Bulbs being devoured

Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Fri, 16 Dec 2005 17:10:36 PST
On Dec 16, 2005, at 2:47 PM, Diane Whitehead wrote:

> Jim's comment about some lilies being unpalatable to rodents sent me
> out to check my lily seedlings. I was happy to see them untouched.
> However, something with a taste for the tasty has been eating
> unexpected plants in my closed greenhouse.

I am having the same experience, but I'm almost certain it is a rat or 
mouse. It doesn't seem to devour anything yet, but is snipping leaves 
or stems off various plants that I think it then finds to be not tasty.

Of all the problem animals mentioned, I have only had experience with 
rats and squirrels, and squirrels were by far the worst. They didn't 
seem to eat any plants or bulbs, but would dig up plants and/or bulbs, 
toss them aside and bury and pecan or acorn in the pot in its place. 
Invariably they would choose the rarest plants or bulbs to do this to. 
I trapped and released up in the forest probably almost 20 squirrels 
over a period of about a year until I got an almost foolproof 
deterrence: a dog who somehow knows that rats and squirrels are 
verboten whereas small cats and small children are to be loved (even 
though the cats don't seem to appreciate the attention, the children, 
however, do). The only other time I had no problems was an earlier 
existence when I had no dog, but an outdoor cat who was an excellent 
ratcatcher (and even squirrel catcher!).

Hence the problem with the greenhouse: It is closed to the dog, so the 
rat finds sanctuary there I think. (The bottom edge is not sealed.)

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena area, California, USDA Zone 10a

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