Pests

Hello, I'm new here so... Hello again *waves*

have any of you folks planted your bulbs for the spring and top off with pansies only to have them dug out and they look like they have been chewed! The bulbs that is, the pansies look a sorry sight too image 

Posts

  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,823
    Maybe you have squirrels in the neighbourhood.
  • Hmm that's what I figured when I examined the bulb remains, they haven't picked on my larger pots 

     

    thank you image

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Yea, squirrels all right  we have so many that a permanent state of war exists here - with them winning so far - but it's only been 18 years so I suppose I can't expect to win yet!!

    However, one or two things we have learned over those years, including - cover all pots of bulbs with chicken wire and/or cuttings of holly and/or pyracantha - that does protect them quite alot as the horrible furry rats don't like getting there disgusting paws scratched.  Lay branches of anything prickly over areas of beds with cubs in pinning them down with tent pegs or equivalent, we use holly and pyracantha because that's what we have growing and can this cut good bits from when needed.  Crocus need especial defence as it appears to be caviar for them, especially purple ones - and yes, they do know the difference if you put single colours in blocks or in separate pots.  The purple ones will be attacked before I have got the back door closed.  The bulbs will come up quite normally in the spring, and when a decent size the prickles can be removed, and the flowers enjoyed - at least until the pigeons get to them, but that's another story! Use quite fine chicken wire if that is the route you go - it is surprising what small spaces the climbing rats can get through - which is why most 'squirrel proof' bird food feeders aren't. I've lost count of how many types of feeders we have bought, and the squirrels solve them all - many manufacturers have been quite surprised when I have told them their 'guaranteed squirrel proof feeders' are no such thing.

    Please save yourselves the kindly efforts of telling me about chillies, garlic, pepper, soap or whatever else, been there, done that many, many, many times - and they thrive on it - especially the very hot chillies smeared neat all over the feeders, they just lick their chops and go on as usual!!

  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,823
    I too cover the pots of bulbs with wire until the bulbs are safely growing. If you have pansies growing over the bulbs then maybe you can put a criss cross pattern of short canes across the top of the pot, in between the pansies. It works for me most of the time. Our squirrels get a lot of food from the bird feeder and that seems to keep them away from the bulbs.
  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    I am interested Ceres to see that allowing the squirrels to have the seed feed they leave the bulbs alone - ours must be just gluttons, as they eat everything!  I reached using  over 2 Kg of seed a day, of which the birds got around an eighth - just far, far  too much.  Our current feeder, also guaranteed squirrel proof isn't, but it has slowed them down somewhat.  At present the best I have managed to date. 

  • yup it'll be Tufty and his pesky friends. They investigate any pots - they're currently digging up all my potted-on perennials in the hope of finding bulbs, resulting in compost everywhere and my cherished aquilegias etc uprooted. The varmints! Chicken wire is definitely the most effective deterrent. They are also busy burying horse chestnuts all over the garden so I will be uprooting trees in spring. Like Bookertoo, I have found nothing keeps them off my bird feeders. Although I do add chilli pepper to the birdseed purely for the pleasure of watching them eventually get a noseful, leap off and run to stick their heads in the pond. Whereupon I cackle malevolently.

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Hi Gingly, yes, they did object for a short while, but the effect lasted - literally - about 24 hours after which they just ignored the chilli and went on eating!!

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