Question about pest mammals and bulbs (Justin Smith)

Paul Licht
Sun, 04 Jan 2009 07:50:58 PST
The list of creatures that will disrupt or destroy bulbs goes on. Last 
week, we discovered that among hundreds of potted mature and seedling 
bulbs, something had selectively dug up and eaten the a whole flat of  
/*Gladiolus liliaceus*/ without touching anything around it. A few days 
later, I moved a lot of trays into a new greenhouse because of pending 
frost and the same thing was discovered the next morning with a 
surviving tray of the same species. We set a few traps and instantly got 
a Peromyscus and haven't had any troubles since. We have had them attack 
many other seedlings but this is the first we saw the selective bulb 

Of course, squirrels constantly dig up pots; I think mostly to bury 
their acorns. Our California jays do the same. Racoons frequently empty 
a pot looking for grubs but seldom eat the bulbs. Because of deers, I 
haven't seen the Watsonia in full bloom for years around my own home 
outside of the fencing; they always wait until the night before the buds 
are ready to open. This year we are experiencing an epidemic of pack 
rats but so far, their extensive damage to plants does not seem to have 
included our bulbs.   If you have bulbs planted out, then you have the 
pocket gophers and voles (Microtus) to contend with. We have virtually 
given up on Lilium because of the Microtus.

I'm sure I've missed several

Paul Licht, Director
Univ. California Botanical Garden
200 Centennial Drive
Berkeley, CA 94720

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