Ann - how terrible! Rotten squirrel; or as dahlianut calls them "Tree Rats."
I was wondering - have you thought about leaving them some food to see if they'll take that instead? I've noticed that my crocuses have not been touched again since the first round of carnage a few weeks ago because (I'm assuming) the squirrel discovered recently how to get at the sunflower birdfeeder I have hanging off the fence. This could be totally wrong of course, just a thought...
Sunflower seeds are certainly the preferred food of squirrels here. I can confirm that squirrels and chipmunks fed on sunflower seeds show no inclination to touch crocuses or tulips or any other plant. In my garden it's deer and rabbits that do all the damage, and most of my tulips are browsed before they have a chance to bloom. Trapping and removing wildlife is useless, as more animals move in as soon as the original occupants are gone. I recommend planting poisonous bulbs, like daffodils and colchicum, or smelly ones, like fritillarias.
I think more daffodils is the answer. But Ottawa is supposed to be a big tulip city. We DO have a large tulip festival, after all. However, the daffodils multiply better and last longer in the garden. And the varmints don't touch them.
I don't think the squirrels are really hungry. They never eat what they bite off.
My damage was always rabbits also. Had a fantastic rabbit-hunting large orange cat and that helped tremendously for saving the tulips. They never touched the daffs, don't like them. The squirrels stayed in the front of hte house and the park across the street and never touched the tulips out front.
Ann how sad. Are those hybrid tulips? Maybe try species? I have no problems with squirrels ( maybe that has something to do with the dogs?) but I only have species tulips. And I have lots and lots of daffodils! Also I find the hybrids simply dont last very long and dont multiply - at least out here!
I remember the tulips displays in Ottawa every year but of course those bulbs are dug up every year too and new bulbs are sent from Netherlands.
Fancy - I've got both hybrid and species. The squirrels in my yard don't seem to care.
Re the beds in Ottawa, apparently if you know when and don't care what colour tulips you get, you can visit the compost bins at the Experimental Farm and help yourself after the season. I find my hybrids don't last too long either - not unless I've decided I don't like them. But I put in new ones every few years.
Viola have you tried spreading some human hair around your bulbs? I get clippings from my hair dresser and spread it around where I plant my bulbs. It seems to keep the mice from coming into the house in the fall as well. My hair dresser spreads it around her cedars to keep the deer from eating them. Now the one place I wish I could put the hair I can't. I would like to put it in my air intake to stop the squirrels from building a nest in my truck. The mec removed a nest of critters yesterday after II tried for days to figure out what was causing the bad smell.
April4On - wonderful suggestion re: hair. I'd heard this works terribly well, and I'm going to mention this to our UCW ladies to help get rid of the rabbits in the flower bed, and mice in the church lol
Thanks for the heads-up/reminder!!!