raccoons eating bulbs

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by mar, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. mar

    mar Member

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    I have just planted some beautiful , and expensive alliums.....the raccoons are digging them up ....eating some and leaving the rest on top....is there anything that can deter them other than using barbed wire.....?Has anyone else had this problem,is it the type of bulb or do they eat all bulbs.....?
     
  2. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    Mar,
    Planting daffodils amongst the alliums may help: they don't like them.
    You may check in your local nursery for products to deterr aniamls; you may be able to coat your bulbs and protect them this way. These animals and the squirrels as well, are searching for food and can smell the bulbls beneath the soil. Putting remay cloth on the surface of the soil, or just below it, may help as well. This is fabric you can get at local nurseries as well.
     
  3. digital flower

    digital flower Member

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    There isn't much that will stop a determined animal. I have been planting the bulbs that they like to eat with some sharp gravel mixed in with the backfill. This has stopped most of the animals.
     
  4. NiftyNiall

    NiftyNiall Active Member 10 Years

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    I also have noticed that sharp gravels, deter them slightly. They can be determined critters, if hungry. Cayenne pepper works, somewhat but you have to replace it regularily for a while(also works on "Tree Rats",(squirrels)). Only the newer visitors will not know you have spread cayenne. There has been some controversy about using this method, some say that birds can get it into their eyes, but I have not seen any proof that it hurts them. I have birds all the time, visiting and they seem fine. I have seen a Raccoon tear open a stucco wire enclosure, to get inside.
     
  5. Kazuye

    Kazuye New Member

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    I live in Mar Vista , CA and raccoons dug up and ate all of my daffodil bulbs earlier this year. Only a couple of bulbs left that they missed. It was a family of 5 bringing their 3 half-grown kits with them.
     
  6. Michigander

    Michigander Member

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    You have to either get serious or let them have their way. Critters that make their living with their nose can only be deterred by something that smells bad, --to them, like the insecticides used on garden stuff. Anytime you disturb the soil planting something, you're exposing fresh soil which has a particular lure for critters that make their living with their nose. As they travel up-wind they get a whiff of something interesting and follow their nose. Squirrels can't remember where they bury acorns anymore than they can fly. They can smell an acorn when the shell breaks open and the tender nutmeat germinates and begins to grow a tree. It's the same principle: they can smell good stuff happening up-wind and all God's creatures love freshly germinating seeds, --just like us!

    When planting a row of seeds or starter plants like lettuce, I always dust the immediately area with Sevin. It smells relatively bad and will deter vicious marauding rabbits for long enough for the newly turned soil to tone down in appeal. Rabbits especially, have a route that they travel day, after day, and if you can misdirect them away from something tasty for a few days, the tender plants, especially emerging rose canes, can get a head start and not be quite as prominent a target because it's off their beaten path. I use rose dust and pelleted systemic rose food/pesticide on non-food stuff for the same reasons.

    Once something is on their daily checklist, they nibble yesterday's growth down to the nubs, every day. Birds like Robins, Morning Dove, and Crows will peck emerging seeds everyday unless you ward them off with bad smelling something. Coons and Possum are clever and have nothing but time on their hands and food on the brain. I question whether or not gravel would cause them to loose interest. Perhaps some kinds of rocks have odors that mask food? That's pretty questionable, too. Dousing the immediate area with something that smells bad works for me, but I have used Cayenne against squirrels and moles to no avail. It seemed as though they liked it. ? Moth balls in an enclosed area is obnoxious to most critters. I had some in a netted bulb bag (like potato or onions come in, too) hanging in a wintering-over shelter, and believe-it-or-not, the mice cut it down and tried to move it out of the area.

    If you don't want to use chemicals, so be it. The critters will like you, and your garden, more. You have my word for it...
     
    thanrose likes this.
  7. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member

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    My garden has been plagued by racoons for as long as I've been gardening; and the only thing that really works is a properly designed electric fence, which I've used to protect grapes and sweet cherries for many years. However, for buried items that attract racoons, such as kitchen scraps and crab remains, I've found that covering the soil with pieces of chicken wire held in place with large rocks or something like tent pegs is usually effective. I'm aware that a racoon is perfectly capable of chewing through the chicken wire, but it has never happened in my experience.
     

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