizers

If you’re looking for a way to keep squirrels away from your lily bulbs, one of the best solutions is to avoid smelly fertilizers. Fertilizers with strong odors are particularly attractive to many rodents, and lilies are especially sensitive to fertilizers with strong smells. Instead, use organic fertilizers or compost that have little or no smell.

Plant Your Bulbs Among Other Plants

If you’re looking to protect your lily bulbs from those pesky squirrels, one way to do so is to plant them among other plants. Be sure to choose companion plants that deter squirrels, such as garlic and lavender; the strong smell can actually act as a repellent. Additionally, make sure to add some dense foliage around the bulbs; this will make it more difficult for squirrels to access them. Now your lily bulbs are safe!

The Anti-Squirrel Plants

Use Natural Repellents

Natural repellents are an excellent way to keep squirrels away from your lily bulbs. Sprinkling cayenne pepper or cinnamon in the area around your bulbs can help keep them away as they may not like the smell or taste of these spices. You can also purchase commercial repellents, such as diatomaceous earth or animal repellent granules, that are designed to drive away rodents.

Add Sharp Gravel

Adding sharp gravel to the ground around your bulb plants is another way to protect them from hungry squirrels. Squirrels much prefer soft dirt compared to a hard, rocky surface – especially one full of sharp stones that might hurt their paws when digging for food. Simply spread a thin layer of gravel over the area where you’ve planted your bulbs, and this should provide adequate protection.

For added measure, pour some edible oil over the gravel. This will make it slick and difficult for a squirrel to move around and dig up any bulbs.

Provide Alternate Food Sources

Squirrels only have limited access to food and resources during the winter months, so they’re always looking for ways to store up provisions. Offering them alternate sources of food like birdseed, sunflower seeds and nuts can help distract them from destroying your lily bulbs. Place bird feeders and seed stations at least five feet away from your planting area so that squirrels have easy access without disrupting your garden.

Clean Up Your Planting Areas

When planting any type of bulb in your garden, it’s important to clean up after yourself before leaving. Make sure no bits of debris are left behind where you were working because these can act like a beacon for nearby squirrels who may come searching for future meals. Once you’ve finished planting, clear out all leftover material such as compost materials, fertilizers, weed killer residues and mulch.

Additionally, make sure to not leave anything edible around your bulbs. This includes bird feeders, which should be squirrel-proof like the one below!

Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

Plant Bulbs That Squirrels Don’t Prefer

Certain varieties of lilies may be tastier than others when it comes to attracting squirrels. Fritillaria, Turk’s cap lilies and marathon lilies tend to be popular among rodents looking for a snack – but there are also many other varieties that aren’t as desirable for them. Plant bulbs varieties such as Silent caulks (Cushion Champion), Lin aria vulgarism (Yellow Toad flax) or Anemone Blanca (Grecian Windflower) instead – these are less attractive to squirrels due to their bitter taste.

Ultrasound Repellent

Another high-tech way to deter squirrels from your garden is by using ultrasound deterrents. These devices emit high-frequency sound waves that humans can’t hear but are unbearable to animals, including squirrels. The sound disorients squirrels, making them extremely uncomfortable, and ultimately drives them away from your garden.

To use ultrasound deterrents, you can purchase an ultrasonic repellent device and place it in your garden. The device will emit sound waves in all directions, ensuring that all squirrels are deterred. The best part? These devices are environmentally friendly, humane, and don’t harm squirrels in any way.

The Best Squirrel Repellent

Delay Planting Time

The timing of when you plant your bulbs can make all the difference when trying to stave off potential pests. Late winter is typically prime season for hungry squirrels trying to store up provisions – so wait till springtime before planting if possible. This gives time for the colder weather to pass by so that rodents have filled up on their stores elsewhere.

Owl Sculptures as Scarecrows

Owl sculptures can also make great scarecrows that can frighten off pesky critters like squirrels. Place these strategically among trees close by so that when the sun shines during daylight hours they cast long shadows across sections of land.

You could also opt to hang up some owl decorations along fence lines near your lily bulbs if you’re feeling extra creative! This will not only provide a visual deterrent but also act as a reminder that owls are always on watch throughout night so if any rodents try their luck they may end up paying the consequences.

Sprinklers As A Deterrent

Setting up automated sprinklers pointed in certain areas near where pesky critters like squirrels frequent has been reported by some people as being quite effective!

Some motion-activated units even feature bright flashing lights intended specifically designed scare off intruders trying to sneak past during night time hours making them especially useful during summer months when days much longer than usual.

It’s important to note however water isn’t only used to repel unwanted visitors but also attract beneficial birds pollinators which often balance out the ecosystem allowing more nutritious yields without additional human input beyond regular maintenance activity routinely conducted in order to ensure optimum functionality throughout the lifespan installed equipment utilized dissuade rogue wildlife encroaching upon landowner’s property

What Do Squirrels Eat?

What Types Of Food Do Squirrels Prefer?

Generally speaking, most species of wild squirrels prefer eating various types of nuts such as acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts and chestnuts – but they do occasionally enjoy munching on fruits such as apples or berries too! In addition, these animals also feed on things like mushrooms, insects and small critters; although admittedly their diet depends largely on what’s available in their environment.

What Nutrients Do Squirrels Need?

Squirrels are omnivores and need a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They also require electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and trace elements to stay healthy. Squirrels eat a variety of different foods, including nuts, fruit, vegetables and even insects.

In terms of macronutrients, squirrels need carbohydrates for energy. Fats provide additional energy, as well as fatty acids that are essential for the body’s functioning. Proteins provide building blocks for tissue growth and repair and also provide energy when needed. Minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus keep bones strong and help regulate blood pressure levels.


Squirrels have a voracious appetite, and unfortunately that includes lily bulbs. While there are steps you can take to deter them from eating your lilies, they may still find their way to your garden. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the risk of squirrels feeding on your lily bulbs.

So do squirrels eat lily bulbs? Yes, so take caution when planting lilies in areas that squirrels frequent. Taking basic preventative measures, such as covering your lilies with netting or mulch, can help protect your beloved plants from predation—and help keep the squirrels away!

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