Though we think of tulips as Dutch flowers, they originated in Turkey. But the Dutch perfected the art of growing tulips and today they export approximately 3 billion tulip bulbs each year. The U.S. is the top importer of tulip bulbs from Holland. Gardeners plant thousands of tulip bulbs each fall, trusting that spring will bring a riot of colorful blossoms. But humans aren't the only ones who enjoy tulips. Some animal pests find the bulbs an irresistible, tasty snack.
Squirrels are a prevalent pest in many yards, raiding bird feeders and fruit trees during the summer. While some squirrels will ignore tulip bulbs, others develop a taste for them and will dig up and eat as many as they can find.
Mice find mole tunnels a convenient method of travel, especially during winter months. These underground passages also provide convenient access to tulip bulbs, which the mice will utilize as a convenient winter food.
Like their rodent kin, the squirrels, chipmunks will sometimes dig up and munch on tulip bulbs.
Ground Squirrels and Gophers
These burrow-dwelling rodents are opportunistic eaters who enjoy a variety of plants. They will sometimes eat tulip bulbs.
These tiny rodents eat grain, bugs, and whatever happens to be handy--including tulip bulbs, which they seem to find particularly tasty.