The Q&A Archives: What Is Eating My Tulip?

Question: Something is eating my tulips, not the bulb, but the leaves and buds. Though whatever it is loves my tulips, it also has started to eat daylilies, too. We do not have deer in my subdivision. We do have a lot of squirrels, more than normal. Could it be squirrels? Whatever it is, it does NOT like daffodils, azealeas, nor other tender shoots coming up on all my shrubs. There is also evidence of digging in the mulch throughout the yard, like something digging for grubs or bulbs - only about 3 inches deep and 3 inches wide. No tunnels. No real holes. Could it be a ground hog? I put out concentrated garlic plugs, but that hasn't helped. Someone at work suggested dried blood? Any ideas what it is and what to deter it from destroying my tulips and daylilies?

Answer: This sounds like it might be squirrels or a skunk digging but in my experience they do not usually eat plants other than squirrels nibbling tulips. Bunnies love daylily foliage, and woodchucks are notorious for nibbling on all kinds of plants. These two do not dig random numerous holes, however. Perhaps you have a number of things at work. You might try one of the commercial animal repellent sprays or a homemade one based on garlic and/or pepper. You could also sprinkle blood meal. A fence might also be helpful. You might experiment and see what works best for you.

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