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Beginner Gardening: Plant "pest"

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 5, Views: 58
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Clayton, IN

June 23, 2008
12:17 AM

Post #5144307

I'm not sure yet where to post this, so I'll start here and maybe someone will have an idea. This spring, I put out all my flowers in containers (deck pots as well as hanging) and others in my beds. Within a few days, something had broken down most of my snap dragons and geraniums. I figured "live in the country, small animal, they'll grow back." Then "it" started digging my flowers and bulbs out of my containers--even the hanging ones! It doesn't eat the bulbs or the plants, just digs holes. I'm able to salvage the plants and put them back in the pots. A few days later, it comes back and does it again--the same pots it's dug in before! Now it's digging in my beds! This is the first time in 19 years of living there that this has happened. I figured if it didn't find what it wanted the first time, it would leave them alone but it isn't. Has anyone else had this problem, or have an idea of what it might be?
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 23, 2008
1:12 AM

Post #5144537

Could be squirrels or chipmunks, they like to dig in pots. Sometimes they'll munch stuff too but I've seen times where they just dug stuff up and then didn't eat it. Especially if it's a squirrel, he might be burying nuts in the pots, either that or looking for nuts that he thinks he put there last year. I can't count the number of baby walnut trees I wound up with in my container plants at my old house from squirrels burying them there!
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

June 23, 2008
3:25 AM

Post #5145210

I've had crows do the same thing. They don't eat anything, they just pull stuff up.


central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

June 23, 2008
3:50 PM

Post #5147013

Yep, sound like squirrels or chipmunks, I put some heavy stones in my pots this year and it helped.
Middleton, WI
(Zone 4b)

June 24, 2008
2:25 AM

Post #5150269

I had a similar problem and my mother offered me her mother's solution. Moth balls. It doesn't take many. Just tuck a few in the pots. The smell drives away the pests. I didn't know what else moth balls might do so I removed them after a week or so. Whatever was digging in my potted flowers had decided they were fun by then.
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

June 29, 2008
1:08 AM

Post #5175171

The moth balls repel the bugs and squirrels, but you need to replace them as the smell disappears outdoors faster than indoors where we used to use them on clothes and inside storage places, I would agree this is squirrels or the chip monks burying seeds/nuts etc for winter storage, problem is, they dont always remember where they burried them and we get all sorts of saplings/shrubs growing in places we know we never planted them, the crows dig for worms and if in the veg plat, they are looking for nice tender bits of greens to eat, mothballs dont harm the good insects etc, but remember to replace them often, good luck. WeeNel.

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