How to Protect Daffodil Bulbs From Voles

Vole image by Jarsem/


Prized not only as the first bloom of spring, daffodils are also often planted because most predators won't eat them. Deer, squirrels and voles ignore daffodil bulbs in favor of tastier options like tulips. Unfortunately, the tunneling habit of voles can still uproot and damage your bulbs before they have a chance to flower. Voles look similar to mice, but with smaller ears. They dig intricate tunnel networks near the soil surface, often tearing out roots and damaging daffodils.

Step 1

Install garden edging around your beds, burying the edging at least 6 inches into the ground. Voles prefer to tunnel near the surface, and this impedes their progress.

Step 2

Purchase bulb cages from a garden supplier or nursery. Place bulbs in the cages, which resemble boxes made of chicken wire, before planting so the voles can't access the bulbs when digging.

Step 3

Place a piece of chicken wire over the top of your newly planted daffodil bed in the autumn, then add a 2-inch layer of mulch on top. This makes the surface of the bed unattractive for tunneling and protects the young shoots and leaves from surface damage.

Step 4

Apply a repellent to the area around the bed, especially if your daffodils are interspersed with tulips or other tastier bulbs. Follow package instructions for amount and application schedule.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid using poisons without the help of a professional exterminator, as the poison may be harmful to local wildlife if it gets into the water table.

Things You'll Need

  • Bulb cage
  • Chicken wire
  • Mulch
  • Repellent


  • Leaf Chronicles
  • SKH
Keywords: repelling voles, protecting daffodil bulbs, bulb cages

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo by: Jarsem/