The Q&A Archives: Rabbits and Squirrels Eating Tulips

Question: How do you stop rabbits and squirrels from eating your tulip flowers?

Answer: It's tough to deter these furry fellows. They seem to adapt to human strategies fairly well. I searched our database and found quite a few methods of pest control. Try to vary some of them over a period of time, which seems to help keep the animals at bay.

Use a commercially produced predator urine (Burpee Seeds offers some -; ph# 800/888-1447).

Cover the soil around planting beds with sheets of 1-2 inch diameter wire mesh. Squirrels don't like to walk on it.

You can also try pruning trees so the lowest branches are at least 6 feet above ground and placing 2 foot wide metal bands around the tree trunks, positioning them so the bottom of each band is at least 2 feet off the ground. This will discourage squirrels from taking up residence in your yard.

Rabbits can be repelled by a number of home remedies including cayenne pepper mixed with garlic and sprayed around the lawn or blood meal sprinkled on plants. Other repellents include Ro-pel, Bonide rabbit-deer repellent, fox urine and vinegar. Repellents can also be applied to the bulbs before planting.

You can try to scare rabbits from your garden by burying empty pop bottles with the tops poking up a few inches above the ground.The eerie whistle that results when the wind blows can scare them away. A good dog or cat provides defense, but sometimes just the presence of pet hair around the garden is enough. Obtain dog or cat hair from a groomer if you don't have a pet. Or try a fence - use 1-inch chicken wire, 2 feet high and buried at least 6 inches deep. Good luck!

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