what the heck eats asian lillies from the ground up?

My wife and I live in upstate NY and for the first time last year had a problem with some sort of underground pest. I've read that moles don't eat roots, but these holes look just like mole tunnels. I have noticed that there are quite a few chipmunks around, but I thought the holes would be bigger. Will chipmunks take out a root system from underneath? What happens is this: You notice the lilly leaves are starting to wilt -- when you touch the plant, it just falls over. The root is completely gone, and there's a tunnel under it.
I have been making wire baskets out of hardware cloth for this year's plantings, but that's a LOT of work. I would much prefer to get rid of whatever it is that is eating them. I think we might have voles and/or shrews too, since we living in the woods. I've got an electric fence to keep the deer away, but this is driving us crazy. Thanks for any help!
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Hi,
For the first time last year, my wife's flower garden had some sort of underground pest eat about 30 lilly bulbs from the ground up. We are in upstate NY, if that matters. There were little tunnels to each plant, and the roots were just...gone. You could touch the plant and it would just fall over. At first I thought it was moles, but then read that they don't eat roots. I live in a wooded area, and see chipmunks running all over -- could they be doing this? My other thought was voles or shrews, both of which I see once in a while. The tunnels are too small to be gophers.
My first question I guess is, what is doing it. My second question is how do I stop it. I have started making wire baskets out of hardware cloth, but that is very timeconsuming and I'm not sure how long they'd last buried in the ground. I have also read that most of the repellents are only temporary, and that the sonic posts don't work at all. I'm sure this question has been answered a million times, but I couldn't come up with any search terms for google that would tell me what could be eating the root systems out from under the plants. Thanks for any info you can provide...
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On 5/19/07 5:32 PM, in article Xns9935B2644BEDCbrocksampson@130.81.64.196,

I'd bet the problem is voles. Research from that angle and good luck
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Agree with Cheryl in a similar post. Voles ( aka field mice).
Last winter was a bonus year for them, the ground hardly froze before mid january and it was easy tunnelling underground to tasty starchy tubers/bulbs, no need to worry about above-ground predators. Once the snow fell, still no need to worry about above ground predators and all their tunnels were then well insulated. Cheeky, greedy, blasted mini-rats. Your best hope is that their population increase this year trends to a spike in Weasel food. Weasels can be a good friend in times like this. Sorry I can't recommend a fix.
This evening, I have a bear problem.
Sue in Maine
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thanks for the advice -- and sorry about the double post. I didn't think the first one went due to an xnews lockup. I would guess a bear problem is a little easier to spot!
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On 5/20/07 7:36 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com, "Sue

You can also hope for other predators like foxes. I have fox on property and many fewer moles and voles.

So I saw. I am especially sorry about the crab apple.
Cheryl
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