One of the most asked questions that I get from my readers, is how to keep wildlife away from bulbs. Keeping wildlife away from bulbs is a challenge for anyone. Deer, rabbit, chipmunks, and squirrels will dig up bulbs for a tasty meal. Of course, an occasional skunk or raccoon may also dig up your bulbs.
Keeping wildlife away from bulbs can be tricky, but there are several natural ways it can be done. I always try to do things naturally so that I don’t harm the environment.
Which Critters Do The Most Damage
I find the most difficult wildlife to keep away from bulbs is chipmunks and squirrels. Rabbits are also good at this, and deer tend to get bored digging with their hooves so they give up. Most people don’t realize the damage a chipmunk can do to a garden and they are a major challenge in my gardens.
Use Cayenne Pepper to Keep Wildlife Away From Bulbs
Here’s the first easy tip to keep wildlife away from bulbs and it’s a readily available product. Cayenne pepper can be found in most stores and it’s not expensive. I buy a big container of it every spring at Costco’s or Sam’s. All you have to do is sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the area of newly planted bulbs or old bulbs and the cayenne pepper will keep the wildlife away from bulbs. Crushed red pepper will also keep wildlife away from bulbs.
Critters don’t like the taste of hot, spicy items and actually just a whiff of cayenne pepper usually sends them looking elsewhere. Cayenne pepper is a great deterrent and does work to keep wildlife away from bulbs. Using cayenne pepper will not in any way harm your plants. You’ll have to remember to sprinkle your plants after it rains or after you water them if you’re not using a drip system.
Use Vinegar to Keep Wildlife Away From Bulbs
Vinegar has many household uses and it will sometimes work to keep wildlife away from bulbs. The problem with vinegar is that the smell is not strong enough for some critters. For the critters that can stand the smell of vinegar, they’ll go ahead and dig up your bulbs anyway. It is another safe method that you can try to keep wildlife away from bulbs and it will not harm the environment. All you need is one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a quart of water. You can spray the soil and plant leaves with this solution, and again, you’ll have to remember to spray the area after it rains. To continue keeping wildlife away from bulbs, you’ll need to spray the area once a week using this method.
Use Wire Mesh to Keep Wildlife Away From Bulbs
This is the best method that I’ve found to keep wildlife away from bulbs. It’s simple, inexpensive, and you don’t have to worry about whether or not it rains.
Wildlife is attracted to the smell of fresh soil or overturned dirt and they’ll always find the spot where you’ve been digging. After planting bulbs, I cover the area with a quarter-inch wire mesh screen to keep wildlife away from bulbs. I place some large rocks around the mesh to keep it from being moved or from curling up.
The wire mesh does several things to keep wildlife away from bulbs. First, the critters can’t dig through the wire mesh. Secondly, most critters will not chew through the wire mesh. Chipmunks are the ones most likely to do this. If you see holes in the wire mesh, then grab the cayenne pepper. Lastly, the screen can cover your bulb area until next spring when shoots begin to show. The wire mesh allows any precipitation and sunshine to penetrate the bulb area which is what you want it to do. It’s an easy solution to keep wildlife away from bulbs.
If you have an old window screen around that you didn’t know what to do with, that may work too. If it’s a plastic screen, try it and see what happens. If a critter should chew through it, sprinkle on the cayenne pepper or purchase some wire mesh at the local hardware store. Wire mesh is inexpensive and you can use it over and over again to keep wildlife away from bulbs. This is by far the best natural method to keep wildlife away from bulbs.
Plant Daffodils to Keep Wildlife Away From Bulbs
Did you know that daffodils are naturally poisonous to wildlife? If all else fails, plant these bulbs and you won’t ever have to worry about keeping wildlife away from bulbs. Some gardeners mix daffodil bulbs in with other bulbs and that helps keep wildlife away from bulbs too.
The National Gardening Association