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Squirrels and mice stealing bulbs!

I prepared several containers with layers of bulbs to give as Christmas presents and within hours a squirrel (I think) dug up and stole the bulbs. I then replaced the bulbs and built what I thought was a Fort Knox construction of rigid wire and chicken wire around the pots (they're stood on concrete). Again the pots have been attacked (this time I think it could be a mouse because I can't see any way a squirrel could have got through the narrow mesh wire). Any ideas how I can save my bulbs from being pinched!

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,245

    Bu**ers, aren't they?    image

    Normally, chicken wire works quite well if it's squirrels, but mice are cunning. However, mice don't really take bulbs as they're mostly too big - although they do eat things like pea and bean seeds. 

    Squirrels are  bold and determined though and can get under the chicken wire. In the past, I've stuck a brick or similar on the top of the wire until the shoots start coming through to prevent that. They tend to only take the bulbs that are fairly shallow as they don't dig down too far.

    What have you planted, and are all the bulbs gone, or just the ones nearest the surface?

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,187

    My mother uses a black mesh with pointy bits which she finds very effective to protect her tulips. Something like this: http://www.qwerkity.com/dig-stopper-prod18712/ 

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 4,987

    You could also try chilli pepper powder on the bulbs though the rain will wash it away, but it may be enough to deter them so they learn not to try again. This works very well on bird seed in feeders (the birds don't have the heat receptors so are unaffected).

    AB Still learning

  • AJ203AJ203 Posts: 15

    Many thanks for all the helpful suggestions - I realise in the big pots the squirrel has only dug down about three inches, so it's mostly the crocus bulbs that have been taken and the tulips, narcissus and hyacinth bulbs are still there, just disrupted. So, perhaps avoid planting small bulbs!

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,245

    I also used a griddle rack from a barbecue on top of a pot of small alliums, and put a brick on it. That kept them out  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,404

    The ones around here plant American Walnuts (neighbour has a tree) in every pot - they're enormous! 

  • Old bits of carpet with wood holding it in place 

  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489

    A thick layer of grit and strong, fine metal mesh helps also an upturned wire hanging basket, pegged down.

    SW Scotland
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