I’ve been battling squirrels since I moved into this house in 1995. It’s ironic because my last house had many trees in the yard, but few squirrels whereas this house has only one tree, but an abundance of squirrels. Voracious squirrels. Bulb-digging, seed-eating, plant-chewing squirrels.
Animal-lover and organic gardener that I am, I have tried to discourage the squirrels from using my gardens as an all-you-can-eat buffet without harming either them or the environment. The most effective method for me has been to use leaves to cover areas where I have planted bulbs in the fall. The theory is that squirrels are attracted by freshly dug earth and the leaves mask the scent of the disturbed soil.
That still left me with the problem of preventing predation of my seeds in the spring. This past fall, I experimented with sprinkling hot pepper over areas where I had planted bulbs. It was a stupendous success. I’ve been looking forward to trying this same method when I plant seeds in the spring. In the meantime, I thought that I could relax and not have to worry about squirrels looting my gardens over the winter.
I found this this morning. The first question that popped into my head was how did they know where to dig? I planted these bulbs in December. There is no freshly dug soil. Perhaps an enterprising squirrel was just digging around and happened onto a bulb and so continued in the same area hoping to find more?
Or could there be a more sinister explanation involving lookouts, careful noting of locations, then waiting for rain to wash away all trace of pepper culminating in a night of frenzied digging to replenish empty larders?